Limiting New Washington to three points in the first quarter, the Brownstown Central girls basketball used opportunistic defense to take control out of the gates.
The Braves forced the Mustangs into 25 turnovers as they came away with a 55-24 victory.
In the first quarter, Haley Tye hit a 3-pointer to give the Mustangs their lone lead in the contest at 3-2 with 7:39 on the clock.
The Braves then got hot from the field, going on a 19-0 run to close the opening eight minutes of play.
Off the bench, Shelby Stuckwisch led the Braves’ attack with eight points — behind two 3-pointers.
Up 23-4 with 4:31 in the second quarter, Brownstown Central stole the ball four consecutive times and converted the turnovers into layups for a 31-4 advantage at the 2:06-mark.
“We’re kind of running a match-up zone, where we used to primarily run a man-to-man defense,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “With our size disadvantage we have toyed with the zone.
“We kind of had gotten away from (transition scoring) a little bit with our defense and that’s what we wanted to work on. We ran the (zone) defense against Jennings County and it worked in the first half against them, there’s just a few things to tweak to get it where we want to be.”
The Mustangs gave up nine turnovers in the second.
Tye remained the sole scorer for the Mustangs, with all of her team’s points, as the team trailed Brownstown 39-7 at intermission.
Both teams came out of the half flat, until Brownstown freshman Payton Farmer opened the lid off the basket to go up 41-7 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
Farmer would add a pair of free throws, and Tayler Garland had a field goal to total the Braves’ scoring in the quarter.
While they scored just six in the third, the Braves held the Mustangs to four points.
Tye rediscovered her offensive rhythm in the fourth, scoring all of New Washington’s points on a 10-2 run with 4:11 left in the game, but the Mustangs had buried too deep of a hole.
“I gave them a couple goals at halftime with goals and assists, and we didn’t reach those,” Rieckers said. “I thought we were a little stale in the second half. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated in a situation like that.”
Nine different Braves scored on the evening.
Farmer led Brownstown with 17 points, Morgan Wehmiller had 11, and Shelby Stuckwisch chipped-in eight.
Sophomore Kristen Stuckwisch led the battle of the boards with 10 rebounds, as the Braves outrebounded the Mustangs 36-17.
Tye finished with 20 of the Mustangs’ 24 total points.
Brownstown Central (11-11) will host Brown County on Saturday.