MURFREESBORO — Bradley Central pleaded no contest.
Except for one brief moment in the second quarter, Science Hill was in complete control and earned a 64-38 victory in the quarterfinals of the Class AAA girls state basketball tournament Wednesday afternoon at Murphy Center.
Shy Copney and Enjelica Reid each had a double-double for the Lady Hilltoppers, who improved to 34-3 and advanced to Friday’s semifinals against Memphis Overton, a 51-45 winner over Antioch. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m Eastern Standard Time.
In the other bracket, Murfreesboro Riverdale rolled to an 83-37 win over Brentwood. Riverdale will now be shooting not just for a state title, but at least two national titles as the Lady Warriors (33-0) recently moved into the No. 1 spot nationally in both the ESPN and MaxPreps polls. Riverdale takes on Memphis Central on Friday at 11 a.m.
Science Hill, which remained at No. 11 in the nation, didn’t blink against Bradley Central. Copney finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Reid had 11 points and 11 rebounds, including seven offensive boards.
“It was a good game, but I don’t think we played our best game,” said Copney.
Science Hill head coach Darrell Barnwell said it doesn’t matter how well his team plays at this point in the season.
“We won and moved on, and that’s what it comes down to,” said Barnwell. “There aren’t any style points anymore. We just wanted to make sure the kids did what they needed to do to pull out a win.”
Bradley’s Rebecca Reuter, who was suspended for the game because of getting two technical fouls in the sectional, was greatly missed by the Bearettes.
“Obviously losing (Reuter) affected the game some,” said Barnwell. “Our kids did a great job defensively of taking them out of anything they wanted to do.
“We knew they would try to go to (Brooke) Copeland a lot with Reuter out of there. Our kids played tremendous defense.”
Science Hill backed off of Bradley’s Baylee Carroll, who replaced Reuter in the lineup.
“We talked about personnel and how we wanted to play each kid they had,” said Barnwell. “We just wanted to make her be a player.”
The Lady Hilltoppers closed the first half with an 11-2 run to take a 12-point lead. If there was any doubt remaining, Science Hill brushed it aside by starting the third quarter on a 16-5 spurt.
Keisha Gregory hit 5 of 8 shots from the field and finished with 12 points for Science Hill while Tianna Tarter totaled seven points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals.
Gabby Lyon worked inside for five points, seven rebounds, and four steals. Copeland finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Bearettes.