Bradwell Institute had one game on the road and one game at home this past week.
The Tiger teams were in Waycross Tuesday, taking on the Ware County Gators in Region 3-AAAAA matchups. The Waycross teams swept the Tigers as the Lady Gators beat Bradwell, 43-39, and the Tiger boys fell, 51-49, in close battles.
Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker said JaVaughna Claridy led the girls with 14 points.
Baker said her girls were inconsistent.
“We didn’t make plays when we had the opportunity,” she said.
In the boys’ game, sophomore George Mitchell carried the Tigers, dropping in 17 points. Jyanuti Haggray chipped in 12 points for the two double digit scorers. Will Richardson had nine points, Taurus Dennard seven and Darryll Johnson and Deion Stewart had two points each.
The two-point differential was difficult for Tiger coach Rhett Hellgren to deal with. He said his boys fought to the end, but just couldn’t finish.
“We had the opportunities to win this one,” the coach said. “We just did not finish like we should. I thought the first half was one of the best halves we played this season. We were running the offense and hitting the open man for easy shots. We struggled in the middle of the third quarter, and it hurt us in the end. I continue to say we are getting better, it just does not show it in the win-loss column.”
Friday night the Tigers hosted Effingham in region games. The Lady Tigers fell, 47-29, to a strong Lady Rebel squad. The Tiger boys kept up the fight and the intensity paid off with a 45-41 win over the Rebels.
Baker knew it was going to be a tough game as the Lady Rebels walked into the gym holding a 7-1 region mark and 16-4 overall record.
The Lady Tigers held their ground early, closing the first quarter tied 8-8 and trailing by only four points at intermission. But a few easy layups in the second half were missed. The Rebels nabbed the rebounds and capitalized to pull ahead.
“You have to give Effingham credit,” Baker said. “They have a good team and they play well together… We kept it close, but there were a couple of instances where we missed the easy layups… And you can’t do that against a quality team.”
Unlike Tuesday night, Baker said she was pleased with the intensity on the court.
“If we had played Tuesday with the intensity we played tonight, I think we would have been on the winning end of Tuesday’s game,” she said.
The coach said she wants her girls to finish at the rim and stay focused, as there are four upcoming region games after Saturday’s non-region matchup in Darien against McIntosh County Academy.
The final score against the Buccaneers was not available by press time. As of Friday night, the Lady Tigers are 10-10 overall and 3-5 in Region 3-AAAAA.
In the boys’ victory, Richardson, a freshman, put the nail in the Rebel’s coffin, drawing fouls in the fourth quarter with 40 seconds left. He hit eight of nine shots at the line, keeping the Rebels down more than two shots.
“He is very good and will get better,” Hellgren said about how the freshman handled the pressure.
Richardson finished the game with 18 points to pace the Tiger boys. Mitchell drained in a three-pointer en route to nine points. Dennard chipped in seven points, Stewart added six and Haggray knocked in three. Darrell Hawkins contributed two points in the win.
Throughout the game, there was never more than a three-point spread between the teams.
After coming so close Tuesday but falling short, Hellgren was pleased his team turned up the heat this time.
“The kids did great, they did what we asked them to do,” the coach said. “Everyone contributed and I am very proud of them.”
The Tigers are 3-18 overall and 2-7 in the region.
Tuesday, the Tigers are in Guyton to play South Effingham and Friday they host Richmond Hill. Both are region games.