At 8-0, the Bradwell Institute girls basketball team is on its way to another winning season.
The Lady Tigers got their latest win by downing Rutland 52-44 on Dec. 18 in the Westside-Macon Christmas Tourney in Macon.
Head coach Faye Baker said the game was close until the fourth quarter when her team was able to use a half-court defense to pull away.
"We were able to extend the lead with some easy steals and some easy transition baskets," Baker said. "That is how we were able to pull away from them."
It was the first time Bradwell has met Rutland, which is 6-4 overall, according to ga.prepcountry.com.
"For the most part, I would say we wore them down a little bit because they seemed to be a little winded in the fourth quarter and I think that was attributed to us getting the easy steals," Baker said.
Mariah Maternik and KeAndra Frasier helped pace Bradwell in the victory.
"KeAndra really sparked us coming off the bench and hitting some key baskets for us," the coach said.
The BI girls were set to finish the tournament with a Monday night game against Rockdale and a Tuesday morning game against undefeated Taylor County.
It’s going to be competitive and a hard-fought game," Baker said.
Rockdale was one of only two teams to beat BI last season. The Lady Tigers finished the season 29-2.
"Our returning players are motivated because of that factor," Baker said.
But Bradwell’s coach was also expecting a tough contest from Taylor County, which is currently unbeaten. There was also a 9 a.m. tip-off to contend with.
Still, Baker said, she takes her team to Macon each season in order to compete against tough opponents from around the state.
"I like, and our coaching staff likes, the challenge of being able to adjust to the team that we are playing," she said. "Not knowing anything about them and making the adjustments throughout the game — that’s a challenge in itself and I think it helps you in postseason play because a lot of times you are playing teams that you don’t know a whole lot about. It gives you that experience to be able to coast through those situations and play through those situations."
Baker is proud of her team’s undefeated start, but said there are still kinks to iron out before BI hits the heart of the region schedule. Last year, BI finished 14-0 in Region 3-AAAAA.
According to maxpreps.com, Maternik is averaging 19 points per game and freshman Shaquoia Crockett is averaging 16.3. Quintunya Chapman leads the girls in total rebounds with 37 and Crockett is leading the steals with 17.