MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Bradley Central Bearettes ground out a 34-26 victory over Lebanon in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 TSSAA AAA state tournament.
After trailing only 10-9 at the half the Bearettes came out of the locker room and knotted things up at 23 all heading into the final frame. Bradley Centre (32-3) then outscored the Lady Blue Devils 11-3 in the final period to come back for the victory.
Both teams got off to a slow start as Cambree Mayo hit a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining in the opening period to give Bradley their first points of the evening and trim the lead to one.
The two teams were able to trade buckets and the Bearettes found themselves trailing by one point yet again going into the half.
Lebanon came out of the break and quickly extended their lead to six with 5:11 to go in the quarter off an Addie Porter 3-pointer from Aaryn Lester. The Bearettes answered, slowly chipping away at the lead and Kaleigh Hughes tied the game up at 21 with a 3-point shot from a Jamaryn Blair pass and the two teams each scored two more points heading into the final period all square at 23.
The Lady Blue Devils scored the first two points of the quarter on a Lindsey Freeman bucket and Blair squared things away with 5:43 left in the game to spark an eight-point run. Hannah Lombard made a pair of free throws on back to back possessions and Blair ended the run with a pair of her own. Lebanon was finally able to score their third point of the quarter on a Allissa Mulaski free throw, their final point of the night as Bradley Central held on to complete the comeback.
The Bearettes offense was paced by Blair with nine points, despite sitting most of the first half in foul trouble. Lombard was the next leading scorer with eight and pulled down a team-high five rebounds. Walker scored six points but was a force on defense recording a career-high eight rebounds to go along with a pair of steals and four rebounds. Blair also led the team with three steals.
Bradley Central went 10-for-38 (26.3 percent) from the floor and 4-for-21 (19 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The Bearettes were a cool and collective 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe. Bradley turned over the ball a season-low three times in the contest while forcing 15 turnovers.
The Bearettes outscored Lebanon 5-4 in points off turnovers, 7-0 on fast breaks, and 4-0 in bench scoring.
Porter led Lebanon with a team-high eight points and nine rebounds. Lester was the next leading scorer with seven while Freeman threw in six of her own and pulled down seven boards.
Lebanon shot 9-of-34 (26.5 percent) overall and a cold 2-for-12 (16.7 percent) from distance. The Lady Blue Devils went 6-for-8 (75 percent) from the free throw line. Lebanon outrebounded Bradley 34-22 behind 10 offensive boards and matched them with 12 points in the paint, and two second chance points.
Bradley Central will take on Oak Ridge on Friday at 3:45 p.m. EST from the Murphy Center in the semifinal round of the state tournament.
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Lebanon - 4 6 13 3 26
Bradley Central - 3 6 14 11 34
Lebanon (26): Porter 8, Freeman 6, Lester 7, Mulaski 1, Brookshire 4, Brown, James, Heidebreicht.
Bradley Central (34): Hughes 5, Roberts 2, Blair 9, Walker 6, Lombard 8, Williams 1, Mayo 3, Reuter, Barens.
3-Pointers: Lebanon (2): Porter, Lester. Bradley Central (4): Hughes, Blair, Lombard, Mayo.