CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The positive for Bradley Central girls' basketball coach Jason Reuter is knowing the Bearettes can win even when they don't play their best ball. The negative is them not playing their best in the first place.
The Bearettes got 15 points from Brooke Copeland and 13 from Kayla Beavers and overcame a sub-par performance to defeat rival Cleveland 51-30 at the Friday at the Raider Dome. Bradley (23-1, 9-0) clinched the District 5-AAA regular-season championship with the win.
"It's crazy. We can win by 21 and still be able to ask what's wrong," Reuter said. "We had too many turnovers, but you have to take positives, though. If you can hold a team to 33 points, you'll win 97 out of 100 times."
Cleveland jumped out to an early edge, but the fifth-ranked Bearettes battled back to lead 16-9 after a quarter. The Lady Raiders fell victim to a lull in the second and third quarters in scoring nine total points. In that time, the Bearettes stretched their advantage to 38-18.
"I thought we played well," Cleveland coach Mindy Kiser said. "We went through a scoreless lull, and you can't do that at home; you can't do that in a rivalry, or against Bradley.
"Defensively I thought we played well. We had a few lapses, but we did a good job for the most part."
Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad led the Lady Raiders (12-8, 7-3) with 10 points, followed by Sydnie Anderson with eight. Cleveland can still claim the second seed in the district tournament with wins over Walker Valley and Ooltewah in its final two games.
Bradley automatically advances to the region tournament.
"Over the course of the season, you're going to have some good games, some bad games and some poor games," Reuter said. "We have high expectations this season, so I have to grade us a little harsher, but I was pleased that we got the win."