The Bradwell Institute Tigers’ basketball teams went 1-1 this past Friday, when they traveled to Reidsville to face off against the Tattnall County Warriors. The Lady Tigers (1-3) saw their late rally fall just short while the Tigers (3-1) pulled out a thrilling victory on a buzzer beater.
The girls came into the game with their eyes set on getting back to .500 and it looked like they could do that in the first half of the game. However, the Lady Warriors came out firing in the opening quarter, jumping out to a 10-1 lead over Bradwell.
However, Lady Tiger Alyssa McDuffie got her team going in the first quarter with consecutive buckets, which cut the Warriors’ lead down to 12-7 at the end of the first period.
The Lady Tigers opened up the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take an early lead in the second quarter. McDuffie drained a three to put her team on top and Jasmine Blevins scored nine points in the period to give her team a 27-23 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter belonged to the Lady Warriors as they got a big boost from an And-1 play to tie the game at 30. They outscored the Tigers 9-4 late in the third and never looked back.
It was late in the fourth quarter that the Lady Tigers started to rally. Blevins had another outstanding showing, scoring 11 points in the quarter and getting her team within three points, but it was ultimately for naught.
The Lady Tigers fell by a final of 51-48, despite Blevins’s impressive double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The boys took the court next and they tried to avenge their fellow Lady Tigers against the Battle Creek Warriors. The Tigers did just that in the first quarter, opening the game on a 9-3 run, thanks three shots from beyond the three-point line, two of which came off the hands of Darryl Johnson.
The Tigers took a 13-11 lead in the second quarter, but the Warriors quickly jumped back on top. They outscored the Tigers 9-0 to take a 20-18 lead midway through the second quarter.
Even JaVonte LeCounte’s seven points in the quarter couldn’t keep his team within reach as Bradwell trailed 35-30 at halftime.
The third quarter was much of the same for Tattnall County as they continued to roll. However, the Tigers used a late rally to take a 43-42 lead with just over three minutes left in the quarter and were tied going into the final period.
The fourth quarter was as exciting as you would expect as both the Tigers and Warriors went back and forth in the quarter. Anthony Vicente hit his second 3-pointer of the game to tie things up with just over a minute left in the game.
However, 15 seconds later, he committed his fifth foul of the game, allowing the Warriors to take 63-61 lead. The Warriors looked to take a lead as Craige Saxton had two shots from the free throw line with just seconds left.
The ball bounced the Tigers’ way as they were set up with three seconds left and the score tied at 65. LeCounte got the pass down low and scored the game-winning lay-up at the buzzer to give his team the 67-65 victory.
First-year head coach William Douberly was visibly excited for his team following the “gritty” win.
“I am impressed with this team’s grittiness,” he said. “They made some mistakes and they handled the mistakes well. They are finally pulling together as a team and it feels like a family environment, which is what we want. That was as gritty of a win as I have ever had as a coach.”
The win put the Tigers at 3-1, half as many wins as they had during the entire 2015-16 season. Douberly talked about how this team is growing every day.
“This team is growing and is confident,” Douberly explained. “But they are just scratching the surface and they are starting to believe in themselves. Our coaches know what they can be and the players are starting to see exactly what they can be now.”
Both Tiger teams had a road match-up against former region foe Camden County Saturday night and return home on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to face Long County.