Senior Lady Tiger Mariah Maternik scored 18 points to help the Bradwell girls take a 51-41 win over the Glynn Academy Red Terrors at the Joe Greene Classic Tip-off on Tuesday night at Johnson High School in Savannah.
But it was a back-and-forth contest from the outset.
The Hinesville girls took a quick four point lead after a pair of easy layups, yet the Terrors kept within striking distance for the entire first half and led by four after the first quarter.
"The main thing is that we were not running our sets at all on the offensive and defensive end," Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker said about her girls’ struggles during the first half. "We were always out of position defensively and offensively we were playing too much individual ball and not playing team ball at all."
The coach said she told the girls if they didn’t adjust and run the correct sets they would end of losing the game. It appears the Lady Tigers listened.
Bradwell regained a 4-point lead at the close of the half, primarily due to quick layups and fast drives down court by freshman standout Shaquoia Crockett and junior shooting guard Latisha Frasier.Maternik, meanwhile, was steady all night.
But there was a noticeable difference in the second half of the game. Senior power forward Quintunya Chapman, who sat the bench for most of the first half due to foul trouble, made a quick and significant impact in slowing the Terrors’ tempo while charging the boards and grabbing steals for BI.
"We talked to Quintunya at halftime and asked her to…sometimes you just have to let the fouls go," Baker said. "And of course with her being in the game and not having to sit because of fouls that made a big difference too. Her energy level and the way she plays, that is why it’s valuable for her to be in the game and not on the bench in foul trouble. The second half was definitely a whole lot better."
With Chapman, Frasier, Crockett, Maternik and junior Leitia Leiataua on the floor, the Lady Tigers turned a one-point, third quarter deficit into a five-point lead.
Two quick steals by Chapman followed by two layups and a few sinkers by Crockett and Maternik sealed the 10-point win.
The contest was the first official regular season game for the Lady Tigers since they scrimmaged Liberty County High School on Nov. 9.
"And it shows," Baker said. "We are still very rusty. The more we play, I think the more we will improve. We didn’t look well tonight and I think that is attributed to the long layoff before we had another contest."
The girls were scheduled to play Liberty in Wednesday’s game at the Joe Green Classic, this time at Beach High. After Thanksgiving they play longtime region rival Beach on Nov. 30.
"These games are very important," Baker said about the Joe Greene Classic. "We have the opportunity to play these non-region games first. To help get us in sync and in tune and let us see the things that we are strong at and what we are weak on. If we would have made those uncontested layups we would have been able to stretch that lead a lot further. We missed a lot of layups. But again it’s early and that happens a lot early in the season."
Lady Tigers: 10|22|37|51
Lady Terrors: 14|26|32|41
Lady Tiger scoring: Shaquoia Crockett 10, Latisha Fraiser 8, Kami Small 2, Leitia Leiataua 2, Mariah Maternik 18, Quintunya Chapman 10, Britany Terrell 1