Tuesday’s much-hyped battle in Hinesville between the Beach High Lady Bulldogs and the Bradwell Lady Tigers found the home team victorious. The 57-39 win put BI in the Region 3-AAAAA top spot.
Lady Tiger Seandre Lee hit a game-high 30 points. Mariah Maternik hit a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.
The first quarter was a jumble of passes and jittery plays before both sides settled down and traded points. At the half, the Hinesville girls led by a mere 3 points.
However, as coach Faye Bake said after the game, the girls turned it up on the press defense and went on a 14-1 run against Ronald Booker’s team.
"We talked about exerting a lot of energy defensively," Baker said. "And that made the difference."
The Bulldogs also forced passes, giving up too many turnovers in the second half.
The Lady Tigers are 5-0 in the region and 14-1 overall.
"They exerted themselves," Booker said of the Lady Tigers’ third-quarter run. "They didn’t do anything different. They just did things better. And we didn’t step up to that challenge."
Booker said he’ll analyze the first half to review what his Lady Bulldogs did right and review the second half to see what went wrong. Beach will rematch Bradwell on Feb. 2 in Savannah.
"I’m hoping we’ll give them a better game when they come to Beach. They are a very good team and I’m very happy and proud of Faye ... But of course we are in it for the long haul," Booker said.
"I have so much respect for coach Booker," Baker said. "I’ve always looked up to him and he’s always had a great program and gets the best out of his players. He makes you play and we knew we would have to bring a lot of energy and intensity to this game in order to be successful."
She said the victory felt great, but she’s focused on the next two games against region opponents Johnson High and Camden County.
Tonight’s game against Johnson is at 7 in Hinesville.
Lady Tigers 6 20 45-57
Lady Bulldogs 9 17 31-39