Bradley Rolls Past Rhea Co. In 3-4A Semis, 70-44

Bears Take Control Early To Advance

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024
  • Alex McElyea

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Bradley Central prevailed over Rhea County, 70-44, in a hard-fought battle in the nightcap game of the Region 3-4A Semifinals against Rhea County played at Jim Smiddie Arena. Bradley did not take control until late late in the second period. Rhea held a strong defense that kept them in the game for a good part of the first half.

Both teams played a physical game that raised the level of play and created an electric atmosphere for both the players and fans. The first half had plenty of fouls for each team and not a lot of successful scoring attempts. The pressure kept both teams out of the pain until Bradley Central were able to find a rhythm in their passing game.

Neither team had a hot hand from beyond the arc until late in the first period. The battle to find the basket left each team empty handy for several minutes. The defense was outstanding for both teams and defined the game with the the winner coming down to who could find a way to score consistently.

The Bears’ main strength was their ball movement around the three-point line. They had the ability to pass and move players off the ball at such a quick rate that it created openings inside the paint. After this Rhea County couldn’t keep them from scoring.

The Golden Eagles did not make the night easy on themselves. Most of their offensive struggles came from clumsy passing and ball handling mistakes. Bradley County capitalized on their mistakes and scored off most of these opportunities.

Bradley County won at the rim as well. Their rebound game was on point all night. They hardly ever gave the ball away and never lost one on ones. This was not a size problem as much as it was a tenacity to get inside and win the ball.

Jarrius Rogers sparked the Bears with 15 points and Ramireon Taylor added 13, while Jackson Ary had 12 and Tyrese Stovall had 10. The Golden Eaglws’ Bryce Dupree led all scorers with 19 as Kyler Akin assisted with 15.

Rhea fought from the beginning, and it was obvious they wanted it badly. Bradley Central, however, were able to show it more in the first half and this made the rest of the game easier for them. They play hard and never settle on offense and defense.

This originates from their coaching staff. Head Coach Zach Carpenter has kept his players disciplined all season. Because of this, they stay disciplined the whole game. Coach Carpenter spoke about his team, and it was impressive how much responsibility he leaves with them on the court. In fact, he trusts them to lead even without him, and they did against Rhea County.

“It was a great win and a great team win by our guys. We had, I think, four or five guys in double figures. I thought we were really locked in defensively the whole night. That’s a testament to them. That’s not anything I did. They were locked into the game plan and went out and executed it.” Coach Carpenter continued, “Rhea County has got a really nice team. They have guys that can shoot, they rebound. And they did a great job of taking some of their shooters away and forcing some turnovers.”

The Bears move on to the region final this Thursday at home against Walker Valley with a 7 p.m. tip-off..

SUMMARY

RHEA COUNTY                              4          13        12        15        --44
BRADLEY CENTRAL                    17         15         20        18        --70

RHEA COUNTY (44) – Bryce Dupree 19, Kyler Akin 15, Smith 4, Stumbo 4, Geer 2.

BRADLEY CENTRAL (70) – Jarrius Rogers 15, Ramireon Taylor 13, Jackson Ary 12, Tyrese Stoval 10, Al. Walker 8, Reid 7, Ballard 3, An. Walker 2.

3-Point Goals: Rhea County 5 (Dupree 3, Akin 2); Bradley Central 7 (Taylor 3, Rogers 3, Al. Walker.

(Email Alex McElyea at alexmcelyea26@gmail.com)

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