Bradwell Institute’s basketball teams celebrated senior night in style on Friday. Senior Lady Tiger Seandre Lee’s game-high 25 points helped her squad to a 77-57 victory. Tiger senior Jordan Roberts scored the game-winning basket with a last-minute layup, putting the Tigers up 54-52 over Windsor Forest at the buzzer.
Lady Tigers 77,
Windsor Forest 57
Bradwell started the game with a 5-0 run against Windsor Forest. However, the Lady Knights hit the boards hard and created second shots often, allowing them to take a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"Windsor Forest is a very scrappy bunch. They play hard and did a good job shooting the ball in the early quarters," Bradwell Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker said.
The Knights kept the game close in the second quarter. Bradwell was forced to make an adjustment early when guard Mariah Maternik picked up her third foul.The Lady Tigers stepped up the defensive pressure and Seandre Lee took over on offense, breaking the game open. She played forcefully under the basket, scoring 19 points in the second quarter to help her squad to a 36-22 halftime lead.
"We did have to make a few adjustments in the second quarter when Mariah, who is the primary ball handler, was on the bench and they worked," Baker said. "We were a little too lax at times in the first half."
The coach credited her bench for allowing the Lady Tigers to stay fresh and force turnovers with added defensive pressure.
Bradwell controlled the second half, but Windsor Forest fought back to cut the Lady Tigers’ lead to 40-37. The Tigers then went on a series of runs, scoring off turnovers and in transition.
Baker said she will miss the seniors who played their last regular-season game Friday night.
"We will certainly miss Seandre Lee, who is our leading scorer. Camille Jackson has been a defensive stopper for us and Kiara McNeely has been a spot starter and been very valuable off the bench," the coach said.
In addition to Lee’s game-high points, Mariah Maternik put up 16 points and LaNiqua Fowler finished with 15.
Friday night’s win put the Lady Tigers record at 22-1 heading into the last week of the regular season. They face Groves and Johnson next.
Baker’s team will enter the region tournament as the No. 1 seed.
"We won’t take the region tournament lightly," she said. "Once the playoffs start, regular season records don’t matter and you have to be ready to play every game."
Lady Tigers top scorers
Seandre Lee: 25
Mariah Maternik: 16
LaNiqua Fowler: 15
Windsor Forest 52
David Swinford scored a quick 3-pointer to give the Tigers an early lead. Windsor Forest tied the game at 6 before forging ahead to go up 11-6, which forced the Tigers into a timeout.
Bradwell’s Fred Orange came down the baseline and dunked the ball, rallying his team and the crowd.
The Tigers Chris Simpson tipped in a ball at the end of the first quarter for a 13 tie.
The teams kept pace during the second quarter, trading basket for basket. Simpson garnered 11 points in the second quarter for a halftime tie at 26.
Bradwell came out fast in the third quarter and, thanks to a trey shot, took a small lead. The Tigers continued to play fast and were ahead 41-37 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth was nip-and-tuck as Bradwell clung to a 4-point advantage.
"I knew that it was a tight game, but I thought if we kept fighting we would win," Bradwell coach Pete Woodward said.
It was a 1-point game with 1:38 left, but Windsor went to the line, converting a pair of free throws. Deandre Duren scored off of a layup to put the Tigers up by 1.
The Knights had a shot at the lead but couldn’t convert free throws and turned the ball over. Bradwell got it back back and Jordan Roberts went in for a successful layup as the buzzer, handing the Tigers the victory.
"This is the best win we have had all season long. We played all four quarters in a close game and won. I am proud on the way the seniors and whole team played," Woodard said.
Chris Simpson led Bradwell in scoring with 25 points. Deandre Duren had 9 points and David Swinford finished with 6.
Bradwell’s 6-17 record is not indicative of their season. The Tigers have been at the .500 mark for the last eight games.
"It always great to win and it boosts confidence of the coaches and the players," the coach said.
The Tigers finish the regular season at Groves and Johnson next week.
"The region tournament starts soon, but right now we just want to take it one game at a time," Woodard said.
Tiger top scorers