SPARTA, Tenn. — The Bradley Central Bearettes pushed forward to the region championship with a 62-55 win over Rhea County on Monday night from Roy Sewell Gymnasium at White County High School.
After a Rhea County (25-6) bucket evened things at 40 with just over six minutes to go the Bearettes used a five-point spurt to take the lead for good. Kelsey Carman hit a 3-pointer from an Alexis Barnes assist coming out of a timeout with 5:41 left. Barnes returned the favor with a layup on a Carman assist just 30 seconds later and Bradley (27-3) never looked back.
The Lady Eagles cut the lead to three on a pair of Mallory Hampton free-throws but could not get any closer and the Bearettes went 13-of-17 from the charity stripe to put things away advance to their sixth straight region championship game.
Anna Walker paced the Bradley squad with 17 points and eight rebounds to go with a pair of steals and a block. Barnes had the untraditional double-double with 14 points while drawing 10 fouls to go with seven rebounds. Anna Muhonen put up 14 points of her own with six rebounds and four assists. Carman matched Muhonen with four assists while freshman Sloan Carpenter made her first career start with eight points, three rebounds, and three dimes.
Rhea struck first 50 seconds into the contest to start the back-and-forth affair that saw eight ties and nine lead changes. Muhonen answered a couple of possessions later with a driving layup. The Lady Eagles eventually used a 6-0 run to take a four-point advantage and Muhonen answered with three straight points to wrap up the period down one.
The Bearettes regained the lead with a Carpenter three to start the second but a Maddie Taylor 3-pointer gave the lead back to Rhea County. After answering blows the Lady Eagles stretched out their lead to six with a seven-point spurt and Barnes hit a layup with 1:10 remaining to wrap up the first-half scoring and Bradley went into the break down four.
The top-seeded Bearette squad answered in the third taking a lead with a 9-0 run with six straight Muhonen points and a Walker pull up jumper with 1:03 to go. After a final 48 seconds of see-saw action, the two teams were knotted at 36 to set up the fourth-quarter run for Bradley to claim the semifinal win.
Hampton led all players with a 24 point and 11 rebounds double-double to go with a team-high four assists. Haley Cameron and Taylor were the next leading scorers with nine points each while Cameron pulled down eight boards.
Bradley used their size for a 28-10 advantage in the paint and used six offensive rebounds to outscore the Lady Eagles 11-6 on second-chance scoring.
Rhea County shot 31.5 percent (17-for-54) from the floor and went 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) from 3-point range. The Lady Eagles took advantage of the free-throw line going 12-of-13 (92.3 percent) on foul shots.
The Bearettes went 19-for-42 (45.2 percent) overall and 4-of-19 (21.1 percent) beyond the arc. Bradley Central got the line going 20-for-27 (74.1 percent) from the charity stripe.
Bradley Central will be back in action on Wednesday as they take on Stone Memorial in the TSSAA Region 3 AAA championship game back at Roy Sewell Gymnasium. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern.
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Rhea County vs Bradley Central
03/02/20 6:00 PM CST at Sparta, Tenn. (Roy Sewell Gymnasium)
At Sparta, Tenn. (Roy Sewell Gymnasium)
BRADLEY CENTRAL 62, RHEA COUNTY 55
RHEA COUNTY (25-6)
Hampton, Mallory 7-19 9-10 24; Cameron, Haley 3-10 1-1 9; Taylor, Maddie
3-10 0-0 9; Welch, Macy 3-10 0-0 8; Smith, Maddie 1-3 0-0 3; Gentry, Emma
0-2 2-2 2; Jenkins, Skylar 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-54 12-13 55.
BRADLEY CENTRAL (27-3)
Walker, Anna 6-15 4-4 17; Barnes, Alexis 3-4 8-11 14; Muhonen, Anna 6-8 2-4
14; Carpenter, Sloan 2-10 2-2 8; Mayo, Cambree 1-3 4-6 6; Carman, Kelsey 1-1
0-0 3; Crittenden, Ashlan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-42 20-27 62.
Rhea County………………. 11 11 14 19 – 55
Bradley Central…………… 10 8 18 26 – 62
3-point goals–Rhea County 9-35 (Taylor, Maddie 3-10; Cameron, Haley 2-6;
Welch, Macy 2-7; Hampton, Mallory 1-8; Smith, Maddie 1-2; Gentry, Emma 0-2),
Bradley Central 4-19 (Carpenter, Sloan 2-7; Carman, Kelsey 1-1; Walker, Anna
1-7; Mayo, Cambree 0-2; Crittenden, Ashlan 0-1; Barnes, Alexis 0-1). Fouled
out–Rhea County-Smith, Maddie; Cameron, Haley, Bradley Central-None.
Rebounds–Rhea County 33 (Hampton, Mallory 11), Bradley Central 31 (Walker,
Anna 8). Assists–Rhea County 10 (Hampton, Mallory 4), Bradley Central 14
(Muhonen, Anna 4; Carman, Kelsey 4). Total fouls–Rhea County 23, Bradley
Central 15. Technical fouls–Rhea County-None, Bradley Central-None.
2020 TSSAA Region 3 AAA Tournament Semifinals (Game 5)