In the thick of conference play, on a five-game losing streak, Brownstown Central’s girls basketball team needed to find a way to win.
The Braves outlasted Austin in a defensive battle Saturday to earn a 36-32 Mid-Southern Conference — their first of the 2016-17 season — victory.
In the first quarter, the Braves’ offense faltered as they fell behind 13-7.
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The second quarter provided the least amount of offense in the game, with the Braves totaling four points while the Eagles (5-2, 2-2 MSC) scored six.
At intermission, the Eagles led 19-11.
In the second half, the Braves outscored the Eagles 25-13.
“Some of our second half starts haven’t been what we’ve wanted them to be, so we switched it up to a 2-2-1 zone defense,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “We weren’t trying to cause turnovers, but to slow them down a little bit and get them out of their game. We then fell back from a 2-2-1 to man. I thought we started the second half more prepared to play.”
A 3-pointer by Brownstown’s Tayler Garland started the third quarter, while baskets by Madison Klinge and Kristen Stuckwisch brought the deficit to 23-18 with 1:42 on the clock.
Following split free throws by Klinge, the Braves got their turning point in the contest.
Austin burned nearly 40 seconds off the clock attempting to take the last shot before the start of the fourth quarter, but the Braves forced the Eagles to throw the ball out of bounds at half court.
Brownstown Central worked the ball inside-out, with eight seconds to work with, and Ashley Schroer hit a 3-pointer in the corner at the buzzer as the Braves trailed 23-22.
A basket by Keeli Darlage tied the game before a layup from Jaynes gave the Braves the lead at 26-24 with 5:35 left in the game.
The Eagles’ MacKenzie Norton then answered with a 3-pointer.
A basket through contact, and two free throws, by Ashley Schroer put the Braves up 32-27 with 40 seconds left.
Austin continued to battle down the stretch, with Akaya Walker draining a 3-pointer to make it 34-32 Braves with 13 seconds.
With eight seconds, Stuckwisch took a charge which lead to free throws by Garland for the win.
With the win, the Braves are back at .500 at 6-6 (1-3 MSC).
“Sometimes when you lose a few games in a row your confidence falters,” Rieckers said. “I was really happy with the girls’ effort today. Today was all about how hard they played.”
Schroer led the Braves with nine points while Stuckwisch, Jaynes and Klinge each scored six.
Walker and Addison Brasher topped the Eagles’ scoring with eight points each.
On the boards, Austin edged the Braves 18-17.
BC turned the ball over 12 times to Austin’s 17 giveaways.
The Braves will play three-straight road games at Clarksville, Silver Creek and Madison before playing in the Toby Yoho Classic at Eastern Green on Dec. 26.