ROCKFORD – Bradford lost focus as times, which prevented the Lady Railroaders from making a comeback in a 51-40 loss to Parkway on Tuesday evening in Rockford.
“Not a good night for Bradford,” Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said.
Bradford played from behind almost the entire night. The Railroaders had their moments when they appeared to be on the verge of overtaking the Panthers, but they never put enough possessions together.
Bradford’s only lead of the game came in the opening minutes when Mackenzie Weldy scored the first points of the night for a 2-0 advantage. But then Parkway then went on a 6-0 run to take a lead it held the rest of the game.
Olivia Hart also scored a first quarter basket for Bradford, but the Lady Railroaders only managed four points in the period and trailed 10-4 through the first eight minutes of the game.
Led by Weldy, who scored Bradford’s first six points of the second quarter, Bradford started to gain some momentum in the second period. But after cutting the deficit to a single point at 11-10, the Railroaders saw the Panthers go on a 6-0 run to take control again.
Chelsea Gill scored five points late in the half for Bradford, but Bradford found itself trailing 23-15.
“The first half we were pretty disappointed,” McKee said. “At one point it was a one-point game at 10-11, and next thing you know they’re up 25-15 at half. And we told the girls we just lost focus for four minutes. Some silly fouls. Some silly passes. Just got out of our character for four minutes.”
Mandi Bates and Kelly Moore, who both were held scoreless in the first half, led Bradford’s offense with 10 points in the third quarter. However, Parkway added to its lead and went up 37-25 in the period.
Bates and Moore continued to have the hot hands early in the fourth quarter and helped Bradford cut its deficit to just six points, 38-32, early in the period.
However, Parkway went on a 9-0 run to again dash Bradford’s hopes of a comeback. The Railroaders never threatened again and wound up losing 51-40.
“It was lack of focus, lack of playing attention to the detail,” McKee said. “We knew 12 (Sarah Gehron) was left handed, and she continued to drive left all night, and we couldn’t figure it out. We knew they were some big kids and we had to box out, and then I feel like every time we didn’t box out they’d get it and put in back in, get two points. So it’s hard to catch up when you aren’t’ doing the fundamental things of this game.”
Gehron led Parkway with a game-high 21 points on Tuesday. Also for the Panthers, Haley Hawk scored 16 points, Alisa Gray scored nine, Sydney Crouch scored three, and Samantha Wehe scored two.
Bates led Bradford with 13 points, all of which came in the second half. Also for the Railroaders, Weldy scored 11 points, Moore scored nine, Gill scored five, and Hart scored two.
All of the points on Tuesday were scored by the two teams’ starters. Bradford doesn’t have the luxury of a deep bench, but it was nice to see all five starters contribute to the offense, McKee said.
“We were only pretty much one deep on the bench tonight due to some injuries and some things like that,” he said. “I was I guess excited that all of our starters are starting to contribute a little bit. That’s the one positive we have tonight that everybody can score instead of always leaning on a certain kid or two.”
Bradford fell to 5-11 with Tuesdays’ loss, and Parkway improved to 4-9. Bradford will play host to Mississinawa Valley on Thursday in a Cross County Conference game.