DAYTON – Bradford played fairly even with the Miami Valley Rams in the first half and were within striking distance at halftime. At that point, the teams seemed evenly matched and it appeared Bradford had a chance. But they came out of the gate stone cold in the second half and the Rams, who had floundered in the first half, found their groove in the second half and gradually ground out a lead. The Railroaders never did establish themselves on offense and with several players in foul trouble, it was hard to be aggressive on defense. They would fall to the Rams, 51-25.
Both teams were cold and seemed out of sorts on offense as the game began. Neither team could score consistently. Bradford gave up a lot of turnovers – and that would plague them throughout the game. But offensively, they did get some traction by driving to the basket. It was a 10-10 tie at the end of the first quarter.
The Railroaders let the Rams go on a little 9-2 run to start the second quarter and had to play catch up. Gage Wills and Connor Jones chipped in a few points to close the gap and at halftime it was 23-18, so the Railroaders were still within striking distance at this point in the contest.
But the offense would not score again until the last half of the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, both Taven Leach and Wyatt Spangler got their fourth fouls and this restricted them on defense. Leach would later foul out. To add to their frustrations they were lit up with a technical foul. Nothing seemed to be going right in this half for the Railroaders.
The Rams, on the other hand, finally warmed up to their home gym and started to hit their outside shots. So what at one point seemed like a winnable game rapidly raced out of reach. Kegan Fair finally broke the second half drought by tossing in a pair of free throws with just under 4 minutes to go. Bradford began scoring again after this, but it was too late in the game for any attempt at a rally.
Coach Jason Wills commented after the game, “It was a lack of execution. That is what it boils down to. We need to run the plays the right way on offense. We need to pound the boards and step it up more on defense. That really showed there in the second half. When we had two players get into foul trouble it really hurt. We are not very deep.”
Next up for the Railroaders is another game away – this time at National Trail on Friday.
“They are a very solid team with a couple of good shooters that can shoot it from outside,” Coach Wills said. “Then on the inside they have a couple of good post players. We will have to be on our toes and ready to go.”