Despite a 10-point comeback from Class 4A Columbus East, the Brownstown Central girls basketball team was able to hold on in the waning seconds to pull out a 61-59 home victory Tuesday.
In the first quarter, East took an early 15-8 lead capped by an and-one by senior Audrey Wetzel at the 2:44 mark.
A free throw by Braves senior Morgan Wehmiller and a basket from freshman Payton Farmer narrowed the gap to 16-13 after eight minutes.
Brownstown Central sophomore Madison Klinge buried a 3-pointer to open the second quarter to tie the game, but the Olympians wouldn’t let up as they retook the lead after a layup by sophomore Kristen Lyons.
The Braves closed the half on a 7-1 run to take a 30-27 advantage.
Both teams played tough defense, as Brownstown had 14 turnovers and East amassed 11 giveaways.
The Olympains took advantage of their size early, outrebounding the home team 20-9.
Scores by Wetzel and freshman Claire Cunningham returned the lead to the Olympians with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
However, Wehmiller drained back-to-back 3s, and freshman Brooklyn Snodgrass buried a trey at 1:16 to give Brownstown a 45-35 lead at the 1:16-mark.
After three, the Braves led East 47-39.
The Olympians played with urgency in the fourth quarter, and aggressively hit the boards.
The Braves turned over the ball four times as East climbed back at 56-55 with 56 ticks on the clock.
Following a pair of made free throws, Wehmiller stole the ball on the ensuing possession and hit two more freebies with 39 seconds to put Brownstown Central up 60-55.
The Olympians got back to the line, and Wetzel hit two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, but East wouldn’t get another shot off before the buzzer.
Farmer hit both free throws at the end to seal the victory for the Braves.
East outrebounded Brownstown 38-19 on the night.
From the line, East was 15-for-25 while Brownstown went 14-for-28.
Brownstown had 20 turnovers to Easts’ 22.
Wetzel finished with 21 points for the Olympians, and Wehmiller led the Braves with 17.
“I think that we kind of pride ourselves on our defense,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “We have kids that just don’t quit and play hard. I don’t think anyone can ever fault our effort. It thought at the end of the game we got a little rattled with their press. We’re learning as we go. I’m really proud how they gutted it out and worked for it until the end.”