Teams that have a strong tradition are even tougher in the postseason. Bradwell Institute ran headlong into both tradition and experience Tuesday night and the result was a 53-36 loss to No. 2 seed Savannah.
"Savannah is a battle-tested team with a strong tradition. Playing them in an environment like this, they understand that you have to play in big games and that the loser goes home," Bradwell coach Pete Woodard
After securing the seventh seed in the play-in game Monday night, the Tigers came out strong.
Savannah held an early lead in the first quarter but Anthony Campbell cut it to 7-6 with a 3-pointer from the corner.
The Tigers flew around on defense, diving for loose balls, trapping Savannah players and getting fingertips on the Blue Jackets’ perimeter passes.
Despite forcing turnovers, the Tigers were not able to convert many scoring opportunities and Savannah hit a pair of treys to go up 20-11.
The Tigers ended up with the ball in the final 20 seconds but Savannah’s defense swarmed them and didn’t allow a last shot.
Bradwell started the second quarter by turning over the ball and Savannah took advantage to go up 22-11.
The Tigers had some great looks at the basket but could not get the ball in the hole until Deon Craig sank a 3 deep in the corner for the Tigers’ first points of the second quarter.
Tigers point guard Javonte Richey rushed through the Savannah defense for a lay up. Richey also hit Jamael Smith with a no-look pass in transition to pull BI to 24-18.
Savannah converted on its next two possessions, held the ball the final minute of the first half and scored off a lay up in the final seconds to lead 30-18 at the
The Tigers came out with fight left in them. In the first few minutes they reduced the Savannah lead to 34-28. Savannah went on a seven-point scoring run midway through the third quarter.
Campbell crashed to the floor with a hard foul but swished a pair of free throws for the Tigers, making the score 41-30. Although Bradwell continued to play an energetic zone with players talking and pointing to cover Savannah shooters, the Blue Jackets began to wear down the Tigers.
"Tonight we played well in spurts but not the whole game. We put up a fight but we also had too many turnovers, didn’t catch the ball as well, and missed some easy shots. We really do appreciate the effort the players gave tonight," Woodard said.
The Tigers finished the 2010-11 campaign 8-19.
"This was a learning season. At the end of the season we started to gel. Next year we will have more experience and hopefully we will mature more. We were really proud of the players this season they gave 100 percent and you can’t ask for more," Woodard said.
Bradwell top scorers:Anthony Campbell 12, Jamael Smith 11, Deon Craig 7, Javonte Richey 4, Jamorris Hill 4, Dazjon Tinae 4, Cameron Kight 2, Rodney Hawkins 2