P.K. Yonge used a dominating second quarter to defeat the Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers, 60-39, on Saturday afternoon.
Yonge, a charter school housed on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, is considered a perennial girls’ basketball power for its classification. The Lady Blue Wave have produced several Division I players, including current point guard Niya Johnson. Johnson is a verbal commit to Baylor University and is ranked among the top 10 point guards in the country.
“It was great for us to get to play a team like Yonge. We love playing against teams of their caliber. It does nothing but make us better. Also, we will not be surprised or shocked by teams like Yonge that we will see in the postseason. We will know what to expect and how we have to pick up our game,” Bradwell coach Faye Baker said.
Johnson reeled off three treys in the first quarter, but the Lady Tigers responded. Yonge led, 8-3, early in the first quarter, but Baker called a time-out to slow down the game.
Yonge showed a very aggressive full-court press, but the Lady Tigers patiently broke the press and Brittany Terrill isolated herself on the block for a couple of easy layups.
“We did such a better job against the press,” Baker said. “We realized that we had to slow down and look for the holes in the press and we were able to break the pass, and Yonge was playing so fast they were out of position. We had some easy layups on the back end. The guards really did a great job breaking the press.”
The Lady Tigers added another basket to cut the lead to 10-7 off a steal from Latisha Frasier and layup from Leitia Leiataua.
Bradwell tied the game, 17-17, at the final minute of the first quarter when Shaquioa Crockett cut into the lane for a layup.
Yonge’s Lady Blue Wave crashed Bradwell hard in the second quarter. Johnson, along with help from the bench, outscored Bradwell, 19-3.
Trailing, 36-20, at the half, Bradwell kept fighting to stay in the game, but Yonge’s lead was too large.
“Yonge was a very talented team — a lot of size and depth. Even though we didn’t (win), we are still improving every game. With a young team and early in the season, that is what we want to happen,” Baker said.
“We are working hard on offense to move the ball and create good shots. We don’t have a lot of size, so we aren’t going to overpower a lot of people. We are learning to move the ball and get players in the seams of the defense to give us good scoring opportunities.”
Bradwell falls to 2-3 on the season. The Lady Tigers resumed region play Tuesday at Camden County and host Jenkins on Friday.
In other basketball news, the Liberty County boys are 7-0 after defeating Long County, 57-51, on Saturday night at home. Liberty will host Beach High on Saturday with a girls’ game at 6 p.m. and a boys’ game at 7:30.
PKY 17 19 11 13 — 60
BI 17 3 11 8 — 39
Bradwell: Shaquioa Crockett 9, Brittany Terrill 8, Akeyla Richardson 7, Leitia Leiataua 6, Taylor Mikell 4, Latisha Frasier 4, Kelissa Hargrove 2.