Bradwell Institute’s basketball teams won tight home games Saturday over Statesboro.
The Lady Tigers survived a last-minute rush from the Lady Blue Devils to secure a 45-43 win. The Tigers mounted a late third-quarter comeback to force overtime and win, 43-42.
Bradwell senior point guard Akeyla Richardson knocked down two free throws with 5.5 seconds left to put the home team ahead to stay.
“Tonight, we played with more intensity than we did against Glynn Academy, which certainly helped us. Coming back, beating Statesboro, was making up for the intensity Friday night,” Bradwell Lady Tigers head coach Faye Baker said.
Statesboro went to the locker room at the half with a 28-23 lead. Bradwell kept nipping away until the game was tied at 43 in the final seconds of the game.
“It’s a good win,” Baker said. “We played good team basketball similar to the way we played against MCA. We bent a little in the last minutes, letting them get some easy buckets and not securing the rebounds. I am really proud of how Akeyla stepped up at the end and led us on the floor and then hit the two free throws for the win.”
Baker also was pleased with play of Jakaria Fleming and Javaugna Claridy.
“Fleming had a strong physical presence for us, and the intensity that she and Claridy brought were key Saturday night for us. This was a good win for the team,” Baker said.
Three Bradwell players scored in double digits. Richardson, Claridy and Fleming each put in 12 points. Richardson was 9 for 11 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Tigers, 2-4 after Saturday, were scheduled to host two games this week. The Lady Tigers were to host Ware County on Tuesday and Windsor Forest on Friday. The Windsor game was slated to be on the road, but the venue was changed to BI.
Results for the Ware County game were unavailable at press time.
BI — 9/14/12/10: 45
SH — 11/17/11/6: 43
Bradwell scoring — J. Claridy 12, J. Fleming 12, A. Richardson 12, M. Forshee 2, S. Maines 2, K. Martin 2, A. Roberts 2, J. Young 1.
Bradwell head boys’ coach Rhett Hellgren’s philosophy was on full display Saturday.
“Offensively, for us to be successful is not just find a good shot. We need to pass the ball and find a better or the best shot, which will teach us to be patient and allow high percentage shots to open up,” he said. “Tonight, certainly showed that. This was a great win for the team. I am really proud of how they played.”
Bradwell was the epitome of the philosophy that stresses passing the ball carefully and with control. During one possession, the Tigers made six passes, resulting in a basket. Bradwell’s patience and tenacious defense helped the Tigers get back into the game after Statesboro controlled it for three quarters.
The Tigers methodical offense had Statesboro switching defenses, putting the Blue Devils out of position for some rebounds. Though the Blue Devils had a height advantage, the Tigers dominated the boards. Bradwell pulled down 41 rebounds to Statesboro’s 17.
Trailing 31-17, Bradwell stayed the course, allowing its defense to create more scoring opportunities. Bradwell kept chipping away at the lead, tying the game in the final minute of play. Despite missing out on scoring chances down the stretch, the Tigers outscored Statesboro, 17-7, in the final quarter. Jamorris Hill garnered five of the team’s seven steals.
Statesboro took an early lead in overtime, but Bradwell got the go-ahead bucket off of a layup in the final minute from senior guard Malcolm Dingle.
“It feels great to be able to make that shot,” Dingle said. “It was big and I saw the opening and went to the basket. Statesboro is a good basketball team so it is a great win. The coaches did a great job making adjustments, and tonight we played team basketball.”
Dingle led all scorers with 16 points. Hill recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Kendrick Harris Bennett scored nine points and grabbed 11 boards.
Bradwell was 4-1 going into this week’s action. The Tigers hosted Ware County on Tuesday and will host Windsor Forest on Friday. Results of Tuesday’s game were not available at press time.
Bradwell 43, Statesboro 42
BI — 7/7/7/17/6: 43
SH — 14/9/8/7/5: 42
Bradwell scoring — M. Dingle 16, J. Hill 10, K. Harris-Bennett 9, R. Stokes 5, H. Anderson 2, D. Baker 2.