Bradwell Institute jumped out early and hung on late Friday in an 80-73 win over host Richmond Hill in a Region 3B-AAAAA contest.
Sparked by the hot hand of guard Miguel Pineda, who finished with 24 points, the Tigers led 13-0 before the Wildcats knew what hit them.
Pineda had three 3-pointers in a span of 90 seconds early in the first period and finished with five 3s in the first half as BI built leads as large as 27 points in the second quarter.
But free-throw shooting proved to be key for the athletic Tigers, who improved to 8-6 overall and 4-0 in the subregion.
Bradwell made 22 of 25 shots from the free-throw line during the game, and guard Malcom Dingle went 8 for 8 in the fourth period to help the Tigers hold off the Wildcats.
In the fourth quarter alone, BI was 13 of 14 from the charity stripe.
“That was the best foul shooting we’ve done all year,” BI coach Rhett Hellgren said. “We’ve been really working on it in practice and we finally shot like I thought we could. I’ve always thought we had the mentality to shoot over 80 percent, but we hadn’t done it lately. If we can get to where we shoot foul shots like that in every game under pressure, it was nice seeing that.”
Dingle finished with 22 points for the Tigers, who also got 19 from Reasha Stokes and nine from Jamorris Hill.
The Wildcats, who fell to 4-7 overall and 1-3 in the subregion, got 32 points from guard Jeremiah Hill. He scored 21 of his points in the fourth period to help lead Richmond Hill’s belated comeback bid. Nick Fitzgerald added 12 points and Daniel Wilder had 11 for the Wildcats, who entered the final period trailing 57-38, then outscored BI 35-23 over the final eight minutes.
But there still seemed little doubt about the game’s outcome.
“It’s hard for any team to hold a lead that big,” Hellgren said. “You look at the NBA, look at college, when teams jump out that big they tend to relax. We relaxed and didn’t play defense. I’m upset with our defense, but we did shoot the ball very well.”
Pineda finished with six 3-pointers, but Hellgren said his guard’s ability to get his teammates involved is critical. He pointed to a play in the third quarter in which Pineda found teammate Darrell Hawkins for an easy basket.
“Miguel is a great player and he’s a great shooter, but what I like to see Miguel do is what he did tonight,” Hellgren said. “He passed and had some assists and the drive from the wing to the elbow where he pump faked, drove and hit Daryl (Hawkins) for two points. That’s the best play I’ve seen him do all year.”
Dingle and Hill also earned praise from their coach.
“Those guys have been playing so hard all year,” he said. “Everyone looks at us like we’re small. We are small, but we’ve got heart.”
BI 30 16 11 23 — 80
RH 11 11 16 35 — 73
BI scorers: Pineda 24, Dingle 22, Stokes 19, Hill 9, Hawkins 4 and Anderson 2