Last updated: December 30. 2013 11:26PM - 444 Views
Gaylen Blosser Sports Correspondent

GAYLEN BLOSSER/Advocate photoHunter Arnett puts up a shot for the Railroaders against Troy Christian in the Bradford Holiday Tournament championship game.
GAYLEN BLOSSER/Advocate photoHunter Arnett puts up a shot for the Railroaders against Troy Christian in the Bradford Holiday Tournament championship game.
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BRADFORD — The Bradford Railroaders boys basketball team advanced to the championship game of its Holiday Tournament for the first time, defeating a stubborn Riverside Pirates team in comeback fashion 46-43 Friday.

“We have to win games,” Bradford varsity boys basketball coach Jeff Case said. “They came out and they played their tails off the second half.”

Riverside answered a 2-0 Bradford lead with 10 unanswered points to lead 10-2 at 4:23 in first quarter play.

The Railroaders closed the gap to 16-9 by quarter’s end.

Bradford could only muster seven points while the Pirates were adding 10 second-quarter points to take a 10-point halftime lead at 26-16.

“When we let other teams dictate what we do, we usually don’t have a good outcome,” Case said.

The Railroaders came out strong in the third period, hitting for 15 points while the defense kept Riverside in single digits at eight points.

“We had a nice chat at halftime,” Case said. “It’s either put up or shut-up. No more of this we almost had ’em.”

Five Railroaders contributed in the scoring column in the third quarter comeback.

Bradford continued its comeback run, hitting 9-of-13 at the charity stripe to outscore Riverside 15-9 in the final period.

Brandon Wysong led the fourth quarter charge with eight points while Nathan Rose and Drew Patty each went 2-for-2 at the foul line on pressure packed free throws.

The Bradford varsity boys played with heart and effort ,losing 86-32 to a very talented 2012 state final four Troy Christian team in the championship game of the Bradford Holiday Tournament on Saturday.

“They are just better right now,” Case said. “We want to get to that level. We have some work to do.”

The Railroaders took a 2-0 lead to open play on a bucket by sophomore Drew Patty.

The Troy Christian Eagles made a 16-2 scoring run, bringing the first quarter to a 16-4 close.

The Railroaders got a Hunter Arnett stick-back and a Bailey Case bucket in the paint to keep the score respectable, trailing 20-8 at 3:50 in first half.

“We started out executing,” Case said. “We were giving them fits. They were struggling.”

Second half play opened with Troy Christian leading 40-12 and continued to hit its stride, taking a 69-19 lead at the end of three quarters.

“They figured out what we were doing,” Case said. “We started trailing our guys, and we weren’t getting in good defensive position. They are too good of a team to give them those openings, and they capitalized on them. They were a final four team last year. It looks like they have replaced the missing pieces.”

Bradford put 13 fourth-quarter points in the books including a 3-pointer from freshman Alex Swabb while holding the Eagles to 17 points.

The Eagles took home the championship trophy for the second year in a row with the Railroaders taking the runner-up hardware.

“Our kids earned it (runner-up),” Case said. “We really played our hearts out last night to put ourselves in this position.”

Bradford vs. Riverside

Scoring by quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Bradford 9 7 15 15 46

Riverside 16 10 8 9 43

Bradford scoring: B. Wysong 13, N. Rank 12, D. Patty 8, R. Grigg 6, N. Rose 5, T. Atchley 2

Bradford vs. Troy Christian

Scoring by quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Bradford 4 8 7 13 32

Troy Christian 16 24 29 17 86

Bradford scoring: D. Patty 9, N. Rank 7, N. Rose 5, B. Wysong 4, A. Swabb 3, H. Arnett 2, B. Case 2

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