Warriors win over Bradley Central
By Eli Rushing | February 28, 2019 9:45 am
The Warriors took on the Bradley Central Bears, on Monday night, and were able to secure a 53-50 win on their home floor.
White County was coming off a crushing loss to Stone Memorial but were able to regroup at home where they overcame an eight point halftime deficit and lived to play another day.
The first quarter got off to a rough start as the Warriors’ first three possessions resulted in turnovers off of poorly placed passes. Although Bradley made good on their first two three-point attempts, David Kinser impressed with his effort. He did a little bit of everything in the opening minutes like putting his body on the line for loose balls and taking a charge. An early second foul limited the White County High School player in the rest of the contest, but he made his presence felt nonetheless. After falling behind 10-2 with about two minutes to go, White County crashed the glass hard and scored several putback attempts en route to an 8-14 deficit at the end of one.
The boys moved the ball speedily in the second and scored frequently in transition as the contest grew more competitive in the second. With 3:23 to go, Grant Slatten kicked out to the right wing to Keegan Dodson who knocked down a three, tying the game at 19. Micah Webster hit one free throw to put the Warriors up by one, with two minutes remaining, but the Bears made a powerful run to close out the quarter. Slow transition defense and precise shooting at the buzzer by Bradley resulted in a 10-1 scoring spurt. At the half, White County trailed 21-29.
The Warriors kept pressuring the ball in the third quarter and finally found success. They forced the Bears into a trio of turnovers in the early seconds and capitalized on these on the other end of the floor. With 5:54 left in the period, Masyn Winningham drove around a Kinser screen and finished at the cup, shrinking the Bear lead to four. Although Kinser was tagged with two more quick fouls, the Warriors continued to fight. They took a timeout down six, with 4:35, in order to regroup and focus their efforts. After falling behind by as many as eight, White County forced a pair of turnovers and closed out the quarter in excellent fashion. Kade Clark took a charge while Winningham splashed a left wing three, with nine seconds to go on the other end. This knotted the contest up at 39 as the boys headed to the fourth.
On the opening possession of the fourth, Slatten nailed a three as he stepped back behind a screen near the right corner, putting White County up three and electrifying the crowd at Roy Sewell Gymnasium. He scored again, with 6:35 left in the contest, on a bizarre play where Bradley lost control of a rebound, and players from both sides scrummed for the ball. Slatten came out with the ball and floated a shot up from the right block, putting WCHS up by five. On the next possession, the Warriors pushed the ball up the floor off of a rebound and shuffled it over to Winningham who laid it up to give his team their largest lead of the game at seven.
Bradley Central made things dicey as they pulled within two, but a steal and slam by Slatten brought the crowd to their feet, and the boys ultimately rode that energy to a win. In a crucial sequence, White County clung to a one-point advantage of 49-48, with a little over a minute remaining, while the Bears had possession heading out of a timeout. They attempted to inbound the ball into the left corner of the court, but one of their guards could not hold onto the pass and it scuttled out of bounds. Off the critical Bradley turnover, the Warriors were able to run down the clock to 24 seconds where Slatten was fouled and converted both of his shots at the charity stripe. Although the Bears battled to get back into the game, a pair of Dyson Reece free throws put the Warriors up by two possessions and sealed the deal for the home team. As the final buzzer rang out, the Warriors had earned a 53-50 victory.
Slatten led all scorers with 17 points, while Winningham had nine, and the pair of Clark and Webster scored seven each. The Warriors shot 14 of 31 from two (45 percent), 3 of 14 from long distance (21 percent) and 16 of 20 from the line (80 percent). The Bears knocked down only 11 of their 37 shots from two (30 percent) but made up for their struggles shooting 6 of 13 from beyond the arc (46 percent). They also shot 10 of 16 from the free throw line (63 percent). White County won the rebound battle 27-25 but had one turnover more than their opponents (17-16).