If Monday night's opening round game of the Class 2A Regional was considered a game of Monopoly for the Eldorado girls' basketball team, their 21 first quarter points were their Get Out Of Jail Free Card.
Second half struggles stymied the Eagles, but thanks in part to a powerful first half they were able to knock of Carmi-White County 51-37 at Hamilton County High School Monday night.
Eldorado forced Carmi-White County into five first quarter turnovers, while building a quick 11-2 lead on the strength of two 3-pointers by Ashton Unthank and Kourtney Phillips.
Eldorado closed out the first quarter shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul stripe as they held the Bulldogs to 2-of-6 shooting and 4-of-6 shooting from the free throw line in building a 21-8 lead.
That was the good news for the Eagles.
From that point on, the tale of the tape was dramatically even from each quarter on.
Both clubs scored 13 second quarter points as Eldorado took a 34-21 lead into the locker room.
The Bulldogs toyed with making a rally in the third quarter when Emma Bachman's cut Eldorado's lead to eight, 36-28 on a jumper with 2:13 to play.
From there, the Eagles employed a give-and-go concept, working the ball down low and feeding it back to a driving Unthank who had four points during the last two minutes and finished with 15 in the game.
With three previous victories against Carmi-White County this season, Bradley felt like a fourth game with the Bulldogs might give his team a false sense of security.
"I think we thought Carmi was just going to quit. We've played them three other times, tonight was our fourth and each time we've jumped out on them early and they have just kind of quit.
"We talked about this being being the regional and they're not going to quit, they are going to try and fight back. They did a good job of fighting back, we were just fortunate that we were able to build that lead early and hang on."
Eldorado won the turnover battle, forcing Carmi-White County into 14 miscues, while committing just six themselves. However, on the boards, Eldorado was consistently beat on second chance opportunities, where the Bulldogs outrebounded the Eagles 33-27 with Carmi's Briley Attebury pulling down 13.
As for why he felt his team went stagnate in the second half, Bradley believes its more about confidence than anything else.
"We have some girls that are struggling with their shots and it's really messed with their confidence and they're not looking to attack the same way. We're telling them that they have to shoot, they have to shoot, they have to shoot, hopefully before Wednesday night we can get a little more confidence back."
Page 2 of 2 - Jacquelyn Artman came off the bench for Eldorado to provide a much needed spark, especially in the second quarter where 10 of her 12 points came.
Erica Graczyk and Taylor Goodley each netted nine points, while Kourtney Phillips scored six.
Eldorado finished 16-of-44 from the field in the game and went 17-of-24 from the foul line.
The Eagles advanced to play No. 2 seeded Harrisburg Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. It will be the third meeting between the two cross-county rivals with Harrisburg winning the last two.
Bradley is hoping the third time isn't the charm.
"We matchup well with their guards, but they have Shelby Boer on the inside that has killed us both times we played them," he said. "Hopefully we can do a better job of controlling and containing her."
Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.
IHSA Class 2A Regional
(4) Hamilton County 64, (5) Fairfield 38
(3) Eldorado 51, (6) Carmi-White County 38
(1) Mt. Carmel vs. Hamilton County 6 p.m.
(2) Harrisburg vs. Eldorado 7:30 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.