ENGLEWOOD, Tenn. – Third-ranked Bradley Central went on the road and defeated perennial Class 2A power McMinn Central, 55-43, on Tuesday night.
Post play proved to be a huge factor in the win as Anna Walker scored 14 points and Alexis Barnes threw in 11. Bradley outscored Central, 22-12, in the paint.
It was a back-and-forth opening quarter as there were five ties and four lead changes. The Bearettes were finally able to take the lead for good at 16-13 on a Kaleigh Hughes 3 off a Jamaryn Blair assist. Bradley (18-2) ended the quarter with a 6-2 run for an 18-15 lead at the first break.
The second quarter saw the guests slowly stretch the lead to nine points on an Amelia Reuter bucket with 3:06 remaining. McMinn was able to cut the lead one point before the Bearettes went to the locker room with a 32-24 halftime advantage.
McMinn Central outscored Bradley, 12-11, in the third quarter only to see Bradley Central break the game open with a strong fourth period. With 7:16 left, Hughes threw in a 3 to give the Bearettes their first double-digit lead of the night. Bradley then extended the lead on an 11-0 run and had a 17-point lead on a Barnes free-throw.
The Chargerettes (12-9) ended the game with a 5-0 run.
McMinn Central was paced by Melia Baker with 17 points. Carlie Runyon finished with 10 points.
Bradley had a whopping 42-24 rebounding edge that included 13 offensive rebounds for 12 second-chance points. The Bearettes’ bench outscored the Chargerettes, 17-5, led by Barnes’ 11 points.
Bradley shot 27-of-33 (81.8 percent) from the charity stripe while McMinn went 14-for-21 (66.7 percent). The Bearettes weren’t as efficient from the floor, hitting 13-of-42 for 31 percent.
Bradley Central improves to 18-2 on the year while McMinn Central drops to 12-9.
The Bearettes jump back into district play as they take on long-time rival McMinn County on Friday inside of Jim Smiddy Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Bradley then takes on region foe Stone Memorial on Saturday in Crossville for a 6 p.m. Eastern start to round out the weekend.
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Bradley Central 18 14 11 12 – 55
McMinn Central 15 9 12 7 – 43
Bradley Central (55) - Hughes 6, Roberts 4, Blair 5, Anna Walker 14, Lombard 9, Reuter 2, Mayo 4, Alexis Barnes 11, Williams.
McMinn Central (43) - Carlie Runyan 10, K. Baker 3, Melia Baker 17, Smith 4, Beaty 4, Rule 3, Crabtree, Buckner 2.
3-Point Goals – Bradley Central 2 (Hughes 2), McMinn Central 1 (M. Baker 1).