The Lady Tigers already are wearing their new No. 1 ranking pretty well.
Bradwell (26-0) didn’t miss a beat in transitioning from a perfect regular season into the first round of the Region 3-AAAAA tourney with a crushing 76-24 win over Johnson on Wednesday.
Hours before they tipped off, the Lady Tigers found out they had been voted the top team in Class AAAAA in the most recent Georgia Athletics Coaches Association poll.
"We told them in the locker room after the game that tonight we played like a ranked team does. Come out and play like you deserve to be No. 1," Bradwell coach Faye Baker said.
The Lady Tigers’ press forced a turnover to open the game and during the first quarter, most of Bradwell’s 18 points came courtesy of Johnson’s mistakes.
In all, BI forced 25 turnovers. The Lady Tigers took advantage of them, too.
"Strong ball movement is the best way to beat a zone defense and that movement is something we have been stressing all season," Baker said.
Johnson continued to run into the wall that was Bradwell’s full court press. After his team turned the ball over time and time again, Johnson’s coach called a timeout and urged his players to find the trap and stay away from it.
Johnson came out of the time out to find BI had switched to a half-court trap, which merely delayed the eventual turnover for Johnson.
Once the Lady Tigers were in complete control of the game they continued to play
"We are not changing anything that we did all season. This is the postseason and we just want to get better at things that we do well. The most important thing we told them is not to get outhustled," Baker said.
Shaquioa Crockett led all scorers with 18 points. Jordan McAllister put in 16 points and Mariah Maternik finished with nine points.
Bradwell moves into the region tournament semifinals against Camden County. The Lady Wildcats upset Savannah High 46-42 to reach the semifinals.
"We beat Camden twice but that was the regular season. Obviously they have some good coaching and they have gotten better as the season progressed. We are not taking them for granted. We have to buckle down and get ready for them," Baker said.
The Lady Tigers are ranked No. 2 in the most recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll. Bradwell will play Camden in the Region 3-AAAAA semifinals at Groves High School in Garden City at 5:30 p.m. today.
Bradwell top scorers:
Bradwell top scorers:Shaquioa Crockett 18, Jordan McCallister 16, Mariah Maternik 9, Latisha Frasier 8, Quintunya Chapman 8, KeAndra Frasier 6, Quinakia Hatchell 5, Brittany Terrell 4, Symone May 2