Oh brother! Bradleys duel in Holy Family simulation special

ASHLAND, Ky. – It was a brotherly battle – maybe the only good reason for this game to be played – between Holy Family boys basketball teams from 1973 and 1981.

Call it the Bradley Bowl.

With Bill and Joe Bradley on opposite teams, the two Fighting Irish teams laced them up one more time in a simulated game.

Neither team was that memorable during their own season, but this game had some of its own Twilight Zone twists. For instance, Bill Bradley the player in 1973 was going against Bill Bradley the coach in 1981.

“Boys, make sure we shut down No. 12,” coach Bradley told his 81 Irish, referencing his number instead of himself. “I know what that guy is like and he’s a killer.”

“You mean Keller, coach?” Tom Adkins asked, referring to 73’s Miles Keller, the leading scorer.

“No, pay attention!” coach Bradley said. “I’m talking about the skinny guard. He’s money for them.”

It was that kind of weird night.

Once the game started, all bets were off. With a nicely played second quarter, the 81 Irish outlasted the 73 Irish, 67-63. David Selby, who collected 21 points and 12 rebounds, scored the last four points after the 73 Irish had pulled within 65-63 on a driving basket from Mike Stewart with 1:21 remaining.

Selby’s last basket came with 51 seconds to play but neither team scored the rest of the way.

As for the Bradley battle, it was a pretty good one. Joe outscored his big brother, 17-15 and also had five assists. Bill made all seven of his free throws and had four assists as well.

“Kudos to Joe,” said Bill Bradley the player after the game. “He got after us pretty good. Of course, it looked like he had the refs in his back pocket. I think he got about 10 fouls tonight.”

“Great effort from Joe tonight. He was clearly the best Bradley on the floor,” added Bill Bradley the coach. “He learned a lot from watching me over the years.”

Neither team played great but did enough to keep it interesting. A decisive second quarter when the 81 Irish held a 20-12 advantage proved to be the difference. Their biggest lead was 11 points but the game was tightly played.

Miles Keller scored 21 points with seven rebounds and Stewart collected 12 points and five rebounds.

John Sweeney joined Joe Bradley and Selby in double figures with 10 points.

“Nothing to write home about in this game,” said 73 coach Bill Carroll. “I hope you can find some of my better Holy Family teams for me to fantasy coach in the future.”

A matchup between 1967 and 1980 Holy Family teams is next on the docket.

Real life

Holy Family’s 1981 team finished 12-18 in coach Bill Bradley’s inaugural season. They did have some moment, including taking Ashland to overtime before losing 71-69 in the district tournament.

Holy Family’s 1973 team finished 13-17 and averaged only 49.3 points per game but allowed only 54 as coach Bill Carroll squeezed everything he could out of them. Fairview eliminated the Irish in the district.

1981 HOLY FAMILY (67) – Wittich 2-5 1-1 5, Sweeney 3-9 4-6 10, J.Bradley 8-12 1-4 17, Selby 9-16 3-4 21, Adkins 4-10 1-3 9, Henderson 1-3 1-2 3, Mureen 1-3 0-0 2. FG: 28-50. FT: 11-20. Rebounds: 32 (Wittich 2, Sweeney 3, J.Bradley 3, Selby 12, Smith 2, Adkins 6). Assists: 12 (Wittich 4, Sweeney 3, J.Bradley 5). PF: 27. Turnovers: 14.

1973 HOLY FAMILY (63) – Lynch 3-6 2-4 8, Stewart 4-4 4-6 12, Keller 7-13 7-9 21, B.Bradley 4-10 7-7 15, Layne 3-5 0-0 6, Brislin 0-3 1-3 1, Claxon 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 21-43. FT: 21-29. Rebounds: 28 (Lynch 5, Stewart 5, Keller 7, B.Bradley 5, Layne 2, Brislin 2, Claxon 2). Assists: 12 (Stewart 1, Keller 3, Bradley 4, Layne 4). PF: 20. Turnovers: 14.

1981 HOLY FAMILY      13       20       17       17         –            67

1973 HOLY FAMILY      13       12       17       21         –            63


By Mark Maynard

Managing editor of Kentucky Today, the digital newspaper of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, since July 2017. Worked 42 years for The Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky, the last 12 as managing editor and editor and the previous 30 before that in the sports department, including 17 years as sports editor. I have been in the business since 1975 with more than 75 writing awards from the Kentucky Press Association. I have also have written eight books, used to run fast but now look more like I have a piano on my back. President of Amy For Africa, a faith-based Christian ministry serving Uganda. I'm a husband to Beth and father to Stephen and Sally, grandfather to Brooks and human to Opie!

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