Bradwell rebounded from a three-game losing stretch to defeat Islands High 75-44 at home Friday night. In the preceding game, coach Faye Baker’s Lady Tigers earned their seventh straight win with a 67-30 rout of the Lady Sharks.
Lady Tigers 67, Lady Sharks 30
With the Region 3-AAAAA around the corner Baker sent in her reserve unit as starters against the visiting Lady Sharks. Controlling the pace and managing the ball well was Akeyla Richardson. With two quick steals and some transition shots, Richardson led the girls to a quick 6-0 lead midway into the first quarter. But the visitors managed to settle down and chipped away at BI’s lead, closing the first quarter down by only one point.
“She has been our sixth man off the bench and very instrumental in sparking us,” Baker said about Richardson. “She was a spark plug in that victory against Windsor Forest on Tuesday. She came in and had some key drives to the basket and some key conversions. She’s been playing a major role for us coming off the bench.”
But then Islands had to face coach Baker’s finest in the second quarter. The BI girls out hustled and outscored the Lady Sharks 20-6, led primarily by junior Leita Leiataua and sophomore standout guard, Shaquoia Crockett. The home team was also 5 of 6 from the line in the second quarter and was given a boost by Treniece Boles who sank a trey shot to close the half up 29-14.
The Sharks did boost their score in the second half, sinking three shots in the third quarter and one in the fourth from behind the paint. But Leiataua and Crockett responded with a trey shot each in the second half to widen the margin.
Leiataua finished the game in double digits with 15. Crockett had nine and almost every Lady Tiger on the floor managed to add to the final.
Baker substituted players throughout the third and final quarter.
“Again we wanted to let our reserves get as much playing time as possible and let them start the game,” she said. “These kids work hard day in and day out so I like to give them an opportunity when I can. Every minute they can get on the floor is a plus.”
The girls now await the outcome between the Beach High/Groves game next Friday. Groves beat Jenkins 60-55 on Friday night, keeping them tied with the Lady Tigers for second place in the region. Beach holds the top spot, currently undefeated in region play.
Baker said if they place third, they’ll draw the sixth seeded team and if they place second they draw the seventh. But if both Bradwell and Groves win their early playoffs they will have to face each other in the semi-finals. And the final will probably be against Beach.
“We won seven in a row, the most consecutive wins this year,” the coach said. “We always talked about playing our best ball in the end of the season. We are playing a lot better right now and I think our forwards are contributing a lot more. Symone May has been averaging around six to seven points a game and Shaquoia Crockett is getting everyone involved in offense and I hope we can continue doing that.”
The girls are currently 14-8 overall and 11-4 in the region. They have one region game against Savannah High Tuesday and will host Brunswick on Friday also honoring their senior players.
Lady Tigers: 9|20|20|16-67
Lady Sharks 8|6|10|6-30
Tigers 75, Sharks 44
The Tiger boys ended a three game slump, pummeling the Sharks 75-44. The boys improve to 11-11 overall and 9-7 in the region, but coach Pete Woodard said the damage from recent losses could be irreversible.
“Right now we are battling for that fourth spot in the region,” he said. "We’ve lost too many games. If we take the next two games we might make it.”
Woodard said the win over the Sharks was the shot in the arm his squad needed.
The boys came out and overpowered the visitors in the first quarter. The Sharks lone score came from a trey shot, but trailed 21-3 at the start of the second quarter.
The Sharks got a spark from Dayjuan Thompson, who scored 20 points but the Tigers had four players score double digits. Javante Richey and Miguel Pineda hit from behind the arch and Larry Murray scored 6 of his 10 from downtown as well.
“We needed that game and that win,” Woodard said. “The guys felt good about it, but I told them we still had some work to do. We are trying to go back to the basics and we did a better job on the board but the thing that has been killing us all year is rebounds and free throws.”
On Friday the Tigers went 2-of-6 at the line.
The boys have two critical region games remaining on their schedule. Tuesday they travel to Savannah High and on Friday they play host to Benedictine for senior night.
In other local hoops action the Liberty County boys lost at Ware County 54-45. They are 17-5 overall and 4-5 in Region 2A-AAAA tied with Richmond Hill in third place.
Coach Willie Graham said the Gators forced the Panthers to speed up their pace.
“They speeded our guards up and right now that is not a good thing for us,” he said. “We held a five-point lead at the half and they came out and they outscored us 26-8 in the third quarter.”
Graham said his boys then continued to chase the Gators in the fourth.
Graham is hoping the boys can get back to the methodical and patient offense that has given them the past four victories before Friday’s loss. They have one final region game at Glynn Academy on Tuesday.
“They beat us worse than anyone else we’ve played this year. They beat us by 20 at home,” he said.
The Lady Panthers played at Ware County Friday night but their score was not posted by press time.
In private school hoops First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s boys beat Frederica 53-47 in their homecoming game Friday night at St. James Sports Center.
The boys are now in a three-way tie for first in the Georgia Independent School Association’s Region 2-AA. They are 11-10 overall and 6-2 in region play.