In its home-opener, Brownstown Central’s girls basketball team got into a dogfight.
Despite a strong opening 24 minutes, New Albany outscored the Braves 20-14 in the fourth en route to a 50-46 win on Thursday.
In the first quarter, the Bulldogs (2-1) committed eight fouls while the Braves (1-1) gave up as many turnovers.
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BC held a 4-0 lead on a basket and free throws by Payton Farmer before the Bulldogs scored five straight.
The Bulldogs committed their sixth foul by the 2:47-mark while maintaining the one point lead.
Following a 3-pointer by the Bulldogs’ Ally Willis, Farmer got a layup to fall right before the buzzer.
After eight minutes, the Braves trailed 13-11.
Brownstown’s defense stifled the Bulldogs in the second quarter.
The Braves limited the Bulldogs to just four points before halftime, which included just one field goal.
Shelby Stuckwisch hit back-to-back 3-pointers on the Braves’ first two possessions to put the team up 17-13.
Tayler Garland nailed a trey and Farmer scored off an offensive rebound in the final 1:17, and the Braves led 23-17 at the break.
While the Braves held a 21-7 rebound margin at half, they gave 12 turnovers to the Bulldogs’ four giveaways.
Three straight baskets by the Bulldogs, aided by three BC turnovers, tied the game at 23-23 with 5:28 in the third quarter.
The teams stayed within two points until the Braves scored five straight from the free throw line to lead 32-27 with 24.7 seconds on the clock.
Devon Hunter’s basket cut the Bulldogs’ deficit to three points going into the fourth quarter.
Heading into the final eight minutes, the Bulldogs had racked up seven fouls.
While the Braves were able to get into the double bonus quickly, they struggled to hit their free throws.
The Bulldogs took advantage, and would chip away until a basket by Savanna Pinkston and free throws by Julyen Condra put the away team up 45-43 with 1:14 left in the game.
On the ensuing possession, Condra stole the ball at mid-court and scored a layup to put the Bulldogs up four.
The Braves made 3 of 5 free throws and the Bulldogs made 2 of 6 in the final 40 seconds.
“I felt like, for a little while, we quit attacking the basket,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “I feel like we’re a better team when we push the ball. We didn’t take advantage of some things we should have, but that comes with a little more experience.”
The Braves went 9-for-15 in the fourth quarter, and would finish 20-for-30 for the game.
Farmer led the Braves with 18 points and Condra and Pinkston topped the Bulldogs with 12 each.
The Braves, who were out-matched in size at nearly every position, won the rebounding battle 31-24. Six-foot-2 center Kelsy Taylor, of New Albany, led all rebounders with 12.
“I thought Payton did a great job for us tonight,” Rieckers said. “Ashley Schorer went home (sick) last night from practice, and missed some school (Thursday). She played through being sick. I thought we battled. I thought we competed the whole time. We will go back and watch film of the fourth quarter. I was really proud of their effort..
Brownstown will host Paoli on Saturday.