Piqua Daily Call
BROOKVILLE —- For a young Bradford girls basketball team, it was an important step.
And the hot-shooting Lady Railroaders made it look easy.
Bradford cruised to a 65-29 win over Yellow Springs in a Brookville D-IV sectional tournament opener Wednesday night.
The Railroaders, 16-6 and the sixth seed, played at Riverside Thursday night to close the regular season and will return to Brookville Tuesday for a second-round game with Catholic Central, 17-6 and the fifth seed at 7:30 p.m.
Yellow Springs closed the season at 11-12
“We hadn’t won a tournament game since we won the sectional title in 2014,” Bradford coach Chris Besecker said. “So, this was huge for us to get a tournament win.”
Freshman guard Austy Miller opened the game with a three from long range and it was a trend that would continue for the Railroaders.
Freshman Rylee Canan and sophomore Cassi Mead would also hit early on from 3-point range and Miller would add two more from behind the arc as Bradford jumped out to a quick 17-6 lead.
Bradford led 24-6 after one quarter and increased the advantage to 42-12 at halftime, hitting nine 3-pointers in the first two quarters.
Along with Millers three, Rylee Canan and Mead both hit two and sophomores Emma Canan and Abby Gade both added one each.
“That’s what you want to see,” Besecker said. “After they went to a box-and-one on Austy (Miller), the other girls stepped up and hit some big shots.”
While it was hard to continue that pace in the second half, Bradford never lost control.
The Roaders led 50-21 after three quarters and added to that advantage in the final eight minutes.
“We got a little sluggish,” Besecker said.
Senior Bianca Keener gave them a post presence in the second half with seven points in the final two quarters as Bradford had six players score at least six points, with no one scoring more than 13.
“That’s what you want,” Besecker said.
Miller led the way with 13, while Mead added 11.
Rylee Canan, Keene and Gade all finished with eight points, Emma Canan netted seven and Abby Fike added six.
Yellow Springs freshman Angie Smith led all scorers with 16 points, while Haneefaw Jones scored six and Aaliyah Longshaw added five.
Now, Bradford faces a bigger challenge against Catholic Center, a 69-27 winner over East Dayton Christian Wednesday.
“They are athletic and quick,” Besecker said. “They are legit. We are just happy to be making the trip back (on Tuesday).”
After taking a huge step and making it look easy.
Austy Miller 4-2-13, Emma Canan 3-0-7, Rylee Canan 2-2-8, Cassi Mead 4-1-11, Bianca Keener 3-2-8, Abby Fike 3-0-6, Karissa Weldy 1-0-2, Abby Gade 3-0-8, Kendall Hill 1-0-2. Totals: 24-7-65.
Yellow Springs (29)
Aaliyah Longshaw 2-0-5, Haneefah Jones 3-0-6, Angie Smith 8-0-16, Tyler Linkhart 1-0-2, Amara Luckett 0-0-0, Izzy Ellis 0-0-0, Chanel Phillips 0-0-0. Totals: 14-0-29.
3-point field goals —- Bradford: Miller (3), Emma Canan, Rylee Canan (2), Mead (2), Gade (2).
Score By Quarters
Bradford 24 42 50 65
Yellow Springs 6 12 21 29
Records: Bradford 16-6, Yellow Springs 11-12.