There is something a bit different about Bradwell Institute’s boys this year. There’s an air of confidence in the Tigers and Tuesday they proved it again, beating Beach High, 55-43, at home.
There is chemistry because Miguel Pineda, Cameron Kight, Malcolm Dingle, Jamorris Hill and Reasha Stokes mesh.
They have been on the squad for some time but the spark is coming from the sideline and is reminiscent of a former coach — David Jones.
Jones, who in a career of more than 30 years had more than 600 wins and won four state championships, coached at BI from 1996-2008.
He was known for producing a disciplined team and was animated on the sidelines and away from the court.
Enter 2012 and you can’t help but notice new coach Rhett Hellgren; pacing the sideline, calling in plays, praising good shots, animated, determined and passionate about the game and his team.
Many have taken notice and say the same thing — it’s like having Jones back.
“Anytime someone mentions your name with a guy with 600 or more wins, it is a compliment,” Hellgren said. “It has been a few years since I last coached basketball and it has been very exciting so far.”
Hellgren took over this year after coach Pete Woodard took time off for health reasons. Hellgren, BI’s baseball coach, said he served as an assistant coach during Jones’ tenure and loves the game.
“I think I am just as passionate at baseball as I am in basketball. It is just a completely different sport,” he said. “A lot of the coaching in baseball is behind the scenes and I am not as visible when it comes to baseball. I am right there in front of everyone when it comes to basketball.”
Tuesday night, Hellgren paced, watching Beach High match shot for shot to close the first quarter, 11-11. He showed his disapproval when a player missed a shot because he was covered and had the wrong angle. And a few minutes later Hellgren praised the same player when he sank a trey.
“That was the right time and the right way,” he yelled.
Beach kept the game close, but Hellgren’s team kept the slight edge. They Tigers went 22 of 26 at the line.
Tigers who earned double digits were Dingle hitting 23 points, Pineda adding 11 and Kight chipping in 10.
By the fourth quarter, BI had a 15-point cushion and Beach only managed to chip away 3 points. BI won 55-43.
“I am tremendously happy so far with what we have accomplished,” Hellgren said. “We still have a long way to go and we are going to hit some bumps in the road, but I think we will be able to work through it.”
Hellgren said he will never be satisfied because a team can always do better. He said he is happy to be coaching basketball again.
“When coach (Faye) Baker asked me if I might be interested in coaching the boys…she told me that we had a great bunch of young men playing basketball here at BI,” Hellgren said. “Coach Baker was absolutely right when talking about these young men. They have been way better than what I expected. They have come with a positive attitude and a tremendous will to work hard.”
The boys are currently 3-1, and travel to Glynn Academy tonight and Statesboro tomorrow.
BI: 11|12|17|15 — 55
Beach: 11|9|12|11 — 43, Shawn Brooks 14, Marlon Bryant 10