In basketball, turnovers are the gifts that keep on giving and Christmas came early for Groves on Tuesday night, courtesy of Bradwell Institute, which turned the ball over 35 times in a 75-63 loss in Savannah.
"I guess 35 turnovers says it all," BI coach Pete Woodard said. "We are still not catching the ball the way we should. (But) even though we lost, I am proud that we played hard and didn’t quit."
The game went Groves’ way from the outset. The defending Region 3-AAAAA champion Rebels opened with a 9-0 run, forcing turnovers with their press and scoring off the transition game.
Bradwell battled an 11-point Groves lead in the second quarter. Tiger guard Malcolm Dingle had two buckets in a BI 6-0 run in the final minutes to whittle the Groves advantage down to 29-24 before Groves hit a 3-pointer to go up 34-26 at the half.
The Rebels full-court press forced more Tiger turnovers in the third, sparking a 14-0 Groves’ run before the Tigers got their first points of the period. One bright spot: Tiger guard Miguel Pineda had a pair of free throws and two 3-pointers in the third. Bradwell picked up its focus and intensity in the fourth quarter. The Tigers had 32 turnovers through three quarters but only committed three turnovers in the final period.
"Anyone that looks at us can tell that we are a guard offense, but we have to have an inside game, too. I have told our players that we must have a front court offense and a back court offense. We have to do a better of job of catching the ball in the post when the guards pass the ball inside," Woodard said.
The Tigers had four players in double figures with Jamael Smith leading all scorers with 14 points. Miguel Pineda, Javonte Richey and Malcolm Dingle finished with ten points each.
The Tigers drop to 0-7 for the year and will travel to Statesboro for the Gentlemen’s Classic Dec. 27-29.
"I haven’t seen a bracket yet so I don’t know who we will play in the tournament. I do know we are scheduled to play Liberty for one of the games," Woodard said.
Groves 75, Bradwell 63
Bradwell: Jamael Smith 14, Miguel Pineda 10, Javonte Richey 10, Malcolm Dingle 10, Cameron Kight 4, Darius Mowbray 4, Jamorris Hall 4, Thomas Smith 2, Dazjon Tinae 2, Deon Craig 1.