Bragg

Kelsey Bragg led Caverna with 26 points, including 16 in a third quarter rally, as the Lady Colonels rallied for a 49-45 win over Bethlehem.

Caverna’s quickness overcame Bethlehem’s size advantage Monday night.

Kelsey Bragg scored 26 points, including 16 in the Lady Colonels’ 20 point third quarter, to lead Caverna to a 49-45 comeback victory over Bethlehem.

The undersized Lady Colonels, whose tallest player is 5’9”, used their quickness to come from behind, slashing to the hoop against the Banshees’ three 6’ post players. Caverna trailed by 11 midway through the second quarter and by six at the half.

“I told the girls tonight that quickness would be a factor because they’re so big, when we attack the basket we have to go strong or we won’t get the call,” Caverna coach Cornelius Faulkner said. “As you saw, if you don’t go to the basket hard in the fifth region, you’re not going to get too many calls. So we did a better job in the course of the game, handling going to the basket and getting fouled. And we hit free throws tonight. We hit a lot of big free throws.”

Caverna trailed 23-17 entering the third quarter before Bragg took over. The 5’9” junior guard hit the Lady Colonels’ first three shots of the half to cut the lead to 24-23.

After Bethlehem used a 6-0 run to take a 30-23 lead, Bragg struck back with an old-fashioned 3-point play, a jumper and a 3-pointer to give the Lady Colonels a 31-30 lead, their first since the first quarter.

“She hit some big shots,” Faulkner said of Bragg.“She did a better job tonight going off the dribble, getting the contact and making shots. She did a wonderful job.”

The Banshees hit a fast break layup to retake the lead briefly at 32-31 with 1:41 left in the quarter. Shardia Embry then hit back-to-back baskets followed by a layup from Bragg as Caverna took a 37-32 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Bethlehem rallied briefly in the fourth quarter and took a 40-39 lead. But free throws proved to be the difference down the stretch. Caverna hit 10 free throws in the final 5:47 of the game to pull away.

“I’m really proud of the girls tonight,” Faulkner said. “We’re finally starting to look a little more organized, a little more team-oriented. Everybody looks for each other. And we’re doing a little better job on defense. If we can stop people inside, we can be hard to beat.”

Bragg had a game-high 26 points, while Embry added 15.

Bethlehem jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter before Caverna came back to lead 8-6. The Banshees took advantage of Lady Colonel turnovers and built an 11 point lead midway through the second quarter.

“I told them don’t give up, don’t quit,” Faulkner said. “Everybody is going to have a run. Tonight, do not let them have a big run. I called time out, we set up a couple of plays that worked right off the bat. You could see the confidence build. We got a couple of big steals and scored.

“I think being young, we can try to come back too quickly. We don’t have to do that. If we just calm down and be patient, we can score. Today, we ran our offense.”

The Lady Colonels are back in action Friday when they host rival Hart County at 5:30 p.m.



Score by quarter

Bethlehem 11 12 9 13 - 45

Caverna 8 9 20 12 - 49



Scoring

Shardia Embry 15, Kelsey Bragg 26, Jazman Austin 2, Joslin Austin 4, Mercedes Maxey 2.

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