In the postseason, outcomes often are determined by the team with the strongest finish.
For Brownstown Central’s girls basketball team, a late surge kept its hopes of claiming the Sectional 30 title alive Wednesday with a 53-46 victory against Scottsburg.
Brownstown (15-10) outscored Scottsburg 19-10 in the final eight minutes of play to punch a ticket to Friday night’s sectional semifinals at Corydon Central High School. At 7:30 p.m., the Braves will play Charlestown, a 55-51 winner over Salem in Wednesday’s other game.
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The Braves took an early 4-2 advantage off baskets from Madison Klinge and Kristen Stuckwisch, but the Warriorettes (13-11) responded with a 7-0 run, led by an and-one from Jayla Mays to go up 9-4 with 2:46 in the first quarter.
The teams traded baskets three times before the buzzer, and the Warriorettes built a 15-12 lead.
Brownstown scored nine unanswered points from the 4:50 to 2:00 mark to go up 23-19. Brooklyn Snodgrass scored three points off the bench in the stretch.
While the Warriorettes answered with a 7-0 scoring streak, Tayler Garland hit a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc with five seconds left to tie the game at 26 going into the break.
After not committing a turnover in the first eight minutes, the Warriorettes coughed up the ball four times in the second quarter.
Ashley Schroer scored five consecutive points to put the Braves up 34-30 with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
In the final 3:31 of the third, the Warriorettes scored seven unanswered points to take a 36-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Warriorettes held the lead until Snodgrass converted an and-one after grabbing an offensive rebound to put Brownstown up 43-42 with 3:31 remaining.
Grace Jaynes hit back-to-back baskets and Payton Farmer added a layup to extend the Braves’ lead to 49-44 with 51 seconds left.
Snodgrass got another basket to fall and sank one of two free throws to put the Braves up 52-46 with 17.6 seconds left.
“I thought we made really smart decisions,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said of the fourth-quarter play. “I thought that our defense was excellent. We wanted to make sure they were one-and-done. We didn’t want them to get second and third chances on their shots. We broke down their zone fairly decent and were able to get the ball in the basket.”
Farmer made a free throw, and the Braves emptied their bench before time expired.
Schroer led the Braves with 14 points, Snodgrass added 10 and Farmer totaled nine.
Mays topped the Warriorettes with 11 points, and Paige Barrett had eight.
Rieckers said the Braves did a good job containing Barrett, the Warriorettes’ best offensive player, during the game.
“(Barrett) is a heck of a ball player,” Rieckers said. “I thought Kristen did an excellent job on her. Our help side was really sagging to also help and did a nice job.”
On the boards, the Braves outrebounded the Warriorettes 26-20, led by seven from Schroer.
Brownstown turned the ball over 13 times to the Warriorettes’ nine giveaways.
Before the Braves and Pirates tip off Friday night, Class 3A No. 1 North Harrison and Corydon will square off at 6 p.m. in the other semifinal game for a chance to advance to the championship.
“We need to keep attacking the basket,” Rieckers said. “Our defense has been good for most of the season. We’ve had trouble putting the ball in the basket, but tonight, I was glad to see us attacking the basket and finishing in the post. We need to take care of the basketball and take care of business.”
Should the Braves win in the semis, they would play in the championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.