CLEVELAND — Monday night was one the Chargerettes would sooner forget.
McMinn Central’s girls fell behind 17-7 after one quarter and never caught up to the Bearettes in a 69-43 loss at Bradley Central High School, their first setback of the season.
The Chargerettes (2-1) trailed the Class 4A state power 37-25 at halftime, then fell even further off the pace in the third quarter. Central entered the fourth staring at a 57-36 deficit.
Molly Masingale was the lone Chargerette scoring in double digits with 17 points, 15 of those after halftime. Kellan Baker scored seven of her eight points in the second quarter as Central battled to stay in contention.
Bradley post Hannah Jones led all scorers with 32 points, with three other Bearettes scoring at least eight points.
Central coach Johnny Morgan could not be reached before deadline Monday night.
BEARS 59, CHARGERS 44: Central’s boys went through one stretch too many in which it couldn’t get shots to fall, sending the Chargers to an 0-3 start with its loss Monday at Bradley Central.
Darius Carden led Central with 22 points in his first game of the season, after having to sit out the first two games due to a TSSAA suspension from a football ejection. No other Charger scored in double digits, but Gabe Masingale got eight points despite tweaking his wrist in the first quarter.
Central’s shooting woes extended to the free throw line, making just 18-32 from the stripe.
“We played hard,” said Central coach Daniel Curtis. “We missed 14 free throws and we couldn’t make a shot. We only made two 3-pointers, and I bet we shot 25. We couldn’t make a bucket, couldn’t buy a bucket.”
The Chargers trailed 12-5 after one quarter and 21-14 at halftime. Bradley outscored Central 22-15 in the third quarter, and the Chargers were down 43-29 entering the final period.
“Defensively I thought we played really well,” Curtis said. “They’re not a bad basketball team, but we couldn’t make a bucket.”
Both Central basketball teams returned home Tuesday to The Roundhouse to host cross-county rival McMinn County. Those games took place after deadline for the Thursday edition of The Daily Post-Athenian, and the story from the county rivalry games will be in Saturday’s edition.
Central is back in action Tuesday, Nov. 30, at home against East Hamilton.