The Bradwell boys’ basketball team’s time in the AAAAA state playoffs ended early, thanks to a Bainbridge team that couldn’t miss the basket.
The hot-shooting Bearcats downed the Tigers, 87-74, on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs at Bainbridge.
Even many of the Bainbridge faithful were complimentary of the Tigers’ athleticism and basketball prowess and pleasantly surprised how well their Bearcats were finding the basket.
Bearcats Tyree Crump and Trevon Shaw combined for 54 points. Crump had two 3-pointers, two layups and six free throws in the second quarter alone as Bainbridge led, 48-35, at the half.
“The halftime score was a little surprising, because no one has had 48 points on us at the half all year long,” Tiger coach Rhett Hellgren said. Bainbridge raised its defensive effort and continued to pour on baskets in the second half. Playing from behind, Bradwell played harder and outscored the Bearcats, 15-12, in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, however, Bainbridge took advantage of Bradwell’s foul troubles and added 28 points.
The loss ended Bradwell’s season with a 16-13 record.
“We had a really good season overall. I could not have a better group of players. Especially the seniors — they were leaders, and I wish them the best of luck in whatever they do. I am going to miss all of them in my own little way. I spend more time with them than I do my own kids, and it is going to be hard to let them go,” Hellgren said. “Now that I have time to reflect, I think the biggest win was the win over Statesboro. I can’t remember the last time a Bradwell team beat Statesboro in anything. And to do it in basketball, it was truly amazing.”