BRADFORD – The Bradford Lady Railroaders ran off 17 straight points to open Thursday’s game against Mississinawa Valley and never looked back as they rolled to a 54-19 Cross County Conference victory.
Bradford employed a press that proved difficult for Mississinawa Valley to solve. The Hawks were down three varsity players, and the youth showed in the early going.
Emma Canan scored 9 of the first 17 points for Bradford to open the game.
Olivia Murphy broke the drought for the Hawks with a short fielder at 3:33 in the first quarter, and a few seconds later Leah Scholl hit a triple to bring the Hawks to 17-5.
The Roaders would finish the first quarter on a run to go back up 23-5.
“We’ve been preaching intensity to the kids the last few weeks, and we’ve seen it in practice, but it hasn’t transferred to the game. Tonight we finally brought it to the game,” Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said.
Bradford took the press off midway through the second quarter … but Coach McKee wanted to make sure the Roaders maintained their defensive intensity in the half court.
“That intensity helps us get our energy going, and once we have that energy we play at another level. We are moving better and sharing the ball better. Our whole game is elevated. I told the girls just because we take off the press it doesn’t mean our energy level should drop,” McKee said.
The Roaders scored 15 points in the second quarter, led by freshman Skipp Miller with 8, to take a 38-11 lead at the break.
Mississinawa came out and scored 8 points in the third quarter, its most productive on the night, with Murphy hitting two triples and a free throw for 7 of those 8 points.
Bradford matched the 8 points with Miller scoring 6 of them to lead 46-19.
In the final stanza the Hawks wouldn’t score, but they did some things that pleased Coach Vance Venesky.
“As a team we are lacking varsity experience and down to about nine girls in our whole program,” Venesky said. “All of them are out trying to do what they need to do. We took the ball to the basket more today than all year long, and we’ve been trying to get them to do that. Riley Price went to the basket five or six times. She’s never done that before, and Olivia Murphy was doing the same thing. She had a nice game with 9 points. She just forgot you only get five fouls. If we keep doing things we aren’t comfortable with now, it will only make us better in the future,” Venesky concluded.
Bradford scored another 8 in the final stanza to make the final score 54-19.
“We are starting to understand concepts. At the beginning of the year we sometimes shot outside too much … we have to get the ball inside or drive to the basket. We aren’t going to make five, six or 10 3s a game. We are lucky to have one or two so we have to do a lot of scoring different ways, and our girls are really starting to buy into that,” McKee concluded.
Bradford was led by Miller with 21 points and Canan with 15. The Railroaders improved to 7-10 overall and 4-6 in the conference. They will travel to Brookville on Tuesday.
Mississinawa fell to 0-15 overall and 0-9 in the CCC. The Blackhawks will be back in action on Saturday at home in a boys and girls doubleheader with Ansonia.
Score by quarters
MV … 05 … 06 … 08 … 0 – 19
BR … 23… 15 … 08 … 08 – 54
Mississinawa – Bailey Johnson 3, Riley Price 2, Leah Scholl 3, Olivia Murphy 9, Taylor Stachler 1, Ellie Reichard 1; Totals 2-4-3/6 – 19
Bradford – Abby Gade 2, Chelsea Gill 6, Hannah Fout 1, Emma Canan 15, Skipp Miller 21, Buzz Brewer 2, Brooke Fair 3, Bianca Keener 4; Totals 0-21-12/24 – 54