BRADFORD – Bradford had moments when it played well Saturday night but couldn’t overcome Parkway’s rebounding dominance in a 73-47 loss.
“It went a lot better than we’ve had in the past,” Bradford boys basketball coach Dante Dunston said of his team’s performance. “We did a real good job executing the offense. What really ended up just hurting us was rebounding. We’ve struggled with that all year, but we’re working on it and day by day we’re getting better.”
After Bradford inducted Gerald “Butch” Hart and Andy Mead into its Athletic Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony, the Railroaders got off to a strong start to Saturday’s game with first quarter scoring from Andy Branson, Josh Phillips, Dialaquan Millhouse and Parker Smith. Branson in particular had a hot hand as he made three 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
The success on the offensive end allowed the Railroaders to tie the game at 16-16 with two minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
“It’s a testament to us finally getting to running our offense, setting good screens and executing our offense,” Dunston said.
Parkway led 22-18 at the end of the first quarter and expanded its lead in the second quarter as the Panthers outscored the Railroaders 18-11 in the period. Phillips led Bradford with 6 points in the quarter while Branson contributed 3 and Jake Barga added 2.
Bradford started the second half on a 6-0 run with points from Millhouse, Barga and Phillips to pull within 5 points, 40-35.
“We started handling their trap a little better and were still able to run our own offense through it to help the kids kind of settle in and feel comfortable,” Dunston said. “It just got out of hand with the rebounding. Couldn’t come up with the big rebounds.”
That was as close as the Railroaders would get as the Panthers finished the quarter on a 14-3 run to lead 54-38. Parkway increased its lead even more in the fourth quarter on its way to the 73-47 victory.
Branson led Bradford with 20 points in Saturday’s loss. Also for the Railroaders, Phillips scored 12 points, Barga scored 6, Millhouse scored 4, Smith scored 2, Gage Wills scored 2, and Clay Layman scored 1.
Caleb Kinney led Parkway with a game-high 23 points. Also for the Panthers, Preston Stober scored 14 points, Mason Baxter scored 8, Nick Hawk scored 8, Jack Wehe scored 8, Corey Walls scored 6, Dylan Hughes scored 4, and Logan Huff scored 2.
Bradford fell to 1-12 with the loss. The Railroaders will travel to Mississinawa Valley on Tuesday.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.