Bradford senior guard Rylee Canan had a solid game with 7 points, 9 steals and 5 assist in 57-34 win over Lehman Catholic. (Dale Barger Photo)

Bradford Girls Improve to 8-2 With Win Over Lehman

SIDNEY – The Bradford girls basketball team had a great run last year winning a sectional title before falling in the district final and is making noise again this year with an 8-2 overall record and one of two teams left in the WOAC undefeated in the conference at 4-0.

They used a strong first half performance putting them in the driver seat and went on to defeat Lehman Catholic 57-34.

The Roaders got off to a slow start but fortunately their defense was good enough to keep the Cavaliers off the scoreboard for the six minutes.  Abby Fike connected on triple to end the 1st quarter for a 14-5 lead.

The Roaders added 17 points in the 2nd quarter with Austy Miller scoring 7 of her 14 first half points along with 6 from Rylee Canan to jump on top of Lehman 31-8 at the break.

“Our defense really caused them (Lehman) some problems in the first half, we picked their pockets a few times leading to some good shots for us,” Bradford girls basketball coach Chris Besecker said.  

But the Railroaders lost focus after the break and the Cavaliers showed more effort and energy taking the 3rdquarter 13-11 to make the score 42-21.

“I just thought we got lackadaisical after the first half and we tried to get refocused and pick back up our effort,” Besecker stated.

Bradford won the final stanza 15-13, and the game 57-34 improving to 8-2 on the year.

Bradford was led by Austy Miller’s 31 points, 9 rebounds, 9 steals, Isabella Hamilton had 8 points, Rylee Canan had 7 points, 9 steals, 5 assists, Abby Fike had 7 points, Brooklyn Crickmore had 2 points, 12 rebounds and Megan Wood 2 points in the game.

Sometimes when the flow starts going negative, it seems like shots you’re hitting earlier don’t fall so we needed to pick back up our effort,” Besecker commented after the game.

Consistent effort is something Besecker is hoping to get out of his team especially with the schedule they have coming up.

Besecker was the DV Girls Southwest District Coach of the Year last season and won his 400th career game as a girls’ basketball coach earlier this year.

“We have played five games in 10 days,” Besecker said. “It will be nice to get a break for a couple days.

Bradford will take on Russia at the Covington Holiday Tournament and then have two back-to- back WOAC conference games with Preble Shawnee and Arcanum which will be big test for the program and why Besecker has stressed the importance of consistent effort.

Austy Miller split the defenders for 2 of her 31 points in a win over Lehman Catholic. (Dale Barger Photo)
Megan Wood scored two points for Bradford and gave the Railroaders some good minutes. (Dale Barger Photo)
Sophomore Brooklyn Crickmore had 8 points and 12 rebounds for the Railroaders. (Dale Barger Photo)
Abby Fike hit this triple just before the end of the first half. (Dale Barger Photo)
Isabella Hamilton had 8 points for Bradford in win over Lehman. (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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