Coach Karla Rieckers said her Brownstown Central girls basketball team needs to be physically and mentally ready to play from the start of a game, and when it is not ready to perform 100 percent it will get results like Tuesday’s game against Madison.
“I told the girls I thought we got out-hustled, outrebounded, and we got outplayed,” Rieckers said following the 58-48 loss.
“Before the game we talked about our stats. If we go back to the beginning of the season we were in double figures in steals and deflections,” she said. “If you look at our recent games we haven’t been that way. That comes as a direct result of our defense.
“We have to play hard. While I think we’re making some steps in the right direction, they beat us with some wide open drives tonight. We can’t let that happen. We were a step slow. Hopefully we can come back and right the ship.”
The Braves held a 6-4 lead two minutes into the game before the Cubs went on a 15-6 run to lead 19-10 at the end of the period.
Payton Farmer had a hot hand for the Braves with six points in the first period, and she added two baskets in the second quarter, but Brownstown made only 3 of 11 shots in the quarter as Madison held a 23-16 lead at the half.
The Cubs shot only 2 for 13 in the period.
Morgan Wehmiller, who did not score in the first half, made two 3-pointers in the first 1:23 of the third quarter to make it a 23-22 game and that forced Madison coach Rich Bagienski to call a time out.
“We made a good run, but then we started standing around, thinking we couldn’t win or something, I really don’t know what happened,” Rieckers said. “I was glad we made a run, but we needed to try and sustain that.”
The Braves lost their momentum as the Cubs went on a 9-0 run to take a 32-22 lead. After Farmer scored a basket at the 4-minute mark, the Cubs built their lead to 38-24 and took a 40-32 lead into the fourth period.
The closest the Braves got in the final period was 50-44 on a layup by Farmer with 3:50 remaining.
Whenever the Braves would cut into Madison’s lead, either Katie Hartman, Delaney Liter or Sage Sproles would come up with a basket.
Sproles and Liter scored 16 points each and Hartman 14.
“Madison is a nice team, but I still am disappointed with our play,” Rieckers said. “We did some good things offensively, but defensively I thought we broke down. I thought we gave them second-chance points. We focused on trying to be one-and-done and we didn’t do that.”
Farmer topped the Braves (10-8) with 14 points and Wehmiller added 12, on four 3-pointers all in the third quarter.
Two other things that hurt the Braves were rebounds and free throws. Madison held a 33-20 advantage in rebounds, and the Cubs (9-7) made 20 of 25 free throws to 5-for-10 for the Braves.
“When your opponent shoots more than twice as many free throws as you that’s never going to be a good outcome,” Rieckers said.
Grace Jaynes was high rebounder for the Braves with six.
“I thought Taylor Garland came in and played a really nice game (six points), and I thought Emma Zabor came in and did well (four points) while she was out there,” Rieckers said.
“We like to play a lot of kids, and we’ve got some kids that are kind of struggling right now. We need to get over that hump and get our confidence back.”