GREENVILLE – With a hop, skip and a jump the Bradford Railroaders girls basketball squad steamed into the finals of the Annie Oakley Shootout Friday night with a 49-43 win over Eaton.
The Railroaders were led by freshman standout Skipp Miller, who scored 18 points to lead all scorers in front of about 250 spectators at Greenville High School.
Bradford of the Cross County Conference clinched the game against the Eagles at the free throw line by knocking down five of six from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. Incidentally, the Roaders’ five freebies were half the total they made for the game out of 18 attempts for 55 percent. Eaton was held to only 10 attempts with only six finding the net for 60 percent.
The Eaton Eagles, led by head coach Dave Honhart, came out flying to the hoop in the first quarter and led 18-10. Eaton was led by Bailey Shepherd and Becca Mowen, who scored 6 points apiece in the opening frame. Miller hammered home 6 points to pace Bradford. The Railroaders battled back to keep it in range as they were down 14-4 at one point before scoring 6 of the last 10 points.
Bradford’s Railroaders had plenty of power in the second quarter as they popped in the first 7 points of the canto to make the count read 18-17. The rest of the quarter was nip and tuck as Eaton was able to go into the half with a 2-point advantage, 25-23.
Miller again led the Bradford squad with 6 points in the period followed closely by junior Bianca Keener who had 5 points. Bailee Worley helped bail the Eagles out with a 3-pointer to lead the Southwestern Buckeye League squad.
Third quarter theatrics saw the game see-saw back and forth. There were several lead changes as both teams exploded for double digits with Bradford popping in 13 markers. The Eagles countered with 10 points.
The Railroaders were led by senior Chelsea Gill, who fished in 7 points. Eaton had six players score in the quarter but none over 2 points.
Fourth quarter fireworks showed the Eagles fading in the final two minutes at the charity stripe as they made only of two freebies in this 6-point loss. Ashley Earley and Annika Gels led the Eagles by scoring all the points with 4 apiece. Bradford was led by Miller, who also had 4 points, followed closely by Keener with 3.
Final scoring for the Eagles showed Becca Mowen with 8 points, Bailey Shepherd 8, Bailee Worley 8, Alexis Miller 6, Annika Gels 5, Ashley Earley 4, Kylee Kidwell 2 and Ashton Straight 2.
Bradford was led by Skipp Miller with 18 points, Chelsea Gill 9, Bianca Keener 8, Brooke Fair 6, Emma Canan 4 and Hannah Fout 4
“We hit our free throws when we needed to as five out of six for 83 percent is clutch,” Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said. “Skipp Miller led us tonight as a freshman, and the rest of the team was able to help her out. We were able overcome a 10-point deficit in the first quarter and win each of the remaining three quarters. We were able to convert on their turnovers, and we did a good job in getting back to our defensive spots.”