Gleason can’t handle Lady Red Devil storm
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 12:02 am
The storm of the second half of play, that is.
Thriving on a slow tempo and very minimal scoring in the first half, Gleason led comfortably, 14-8, with 53 seconds remaining in the second quarter. But, when a tornado warning sent everyone out of the gym and into the school’s halls for an extended break, the Bradford Lady Red Devils came back onto the court with a renewed energy, tripled their point production from the first half and stunned the Lady Bulldogs with a 34-27 upset win in Gleason forcing an early exit from the Region 7-A tournament for the home squad.
To a red and orange electric atmosphere both inside and outside Gleason’s gym, Kelsey Bratton scored the first two points for Bradford. Briana Jones rebounded an Ashley Coble miss to tie the contest and Bratton and Jones traded baskets for the majority of the quarter. With 1:13 left in the frame, Jones recorded a hoop. Sara Hensley added to the slim Lady Dawg lead with a corner jumper to beat the buzzer and Gleason held a 10-6 lead with eight of the 10 points coming from Jones.
Bradford attempted to half-court trap Gleason’s guards in the second quarter. Camille Cooper scored the first points of the quarter for either squad at the 4:30 mark with a layup and as turnovers began to dictate the pace, Jones scored the next points with 1:12 on the clock. With Gleason in control, Bratton scored the first BHS points at the 1:03 mark by hitting a pair from the line. The clock read 53.3 seconds and the Lady Dawgs led 14-8 when play was stopped and fans were ushered into the hallways to wait out a tornado warning.
When play continued, neither team scored again, and the Lady Bulldogs entered the break with a six-point advantage at 14-8.
Jones opened the third with a layup to increase the Gleason lead, 16-8, but four straight points from Bratton sliced the gap to four, 16-12. A 3-pointer from Amanda Evans brought the Bradford fans to their feet and further placed the momentum in the visitors’ favor. Jones scored inside to widen the gap to three, 18-15, but a free throw from Evans cut the advantage to 18-16. Bratton and Lady Dawg Shawna Blassingame traded baskets, but the Lady Red Devils crashed the boards and Anna Roberson’s putback tied the contest. At the end of three, the score was knotted at 20.
Evans put the Lady Red Devils in the lead with a layup to start the fourth and Sarah Combs scored her first points with a stickback. Bradford continued to crash the boards and Leah Reeves tossed in two free throws with 3:57 left to make the lead 26-20 in favor of Bradford. Alex King interrupted the Lady Devil run with a jumper, but Bradford entered the bonus and began to pull away. Relying on free throws, the Lady Devils increased the lead to 10 with under a minute to go. Cooper scored five quick points to cut into the deficit, but Bradford finished strong, 34-27, and raced on to the semifinals.
Bratton led Bradford with 16 points. Jones scored 14 for Gleason.
The game marked the final outing in a Gleason basketball uniform for seniors Ashley Coble, Sara Hensley and Camille Cooper.
Region 7-A Tournament