NEW MADISON – The Bradford Lady Railroaders were coming off two big wins last week, the latest over the Newton Indians, and were ready to step into the ring with the state’s No. 3 ranked team Tri-Village.
The Railroaders came out of their corner swinging, executing their offense with precision and scoring seven points in the first four minutes, five by Mackenzie Weldy and two by Mandi Bates.
The Patriots, who were slow starting in their last two contests, exchanged blows and matched the seven points with Rachel Miller’s five points and Brooke Godown’s two points to tie the game at seven.
“We came out on firing on all cylinders. We could have made few adjustments on defense … but offensively we did some real nice things,” Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said.
Tri-Village’s Allie Downing then delivered a big hit with a triple and Danika Mann’s fielder at the four-minute mark gave the Pats a 12-7 lead.
“They came out on point and shot it well, were real efficient offensively, and we weren’t able to guard some of the things that they were doing. We have to do a better job defensively,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said.
Bates threw two counters on two free throws to close the lead to 12-9 before the Patriots threw a big round of flurries.
TV landed a number of shots to go ahead 20-9 on the judge’s score card to end the first quarter.
“I was very pleased with how we came out offensively. Just like they were clicking early on, I thought we were clicking very well offensively, too,” Gray said.
The two teams slowed the pace in the second quarter with the Patriots taking a 30-15 lead as each team went to their corners at the half.
The Patriots’ defense was sluggish to start the second half, but Bradford was unable to land any big punches, and the Patriots corner man coach Gray had seen enough.
“I wasn’t happy with the way we came out of the locker room. We talked about coming out with a lot of energy, lots of enthusiasm, and we come out and give up three offensive rebounds, and then on their second possession they come down drive to the basket and we don’t have any help-side defense … we just weren’t ready to play, and we took them out and put five new ones in,” Gray said.
The new five sparked a seven-point run over a span of three minutes as Tri-Village went ahead 39-17. Alanna Holsapple had four points and Emma Printz a triple in the run.
“The five who came in wanted to play, and they go on a 7-0 run and sparked us, and that set the tone for us the rest of the way,” Gray said.
Tri-Village’s starters then picked up the pace and closed out the third quarter with 11 more points to go up 50-21.
Bradford was unable to play a junior varsity game due to illness and was feeling the effects as a few of the varsity players were under the weather, too, and Coach McKee felt like fatigued set in earlier than normal for some of them.
The Railroaders rallied in the final stanza, scoring 11 points – four by Kelly Moore, four by Weldy and three by Bates – to win the quarter … but it wasn’t enough to overcome the large deficit as the Tri-Village went on to claim a 59-32 win.
“I have a lot of respect for Brad and the program they have built here. We know when we play them they are going to have a great team. We told our girls after the game did we make progress and learn from this game against the CCC champs? We felt like we did, and that’s all you can ask,” McKee concluded.
Bradford showed signs of being a good fighter and gave a great effort in the ring and the Patriots retained the belt … but the Railroaders are an up and comer and will be looking to the future to challenge for the belt again.
Downing led Tri-Village with 20 points, and Weldy had 17 for Bradford.
The Patriots improved to 18-1 overall and 11-0 in the conference and have a big showdown with Versailles on Tuesday in New Madison.
Bradford dropped to 8-12 overall and 6-6 in the conference. Bradford will host Riverside on Monday.
Score by quarters:
Tri-Village …20…10 …20…09 – 59
Bradford …..09…06…06…11 – 32
Tri-Village (18-1, 11-0)
Rachel Miller 7, Autaum Moore 4, Emma Printz 8, Edie Morris 2, Allie Downing 20, Brooke Godown 4, Alanna Holsapple 4, Megan Branson 2, Danika Mann 8
Totals 3-21-8/12 – 59
Bradford (7-12, 6-6)
Olivia Hart 2, Kelly Moore 4, Mandi Bates 9, Mackenzie Weldy 17
Totals 1-12-5/9 – 32
Tri-Village – 3 (Printz 1, Downing 1, Miller 1)
Bradford – 1 (Weldy 1)