For The Tribune
The Brownstown Central girls basketball team clinched at least a share of the Mid-Southern Conference title by defeating Corydon Central 54-38 on Saturday afternoon.
The Braves can win the title outright by defeating Scottsburg at home Tuesday night, but coach Karla Rieckers said her team will have to improve its level of play during recent games.
Story continues below gallery
“The last two games I’ve been disappointed with our effort,” she said. “Hopefully, we get something figured out because we’ve got a very scrappy and enthusiastic Scottsburg team coming in here on Tuesday, and we’ll have to be ready.”
The Braves are 8-0 in the conference.
“We’ve talked about that,” Rieckers said. “That was a goal that the girls had. They wanted to win conference, and hopefully they want to win it outright, so hopefully we’ll be able to respond Tuesday night and play harder.”
The Braves broke a 2-2 tie and outscored the Panthers 10-2 during the final seven minutes of the first quarter.
“We had a few spurts there where I thought we played with enthusiasm, and played hard, and we had a lot of spurts where we didn’t play with intensity, and didn’t play hard. Luckily for us, the few spurts where we were playing hard got us through the ballgame,” Rieckers said.
One of those spurts she referenced came during the final 5:31 of the second quarter when Brownstown outscored Corydon Central 16-2 to take a 30-12 lead at the half.
Kasandra Rieckers started the surge with a 3-pointer at 5:31, Brooke Ebbing scored seven points, Madison Klinge scored four and Jaelyn Reynolds contributed a layup.
A rebound basket by Ebbing put the Braves up 35-17 in the third quarter before they lost some intensity, and Corydon Central went on a 10-0 run to close to 35-27 with 2:17 on the clock.
Ebbing added a layup with 42 seconds left in the third to put her team on top 37-27 going into the fourth.
The Panthers cut Brownstown’s lead to 43-36 on a 4-point play by Gracie Paden with 4:52 remaining.
The Braves then went on a 9-0 run and extended their lead to 52-36 on a free throw by Klinge with 1:30 left on the clock.
“I thought we did a better job defending in the second half,” Karla Rieckers said. “They do the screen-and-roll, and we talked about that and had that on the scouting report, and gave them wide open layups. That’s just uncharacteristic of our kids.”
Corydon Central shot 12 for 36 from the floor, while the Braves were 23 for 56.
Ebbing topped BC (18-4) with 19 points and Kasandra Rieckers was next with 10.
“We had some shots that we took from out that I thought were untimely shots, not that they weren’t shots that we want people to take, but we want to run our offense a little bit longer instead of taking one pass and a shot,” Karla Rieckers said. “If we make four or five and then take that same shot I’d be happy with that. The shot always comes back around, and I try to tell them that but sometimes they haven’t gotten the grasp for that yet.”
Hayley Rennirt topped the Panthers (2-19, 0-8 MSC) with 11 points.
The Braves held a 25-20 advantage in rebounds, with Ebbing leading her team at seven.
Karla Rieckers said she feels the Braves should have held a bigger rebound advantage.
“I felt like we gave up too many offensive boards,” she said. “They would drive in and take a shot, and they’d get a second shot or a third shot, and we just didn’t get them blocked out the way we needed to. We just weren’t as sharp as I’d like to see us.”