Murfreesboro, TN-(WDEF-TV) The Bradley Central girls basketball team suffered a heart-breaking loss in the state Final Four on Friday in Murfreesboro, falling 52-49 to Houston. The Bearettes beat the Mustangs by 16 earlier this season, and it appeared they were going to handle Houston again.
Bradley Central star and Miss Basketball award winner Rhyne Howard tossed in 12 points in the first period before foul trouble slowed her down in the second quarter. The Bearettes went up eleven late in the second quarter after a three from Jamaryn Blair. The Mustangs trimmed Bradley Central’s lead to 31-25 at the half.
Third quarter was rough for Bradley Central. They made only one shot. That allowed Houston to take a 40-35 lead going to the final quarter. Bearettes kept fighting though. With just over a minute to play, Hannah Lombard got a steal and lay-up to put the Bearettes up 49-48. Then roughly twenty seconds later, and Rhyne Howard fouled out. The Kentucky signee scored 25 points and grabbed 10 boards in her final game with Bradley Central.
The Mustangs regained the lead on free throws. Bradley Central still had a chance with 13 seconds left. They inbounded the ball under their own goal trailing 50-49. Lombard got the ball and drove in the lane, but she was called for a charge, and the Bearettes went on to lose 52-49. It was their first loss of the season. Bradley Central finished the year 33-1. Houston advances to face Riverdale in the Class AAA state title game.