When a 6A team goes to play a 1A Private team, that’s an opportunity to flex your muscle a little bit.
And that’s what the Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers (6-2, 1-1 Region 2-6A) did when they went to Savannah to take on the Savannah Christian Lady Raiders (4-6, 0-1 Region 3A Public).
The Lady Tigers took it out of hand quickly, defeating the Lady Raiders 74-35 on Tuesday night.
They had four players score in double figures: Taniyah Bowman (13), Ta’Tyana Anderson (12), Keyasia Hairston (12), and Parris Parham (11).
The Lady Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead within the first three minutes of the game causing the Lady Raiders to burn their first timeout.
Ka’liyah Tillman hit a corner three to take a double digit 15-4 lead over the Lady Raiders.
And it never touched single digits again as the Lady Tigers led 21-6 after the first quarter.
“We wanted to try to establish our defense early and we were able to do that,” Lady Tigers Head Coach Faye Baker said following the game. “Our man pressure was able to get some steals and some easy transition baskets which really got us going and helped us get to an early lead. That was the key.”
In the second quarter, the Lady Tigers dubbed the Lady Raiders after a tre by Ta’naya Moore.
Assisted by forcing an abundance of turnovers and two second quarter blocks by Division I prospect Bailey Gilmore, the Lady Tigers led 41-16 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Lady Raiders trimmed the lead by a single point, still trailing 53-29 heading into the last eight minutes of gametime.
“We did a good job of distributing the ball and playing team ball,” Baker said. “When we actually had a chance to run our halfcourt set we were really trying to focus on that because we hadn’t been doing a great job of doing that in the past couple of games. We were more conscious of it tonight. I saw us attempting to try to do it so I’m happy about that growth.”
Before the fourth quarter told the story of the final period with the Lady Tigers holding on to their lead and coasting to the victory.
The Lady Tigers will have a doubleheader following the Christmas holiday with Swainsboro and Groves coming to town on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29.
“That’s going to be a little tough being that they’re going to have about five days off,” Baker said of their next two contests. “We’ll probably have one day of practice before we come and play back-to-back games. So, it may be a little ugly but they are non-region games so hopefully those games will help us knocked the rust off so we can get ready for our region play that will be coming up the following week.”
The Bradwell Tigers (4-4, 0-2 Region 2-6A) followed their girls’ team by handling business against the Savannah Christian Raiders (3-4).
Led by ten points from Elyjah Thurmon Tigers took a 70-32 victory back to Hinesville.
The Raiders jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the Tigers within the first two minutes causing Tyson Randolph to use his first timeout.
“Coming into it we knew they were a fundamentally sound team and of course they shoot the ball well,” Randolph said of the Raiders’ early run. “We just kind of pushed up more to take away the catch and shoot. The guys understand when you’re playing on the road you got to make that adjustment quick and I think they did a very good job after that timeout.”
The Tigers two scoring leaders on the season Thurmon and Tahshaun Frasier were the guys that got them on the scoreboard.
Andre Milner tied the game at 9 with a score in the paint before the Tigets took a 11-9 lead on the following possession.
By the end of the first quarter the Tigers led 16-11.
In the second period the Tigers took a double-digit lead after Jonathan Bryant made a three.
Going into halftime Jamal Jackson made a trifecta on the run to give the Tigers a 36-17 lead going into the locker rooms.
“We always hang our hat on defense,” Randolph said. “We chart our defense like football in downs. In four out of five downs, we stopped them 16 times straight. If anybody do math, they know that’s a pretty heck of a percentage right there.”
The Tigers took a 21-point lead in the third quarter after Thurmon posted up a Raider defender.
A Milner dunk in the quarter was the highlight of the quarter.
He attempted another jam but was contested by Raiders’ Blake Hall before he went to the line and made both free throws for a 49-19 Tiger lead.
Subs checked in for the final quarter with the Tigers sitting on the lead comfortably.
“This group right here has had a few disappointing games where we didn’t really finish,” Randolph said. “At the end of the day I’m counting on them, and I think when it’s all said and done, they’re definitely going to be there in the end.”
Following Christmas, the Tigers will have back-to-back games against visitors from Savannah in Benedictine on Dec. 28 and Groves on Dec. 29.
“With building this program and complexity of the players we have we always want to put them against some of the stiffer, tougher competition out there,” Randolph said of the two upcoming games. “Everybody know in Savannah basketball is the Mecca. All championships come through Savannah sooner or later. I think both of those teams are very well in contention of possibly winning a state title. No better chance to test ourselves against them so we look forward to it.”