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Workin’ Overtime: No. 12 Lady Tigers advance to Sweet 16 in OT win over No. 23 Westlake
Parris Parham
Parris Parham (30) attempts layup against Westlake in 2022 GHSA Class 6A state tournament first round - photo by Gerald Thomas III

HINESVILLE —The No. 12 Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers (21-5) entered the state playoffs wanting to shake off their 43-point loss to Brunswick in the Region 2-6A championship.

Their first opportunity was in the GHSA Class 6A state tournament first round when they hosted No. 23 Westlake Lady Lions (13-10).

It took some extra time, but the Lady Tigers got it done to advance to the Sweet 16 after the 72-64 win in overtime.

The Lady Tigers got behind early, trailing 7-2 less than midway through the first quarter which caused head coach Faye Baker to utilize her first timeout.

“One of the things we talked about in our pregame conference was being resilient and withstanding runs,” Baker said following the win. “We noticed in Brunswick when they started off fast, we held our heads down early and was mentally never into the game. We didn’t want that to happen again today. We told them to keep playing if a team breaks through in a run. I was really happy with the way they responded.”

But they only could put together four more points as they were down 14-6 after the first period.

After the second horn, the Lady Tigers breathed life as Taniyah Bowman swished a three pointer from the right elbow to gain their first lead of the night at 17-16.

At the half, the teams went in their respective locker rooms knotted at 23.

In the third quarter, the Lady Tigers went on 22-16 run.

But the Lady Lions stormed back and tied the game at 49 before Ta’naya Moore picked up the lead for the Lady Tigers again.

With 56 seconds left, the Lady Tigers held on to a thin 57-56 lead before Destiny Givens blew by defenders to score at the basket to take a one point lead.

Bowman got fouled, going to the line and splitting her free throws to tie the game at 58 with 14 seconds left. 

The Lady Lions had one more try at the win but Parris Parham got the season saving block as time expired to force overtime.

“That was a gutsy play by Parris,” Baker said of her freshman forward. “She’s a natural shot blocker. She’s got great timing. I wasn’t surprised to see her get that block.”

Gilmore brought the Lady Tigers ahead with 2:52 in overtime and they never looked back.

Parham threw up a prayer shot and got fouled for an and one that would put the Lady Lions away.

“I felt like I was struggling to score and defensively in the first half,” Parham said. “Then we got back to the locker room and had a hype mentality so when came back to the court, I brought out what the team needed for the rest of the game.”

Bowman led with 21, Parham, 17, Gilmore 15.

“Until the Brunswick game, they have been closing out close games,” Baker said about her team’s crunch time performances. “They’ve done a good job of holding on and being able to find a way to win. I was glad to see them get back to that identity tonight.”

The Lady Tigers will play in the Sweet 16 game against the winner of No. 21 Dacula and Pope on Wednesday.

But instead of scoreboard watching, the Lady Tigers will be working on their shot making from the charity stripe as they struggled against the Lady Lions.

“The thing we’ll be concentrating on is free throw shooting until we find out who wins that game,” Baker said. “We got shot 21-43 from the line. Usually when you shoot that terribly, you’re on the losing end of the game so we were fortunate to be able to win as poorly as we shot free throws.”

They will travel if they match up against Dacula and will host if Pope wins.

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