Bradford Boys Basketball is off to a great start and improved to 7-2 overall with a win over Lehman Catholic. (Dale Barger Photo)

Bradford Boys Basketball Off To A Good Start

SIDNEY – The Bradford boys basketball team is no fluke this year and has proved it so far by getting off to a 7-2 start.  They broke open a close game with Lehman Catholic during a frenzied stretch in the 4th quarter and maintained their composure to capture a 59-48 win. 

“I’m so proud of my kids, it got a little rough in the 4th quarter,” said Bradford coach Jay Hall.  “Our kids kept composure and responded by controlling what they can control and making it all about the next play, and you know, it worked out for us.”

It was a close game in the opening frame with the Cavaliers taking a 13-12 lead.  

Nolan Case had an excellent start in the game scoring all 7 of his points in the 1st quarter and Parker Davidson had 5.

The Railroaders got 5 points from Hudson Hill and 8 from Davidson in the 2nd quarter to take a 27-22 lead at the break.

Lehman would come out strong in the 3rd quarter with their 6’7” “Big Man” Justin Chapman doing damage inside with 8 second chance points to get within a point 40-39 heading into the final stanza.

Bradford jumped back ahead quickly on break out baskets from Hill and Davidson and soon had a 48-40 lead at the 6-minute mark.

But the game would get chippy with Davidson being fouled hard on the next drive to the hoop followed by a Cavalier technical foul.  There would be a few more technical and other tense moments in the waning minutes of the game … but Bradford would maintain control trying not to respond in the heat of the moment.

“It’s something we preach all the time,” Hall said.   Selfishly, my grandpa was one of the first officials inducted into the OHSAA Hall of Fame inaugural class and I’ve always just had this thing in the back of my mind, like if a call doesn’t go my way. You know, I said, I see my grandpa’s picture in my head and it’s like, am I going to yell at him for a call?  I think when you set that example, and you continue to preach no matter what the call is let’s move on,” Hall stated.

That’s a tough job, and we wouldn’t get to play this game if it weren’t for them, so I’m always grateful that they’re out here doing what they do,” Hall praised. 

Davidson would take a few trips to the free throw line late in the game 9 in the 4th quarter and 16 for the game.  He would go 9-for-12 from the line and ended the game with 32 points.

I’m proud of him and that he was able to go out and play, he was hurting Tuesday night at FM, and I wasn’t sure what he was going to bring tonight.  The kid is tough as nails, man, he doesn’t feel pain. He scored 23 on Newton last year and 19 on Botkins in the tournament with a broken foot … you know, he doesn’t feel pain or complain but just goes out and performs.

I didn’t even know he dropped 32 points all he was thinking about was the missed free throws he had.  He works hard and I hope he gets what he deserves as our team success continues, because he’s earned it,” Hall applauded.

It’s been a total team effort especially on the defensive end of the floor,” Hall noted.

The Railroaders have great quickness out front in with freshman point guard Owen Canan who had 6 steals and fellow sophomore guard Hudson Hill 10 points and senior Nolan Case disrupting the Lehman offense.  

“We’re still figuring out that aggressive instinct of go, you know, when that voice in your head just tells you go, we got a certain scheme going and we work on it, and I don’t want guys not being aggressive and if they gamble and don’t get the ball one time I’m not going get on him. I want him to be confident and aggressive.  We will continue to learn as have only been doing scheme stuff since November, but it’s been working well,” Hall said.

“This didn’t just start in November; we’ve been going out working hard since the spring. I’m very happy that they put in the time and they’re seeing what dedication and hard work can do for you, so we can play with confidence and playing together right now it’s a total team effort, everybody kind of fits into doing what they do well, and we’ve been able to reel off a couple of wins it was a big week for us beating FM who is pretty doggone good and for us to go into their place and get a win and then come up here at Sidney Lehman in hostile environment and get the win I couldn’t be more pleased,” Hall concluded.

The Railroaders will need that confident play to going into the Covington Holiday Tournament where they will take on Russia in a rematch and one of their two losses on the season.

After the holiday tournament they’ll go right into the heart of their Western Ohio Athletic Conference schedule.

Junior Parker Davidson is averaging nearly 27 points and game and had 32 in win over Lehman Catholic. (Dale Barger Photo)
Landon Wills goes strong to the basket in game with Lehman. (Dale Barger Photo)
freshman point guard Owen Canan is having a big impact as a freshman running the offense and leading the defense out front. (Dale Barger Photo)
Sophomore Guard Hudson Hill scored 10 points in win over Lehman. (Dale Barger Photo)
The Lady Railroaders Cheerleaders showing support for their team. (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at

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