The big cats battled Friday night as the Bradwell Institute Tigers hosted the Richmond Hill Wildcats for a Region 3-AAAAA showdown. The Lady Tigers fell, 47-37, and the Bradwell boys edged out the Wildcats, 65-63, at the buzzer.
It was the second loss for the Lady Tigers against Richmond Hill this season. But, unlike the first time where the girls lost by 20, this game was much closer than the 10-point spread in the final.
Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker agrees her girls did a better job executing their offense.
“Our effort was a lot better,” she said. “We played more as a team. Defensively we started with the press and we feel like we need to do that in order to get us going offensively.”
Missing from the Lady Tigers’ lineup was Jakaria Fleming. Baker said Fleming will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn meniscus.
Journae’ Young stepped up and melded well with the varsity girls, as did newcomer Brianna Johnson.
“She has stepped in there and has helped to solidify us as far as having another offensive threat on the team,” Baker said about Johnson. “She plays good defense, runs the floor well. She is just very athletic. We lost Jakaria...If we still had her in there as well, it could have made a big difference.”
Johnson and Javaughna Claridy paced the Lady Tigers, getting 10 points each. Akeyla Richardson and Alize Roberts both scored eight. Selena Manies had one from the free throw line.
“We played a lot better this time,” Baker said. “We executed our play a lot better. We still didn’t do a good job on covering Keeara Jackson, she was the one that hurt us when we went to their place, and she still hurt us tonight. But our effort was a lot better.”
Jackson scored 18 points for the Wildcats.
The Lady Tigers trailed by only three points (22-19) at the half. The Lady Wildcats pulled away and clinched the lead in the fourth quarter after a series of Lady Tiger fouls. The Wildcats went 8-of-11 in the fourth quarter.
Baker said she is pleased with the improvements, especially with three games remaining before the region tournament starts.
“The most important game is that first one of the region tournament,” Baker said. “If we can win the first round, then the season record and all the pitfalls from the season can go out the window.”
The Lady Tigers are 6-15 overall and 4-7 in Region 3-AAAAA. Effingham County holds the number one spot in the region with Ware County, Richmond Hill and Glynn Academy all tied at second.
Girls’ box score
The boys’ contest was a contrast to the first game between the teams. Richmond Hill appeared sluggish in their first game, falling to Bradwell, 51-39. But an energized Wildcat team stormed the Tigers’ arena Friday, making it clear from the start this wasn’t going to be easy for the Tigers.
The Tigers opened up with a layup plus one to get a short-lived 3-0 lead. Wildcat Daniel Wilder drained a three-pointer to tie. At the end of the first quarter the Tigers had a three-point lead and by half time they were up by nine.
In the third quarter the Tigers saw their small lead get eaten away and, just seconds before the buzzer sounded, the Wildcats got their first lead of the game (45-44) on a shot that closed the third.
Both teams battled for the ball in the final quarter. The Wildcats and Tigers traded leads four times during a run-and-gun frenzy.
The difference came down to Tiger Reasha Stokes and Tevin Womack.
Stokes stole an inbound pass and later hit a critical two plus one. Womack slap the ball away from a potential bucket and hit two critical shots, keeping the Tigers within reach. Stokes hit a shot to give the Tigers the go-ahead with 1.2 left in regulation.
Stokes finished the night, leading the Tigers with 19 points.
The Tiger boys are 13-8 overall and 9-2 in the region. They are in second place behind Jenkins.
Region action continues Tuesday as the Tigers host Effingham County at 6:30 p.m. Next Friday, the Tigers host Groves for their senior night beginning at 7 p.m.
Boy’s box score
Reasha Stokes 19, Jamorris Hill 9, Malcolm Dingle 7, Tevin Womack 8, Jair Reynolds 8, Kendrick Harris-Bennett 6, Darrell Hawkins 6, LaDon Wiliams 2