After his team's 55-44 win over White County Saturday, Bradley Central girls' basketball coach Jason Reuter described the victory the best way he knew how.
"A win's a win," he said.
His Bearettes looked unimpressive at times, slowed by the Warriorettes' matchup zone. Yet a 19-9 third quarter proved to be the main difference in the battle between the Region 3-AAA opponents.
Brooke Copeland didn't have her best shooting night but still led Bradley with 13 points, while Rebecca Reuter had 12 and 11 rebounds. Kayla Withrow added 10 points as the Bearettes improved to 13-1.
"We have a lot of respect for White County," Coach Reuter said. "If they shoot better, we would have been in trouble. I thought we had a couple of chances to put them away, but we kept finding ways to leave them in the game."
The pivotal third quarter wasn't defined by any one stat. White County (12-5) was guilty of five turnovers against the Bradley pressure. That was more than in any other quarter, and the Bearettes took advantage, stretching their lead to 14 in the final minute of the period.
It masked what had been a slow start against the Warriorettes' slower offensive pace featuring multiple passes -- as many as 11 a possession. White County, which averages making seven 3-pointers per game, was held to 2-for-17 from deep.
The Sparta team was led by Allyson Quillen's 20 points, but she was the only player in double figures.
"We wanted to limit the big girls. They move well and do a nice job around the rim," White County coach Bryan Haley said. "We couldn't get anything to go down tonight, and it's so hard to get good shots at the rim.
"We just weren't as efficient on offense in that third quarter as we normally are, and it hurt us."
Said Coach Reuter: "I'm not going to browbeat the girls much, but we have to play much better than that or our season will come to a quick end in tournament time. We have to keep improving and executing and have that killer instinct that when we taste blood, we can put them away."