Trailing 23-22 at halftime, the Bradwell Tigers were swarmed by an angry mass of Blue Jackets as the boys of Savannah High stung the Tiger squad, 63-36, for a Region 3-AAAAA win. The loss drops the Tigers to 4-5 in the region and 7-11 overall.
Ninety minutes earlier, the roles were reversed as the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Blue Jackets, 57-26. Faye Baker’s squad improves to 8-1 in the region and 16-3 overall.
"We don’t know what happened," Tiger coach Pete Woodard said of the loss. "Only the players know and can tell you, but I know they didn’t play that fourth quarter the way they played the first two and a half."
Woodard said by the fourth quarter, his players were just going through the motions. He said they trailed by only 7 points in the third and can’t figure out why they stopped battling.
"It’s sort of like they shut down," Woodard said. "It was not that they couldn’t move their feet. Maybe Savannah wanted it more, you know hungrier than we were. Maybe we were just not hungry at all."
A series of consecutive turnovers in the fourth and a lack of rebounds also hurt the Tigers, according to Woodard. He said the Blue Jackets were able to get several tries off an offensive shot.
Blue Jackets players Khiry Waldburg and Darnell Jackson posted double-doubles with 13-points and 10 rebounds apiece.
The Blue Jackets improve to 8-1 and 15-4.
Tiger D.J. Felder led the offense with 10 baskets. Treshawn Hagood dropped in 7 and Jonathan Blair added 6. The Tigers are holding on to a No. 5 spot in the region.
Woodard said his team currently reminds him of the movie "Forrest Gump." He compared his players to the film’s lead character’s legendary box of chocolates.
"You never know whaty you’re gonna get," Woodard said.
The Lady Tigers had a slow start. They trailed 12-9 in the first quarter, but the girls ran up 11 points to the Lady Jackets’ 5 in the second quarter to retake the lead.
Lady Tiger Seandre Lee paced the offense with 16 points, and Mariah Maternik added 9. Camille Jackson, Quintunya Chapman and Mei-Sean Lee chipped in 6 apiece in the team’s fifth straight win since their two losses at Brunswick and Beach three weeks ago.
The team, sitting comfortably in the rankings, is right where Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker wanted the girls to be at this point in the season. Currently, they are tied at No. 1 with Beach High after Camden County beat the Beach High Lady Bulldogs on Saturday.
Baker said her press was especially effective in the third quarter.
"I was real pleased with the way we ran our offense," she said. "We were very patient."
Baker said she made an adjustment to her starting lineup.
"Mei-Sean Lee was starting all year," she explained. "But we are now starting Quinuntya Chapman and bringing Seandre Lee out at the wing. We bring in Mei-Sean off the bench and she is actually playing a lot better coming off the bench for us."
Baker also said LaNiqua Fowler has improved as a secondary ball handler to Maternik.
Baker was also pleased with the fact her squad had the lowest turnover ratio in nearly two seasons as they had only 10 against Savannah High.
"We took care of the ball and we executed our offense, especially in the second half," she said.
Baker said her squad’s destiny is in their own hands now as they prepare to face Jenkins at home on Saturday and rematch Beach at home on Tuesday.
"We definitely cannot afford to take them lightly," she said about Jenkins. "When we went to their place we had a pretty close game and everybody is always gunning for the top teams. That is the only game we are looking at right now, Jenkins on Saturday."