Riding a four-game winning streak heading into their Mid-Southern Conference matchup at Brownstown Central on Friday, Charlestown wouldn’t be denied.
The Braves struggled to find their offensive rhythm until the fourth quarter, but it was too late as they fell 61-40.
In the first quarter, the Pirates took an early 5-0 lead behind a 3-pointer by senior Bethany Hall and basket from sophomore Gabi Gagnon.
Brownstown responded with scores from sophomores Madison Klinge and Shelby Stuckwisch, but the Braves trailed 5-3 with 3:42 on the clock.
Down 9-6, Klinge dropped a 3-pointer to tie the game with 19 seconds left in the first.
However, right before the buzzer, Charlestown freshman Samantha Matthews stole the ball and converted a layup to give the Pirates an 11-9 lead after eight minutes.
The teams battled back-and-forth through the start of the second quarter, but in the final 90 seconds the Pirates went on a 6-0 run for a 23-16 advantage at halftime.
After the half, Matthews made her presence felt in the post by converting two and-one opportunities and adding a basket for a 35-18 lead at the 4:10-mark.
Brownstown made four of six free throws after the stretch to trail 35-22 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Braves senior Morgan Wehmiller narrowed the deficit to 38-25 after 24 minutes of play.
Charlestown went on a 16-5 run to start the fourth quarter and never looked back for the win.
Wehmiller and Klinge each finished with 10 points to lead Brownstown.
Matthews amassed 18 points to top the Pirates’ scoring and Lexi Logsdon added 15.
“Matthews is a good player for them and she’s going to be aggressive,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “She set the pace of the game. We were getting beat back on defense and we can’t do that. We just need to make sure we keep working and talk more.”
The Pirates outrebounded the Braves 32-23 in the contest, behind nine rebounds from Bri Harvey and eight from Matthews. Shelby Stuckwisch led Brownstown with six boards.
“I thought today it was more of just us not making shots,” Rieckers said of the lack of offense. “We had some good open looks and the ball just wouldn’t go through the basket today. Sometimes you have days like that.”