There are two absolutes that basketball teams must do well to win: Teams must make free throws and grab rebounds.
Bradwell has been sporadic in both areas this season. But Friday night they were able to do both, when it mattered, helping the Tigers to defeat Benedictine, 63-49.
The Tigers trailed the Cadets 12-10 at the end of the first quarter. Bradwell had also lost rebounder Cameron Kight, who picked up four quick fouls in the opening quarter and sat until the fourth quarter.
In the opening minutes of the second, Jalen Watson pinned a BC shot attempt against the backboard and came down with the rebound. Deon Craig scored on a pair of layups, giving the Tigers a 16-14 lead. But the Cadets battled back with a five-point run to go back in front 19-14. Bradwell and Benedictine played each other to a stalemate most of the quarter.
Tied 27-27, Anthony Campbell pulled down a rebound and point guard Javonte Richey sent a full court pass to Miguel Pineda for a layup and a 29-27 lead. Benedictine tied the game again, but a pair of free throws from Richey and two buckets off Benedictine turnovers gave the Tigers a 33-29 lead at the half.
"We came out a little too complacent the first half. We have played BC once and beat them and, you know, you start to think that you can beat a team again by just showing up and that’s not the case with any team," Bradwell Tigers head coach Pete Woodard said.
Benedictine came out and established a lead early and Bradwell was forced to play catch up. The Tigers lost rebounding power when Rodney Hawkins picked up his fourth foul three minutes into the third quarter. Benedictine was trying to establish their offense with guard-to-guard passes on the perimeter when Malcolm Dingle intercepted one and the Tigers scored, going up 43-41.
Woodard put Kight and Hawkins back in for the fourth quarter, giving the Tigers an advantage on the boards.
"We really did a better job on the boards, especially in the second half. Cameron and Rodney both gave us a good effort in the fourth quarter," Woodard said.
The Cadets tried to climb back in the game in the fourth quarter but Bradwell showed relentless defense, forcing turnovers and even a 10-second call. As the Tigers slowed the tempo of the game and widened the lead Benedictine was forced to foul.
"We called a timeout and told them in the fourth quarter that we had to make our free throws to beat Benedictine. We did miss some down the stretch, but we hit them when it counted," Woodard said.
Bradwell was 13-of-19 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Pineda was the Tigers leading scorer with 17 points. Campbell deposited 11. Hawkins finished with 8.
The Tigers finish the regular season at 8-17 and 6-12 in Region 3-AAAAA. BI begins the region tournament Monday with a game to determine seeding against Islands High School. It starts at 5:30 p.m.
Bradwell 10 23 10 19-63
BC 16 13 14 6-49
Bradwell- Miguel Pineda 17, Anthony Campbell 11, Rodney Hawkins 8, Dazjon Tinae 6, Javonte Richey 5, Jamorris Hill 4, Jalen Watson 4, Jamael Smith 3, Cameron Kight 3, Deon Craig 2.