Both Bradwell basketball teams had an early reason to give thanks when they beat McIntosh County Academy in overtime Tuesday for their first wins of the season.
The Lady Tigers surged past MCA, 66-57, while Bradwell’s boys team tipped MCA for the 82-74 victory.
Tuesday’s game was a comedy of errors — missed shots, lost rebounds, missed free throws — but Lady Tigers head coach Faye Baker’s squad had the last laugh.
“The loss against Coffee in the scrimmage and the loss against Liberty last Friday obviously hurt, but what bothers me more than losing is the fact that during those games, regardless of the score, we weren’t playing with the hustle, heart and intensity that we needed to play with,” Baker said. “Tonight, especially in the overtime, we started to show those things that we have been missing. There were certainly times that we could have folded, but we didn’t. We fought through and were able to finish.”
Bradwell had an early lead, but MCA forced some turnovers and converted them into points to tie the game at 34 with 5:28 remaining in regulation. The last five minutes of regulation were a see-saw battle, with each team gaining and losing a slim advantage. MCA’s Ciera McRae made a last-second 3-pointer to tie the game at 51 and force overtime.
The four-minute overtime gave the Lady Tigers what they had been lacking. Senior point guard Akeyla Richardson pushed and distributed the ball to Javaughna Claridy and Alize Roberts, which helped Bradwell outscore the Lady Bucs, 15-6, in the extra frame.
Claridy led the Lady Tigers with 17 points. Richardson had 14 points, and Takeria Fleming finished with 10 points.
“We are definitely a work in progress this season,” Baker said. “We are still learning our way and how to play together as a team. We bent tonight but did not break, and experiences like tonight will only make us better as we get ready for region play.”
The Lady Tigers go to Atlanta for a Thanksgiving tournament to face state powerhouse Stephenson tonight and Eastside on Saturday.
BI 7/17/10/17/15: 66
MCA 9/6/11/25/6: 57
Bradwell scoring: Javaughna Claridy 17, Akeyla Richardson 14, Takeria Fleming 10, Alize Roberts 7, Kierra Martin 15, Journae Young 4, Melanie Forsher 3, Alyssa McDuffie 3, Aleecia Futch 2.
Bradwell senior guard Malcolm Dingle finally was able to go into the stall offense during the last 30 seconds of overtime to secure the win.
It was the first game after the Tigers lost down the stretch to rival Liberty County on Nov. 22.
“Thought we played well enough to win, just didn’t get it done. It was very tough on the guys and the coaching staff as well,” Bradwell head coach Rhett Hellgren said. “We finished tonight against MCA, and that is going to help us this season.”
Dingle had nine of his 14 points in the first quarter to help the Tigers build a 42-30 halftime lead.
Senior guard Resha Stokes slashed to the paint and banged underneath the basket for a game-high 21 points, 15 of which came in the second half and overtime, including 7-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line.
Heading into the fourth quarter, MCA continued nipping at Bradwell’s lead. MCA hit a few key shots and took the lead off of a 3-pointer, 64-62. In the final 90 seconds, the Tigers’ Kendrick Harris Bennett sank the front end of a one-and-one to make the score 68-66. The Bucs added a pair of throws for a 70-67 lead with less than 40 seconds to play.
Bradwell’s Miguel Pineda drained 3-pointer from the left side of the arc to tie the game at 70. Each team added quick baskets, and a Stokes layup with 7.8 seconds left tied the game and forced overtime.
Bradwell found its second wind in overtime, allowing only one basket.
Bradwell (1-1) hosts Glynn Academy at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.
BI 22/20/10/20/10: 82
MCA 17/13/17/25/2: 74
Bradwell scoring: Resha Stokes 21, Miguel Pineda 16, Malcolm Dingle 14, Kendrick Harris Bennett 13, Hubert Anderson 7, Trevon McCoy 4, Jamorris Hill 4, Michael Burnett 3.