Unbeaten Bradwell Institute held off visiting Groves 51-28 on Saturday to stay on track for the No. 1 seed in the Region 3-AAAAA tournament.
But despite the final score, the Lady Rebels showed improvement and kept the game within reach in the first half against the No. 5 Lady Tigers (21-0, 13-0).
"It’s like I keep telling the girls, at this time of year every team is definitely better than when you first played them. And we played them (Groves) very early in the year," Bradwell coach Faye Baker said. "And everybody is gunning for us and is going to play us tough."
Groves challenged Bradwell early and trailed by only six at halftime. So, Baker changed strategy.
"We couldn’t get a whole lot going in our zone offense, so in the third quarter what we tried to do was pull them out of their zone into a man defense," Baker said.
"We are working on a delay game and that is sort of what we went to, especially since we were up by eight points. We wanted to see if we could get something going while also taking some time off the clock."
The Lady Tigers ran nearly six minutes off the clock in the third period before knocking in two free throws and two layups to end the period ahead 34-23.
Bradwell then outscored the Lady Rebels 17-5 over the last eight minutes to pull away.
The BI girls jumped in the recent Atlantic Journal Constitution Class AAAAA basketball poll to the No. 5 spot. They were previously ranked at No. 9.
The Lady Tigers were scheduled to play Windsor Forest on Tuesday.
Lady Tigers 51,
Lady Rebels 28
Lady Rebels 9|12|2|5-28
Lady Tigers 15|11|8|17-51
BI: Mariah Maternik 16, Shaquoia Crockett 9, Symone May 7, KeAndra Frasier 6, Leitia Leiataua 5, Latisha Frasier 4, Quintunya Chapman 4