‘Miller Time’ a winning one for Bradford girls against Southeastern in Trotwood D-IV sectional action


TROTWOOD — It was “Miller Time” for the Bradford girls basketball team in Trotwood D-IV sectional action Monday night against Southeastern at Trotwood-Madison High School.

And Austy did not disappoint.

With Bradford trailing 39-38 with 3:34 remaining, coach Chris Besecker called a timeout. Senior guard Austy Miller scored the final eight points in Bradford’s 46-39 victory.

“In that situation, you just want to put the ball in Austy’s (Miller) hands and let her do her thing,” Besecker said.

And the win was the start of the toughest possible path for a fifth seed in the tournament — as the Railroaders could well face the two, three and four seeds if they want to get to the district finals.

Southeastern, the fourth seed, and Bradford are both 12-9.

Catholic Central, 15-4, is the third seed and Bradford will face them at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and second seed Covington is also in the Railroaders bracket.

“For us to win a tournament game is a pretty good accomplishment,” Besecker said. “We have been pretty successful in the postseason the last couple years and hopefully we can do it again.”

After Bradford came out of the timeout, Miller made a ball fake that had everyone in the gym think it was a pass, before she pulled it back in at the last second and scored to give Bradford a 40-39 lead with 3:15 remaining.

“That was a sweet move,” Besecker said.

One her teammates have seen all too often in practice.

“They are always getting on me about that,” Miller said with a laugh.”

After that, the Bradford defense shut down Southeastern and Miller made six straight free throws in the final 1:23 — after going three of six from the line up to that point.

“There was definitely focus,” Miller said about the the last six free throws. “Just shoot straight and let it go.”

What shouldn’t be lost in the Bradford win is the clutch play of Isabella Hamilton throughout the game.

She was was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor — with all four baskets coming at critical moments — and made her only free throw attempt.

“She stepped up big time,” Besecker said about Hamilton.

She hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter and a three-point play in the third quarter to rally Bradford a deficit to the lead.

In the fourth quarter, she scored twice to stretch one point leads to three points.

“We were all so excited for her (Isabella Hamilton),” Miller said. “She has been working really hard and has stepped up in big games.”

It was a battle from the start.

Bradford led 10-9, 19-16 and 29-28 the quarter breaks.

In the fourth quarter, baskets by Hamilton and Miller put Bradford up 33-28, before Southeastern scored seven points in less than a minute.

A three by Rylee Canan and a basket by Hamilton put Bradford back up by three, before Lily Hudson and Lily Bertemes scored to put the Trojans up 39-38 and set up “Miller Time”.

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Besecker said. “And it was.”

Miller led Bradford with 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Hamilton scored 10points and Canan added five points, nine rebounds and five steals — including one in the final minute to help seal the win.

Kelsey Vollrath led Southeastern with 10 points.

Hudson scored seven and Mary Sulfridge added six points.

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