TENNESSEE 60, GEORGIA 31
Georgia 11- 4 - 6 - 10 -- 31
Tennessee 9 - 19 - 7 - 25 -- 60
Georgia (31) -- Ford 6, Souther 3, Kuhrt 5, Perez, Cheeks 8, Collum 2, Weeks 7.
Tennessee (60) -- Destanie Smith 14, Woodard 4, Brooke Copeland 10, Rebecca Reuter 12, Keely Frederick 2, Berry 3, Storey 8, Peters 4, Crowder 3.
3-point goals: Georgia 2 (Kuhrt, Souther); Tennessee 4 (Smith 2, Berry, Woodard). Highlights: Copeland 8 r, 4 a; Reuter 7 r, 2 b; Keely Frederick 7 r (T); Carrie Cheeks 6 r; Halle Ford 4 a, 4 s (G).
Coming into the Tennessee-Georgia girls' high school all-star basketball game Tuesday, the Georgia team was facing a tall order -- one that proved to be too tall to overcome.
With four post players hovering around and above the 6-foot range compared to one for Georgia, the Tennessee team broke open a close game in the second quarter and cruised to a 60-31 victory.
Tennessee now leads the series 8-4.
Bradley Central provided two of Tennessee's post players. One, 6-foot-2 Rebecca Reuter, was chosen Tennessee's player of the game after totaling 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two assists.
"It was fun," said Reuter, who noted she had been on vacation and hadn't played in two or three weeks. "I'm a little out of shape. Hurting a little bit here and there."
The Bearettes' Brooke Copeland contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Georgia led 11-9 after one quarter, but things changed drastically in the second. The Tennessee team had a 19-4 scoring edge in the second period, taking the lead for good at 17-15 on Destanie Smith's three-point play at the 5:17 mark.
Sonoraville's Carrie Cheeks was Georgia's only 6-footer. The Lee University signee led her team with eight points and six rebounds.
The Tennessee team also featured Sequatchie County's Keely Frederick, who grabbed seven rebounds, and Sale Creek's Mikayla Crowder inside.
"I thought just our length and making them have to shoot over us really bothered them," said Notre Dame's Wes Moore, who coached the Tennessee squad. "And I thought the girls settled in offensively. We started getting some better looks down in the post."
Georgia and Southeast Whitfield coach Michael Durham said for various reasons a few of the girls he had hoped to have play were unable to show up.
"We couldn't make a shot," Durham said. "That was the bottom line. We had three or four girls that can shoot it. We played against them in the regular season. They just happened to be cold tonight. But it was fun and exciting."
Of the Bradley duo, Durham said: "Those two girls can play. A lot of schools have big girls, but those two can play."
Copeland has signed with Florida. Reuter, who has signed with Middle Tennessee State, said she had mixed emotions preparing to be a freshman in college.
"I love Bradley Central High School," she said. "The Bearettes program has such a great tradition in girls' basketball. But I'm also going to play at a place that has a pretty good tradition, so I'm pretty excited."
Moore got to enjoy for one game what Bradley coach Jason Reuter got to experience the last four years.
"You can do a whole lot of stuff with that kind of height," Moore said. "I think the girls enjoyed it. They played great. It was a nice way for them to end their high school careers."
Smith, from Bledsoe County, topped Tennessee with 14 points.
Northwest Whitfield's Halle Ford was chosen Georgia's player of the game after finishing with six points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds. She also won the 3-point shooting contest at halftime.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.