Bradley Central Thumps Rhea Co. In Region Semifinal, 89-34

Bearettes Place Five In Double Digits

  • Monday, February 26, 2024
  • Alex McElyea

Defending state 4A champion Bradley Central swept through Rhea County by a margin of 55 points in a 89-34 win on their home floor at Jim Smiddie Arena Monday night in a Region 3-4A semifinal game. The Bearettes, ranked first in District 6-4A, came in with a record of 28-1. Rhea County, ranked third in District 5-4A, held a record of 17-16. Bradley proved their ranking quickly into the first quarter by notching 37 points and holding the Lady Golden Eagles to just four.

Bradley Central, already having an impressive season, came into this game looking to make a point. They feel like they belong on the national level, and they proved that tonight in just the first period of play, basically manhandling Rhea.

The Lady Eagles showed a lot of strengths against the Bearettes despite the score. They were quick in transition and never gave up on defense. Rhea County accounted for several intercepted passes. Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, it made no difference. Bradley Central almost never missed a shot, as they hit a scorching 51.5 percent from the field. They controlled the inside of the paint with their impressive size while making room from beyond the arc, hitting 13 of 33 three-point attempts.

Heading into halftime, the Bearettes led the Eagles 56-12. From then on it was defense and clock management for Bradley. Early in the second half they started subbing in the reserves and they were still putting up plenty of points. The Bearettes have a lot of depth on their roster this season and it shows in their record.

From then on, there was not much that could happen to change the game. The Bears not only were more skilled and prepared for the task at hand, but they also had more size and strength than their opponent. They played extremely aggressively and took control of the game before Rhea County saw it coming.

Bradley Central’s head coach Jason Reuter gave some input on how he felt his team played tonight. He spoke about his thinking and preparation going into this game and this season as a whole.

“Our girls did what I think they were supposed to do,” the veteran coach said “You never know, it’s an elimination game, so don’t overlook anybody. I think we were better on paper, we were better at watching film. I thought we were better, but you still got to play the game.” Reuter said, “The girls did what they were supposed to do. We got them outsized. We were bigger, stronger, faster. I’m going to praise my girls. Sometimes you come out and play down (to your) competition and I don’t think we did that tonight.”

Reuter also spoke to how he believes there is no doubt to how good they are and that they deserve to be here.  “We tried to go out and find out of conference teams that are good and we did that. We went and played them, and we have only been beaten once this year. That’s not always a bad thing. We went and played really good teams in Georgia,” Reuter said.

“We played two really good teams in Georgia. Some people want to say our district is a little down and maybe the region but if you look at our strength of schedule on MaxPreps  it’s pretty strong. So, I think we have done all we can. At this point I just pray for our health.”

Bradley Central looks to be dangerous on a national scale. They have talent and coaching that exceeds most programs. Five of their starting players in this game put up double digits. Two of them, Kimora Fields, Harmonie Ware, scored 17 and 19 points, respectively.  TaTianna Stovall put up 15, while Avary Brewer had 14 and Grace Phillips 11. 

Jenna Burchard led the Lady Eagles with 10 points

Coach Reuter is very confident in his team and believes they have the ability to go far. He holds to the work that they have put in and each individual player’s ability to win games as they seek to go back-to-back in 2024.

SUMMARY

RHEA COUNTY

4

8

6

16

-- 34

BRADLEY CENTRAL

37

19

28

1

--89

RHEA COUNTY (34) – Lockhart 4, Ruehling, Stover, Jenna Burchard 10, Reaves 2, Reeves 6, Sharp 9, Fuller, Bishop 3.

BRADLEY CENTRAL (89) – Kimora Fields 17, Avary Brewer 14, Harmonie Ware 19, Wilcox 3, TaTianna Stovall 15, Geren 8, Osborn, White, Howard, Grace Phillips 11, Francis, Carpenter, Broone 2.

3-point goals: Rhea County 3 (Burchard, Sharp, Bishop); Bradley Central 13 (Brewer 4, Ware 3, Wilcox, Geren 2, Phillips 3).

Records: Rhea County 16-17; Bradley Central 29-1.

(Email Alex McElyea at alexmcelyea26@gmail.com)

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