For The Tribune
The Brownstown Central girls used a strong finish to pull away from Paoli for a 57-39 non-conference win Saturday night on the Braves’ floor.
The Braves (2-1) held a 37-28 lead entering the fourth period, and remained on top 40-30 before Tayler Garland drove for a layup, and Ashley Schroer made a free throw, followed by a layup to boost the lead to 45-30.
The closest the Rams could get in the final four minutes was 13 points.
Brownstown had balanced scoring as Garland scored 14, Schroer and Kristen Stuckwisch added 11 each and Madison Klinge finished with 10.
The Braves made 17 field goals, including three 3-pointers, and coach Karla Rieckers said she saw improved shooting from her team.
“I thought we shot the ball better tonight,” she said. “Our field goal percentage was better than it was the first two games, so that was something we worked on, and wanted to improve on.
“Overall I didn’t think it was our best game. When we played against New Albany I thought we played much better than that.”
Rieckers said the scoring balance was a plus.
“We know we have players that can step up and knock shots down,” Rieckers said. “Shelby Stuckwisch had been in double figures the first two games and I don’t think they let her play tonight because she kept getting fouls and she said, ‘I think I can just hang my uniform up after the game.’ She didn’t think it was even sweaty.
“She didn’t break into the scoring but Kristen, Taylor, Ashley and Madison did. On any given night anybody can step up and score for us, any of our seven. It’s nice to see other people get in the scoring column, also.”
Schroer scored two baskets inside and Garland hit a 3-pointer to spark the Braves to an 11-7 lead at the end of the first period.
Garland and Klinge hit 3-pointers in the second period as the Braves increased their lead to 25-17 at the half.
Klinge scored four points and Schroer three in the third, while Garland and Kristen Stuckwisch scored 6 apiece in the fourth.
The Brownstown starters combined for 36 points, and the reserves scored 21, and Rieckers said she was pleased with the last number.
“I really thought my young kids played well,” she said. “I thought Kylee Wischmeier came in and did a nice job. Avery Koch is one of those kids that likes to beat and bang inside, and I thought she did a really nice job on (Jacolyn) Rice.
“We don’t have a lot of depth so we’re looking to try to find some of that. (Post player) Hayley Thomas is out right now (surgery). We’re going to be missing her for two weeks, so we’ve got to try and find other kids that can step in and give us some minutes.”
Rice led the Rams with 17 points and 14 rebounds as Paoli held a 32-26 advantage on the boards.
The Braves had a cold night from the line, making 20 of 35.
“That’s kind of been a nemesis for us,” Rieckers said. “Last year our free throw shooting was not good. I thought we shot free throws better against New Albany but tonight we didn’t.
“We play a lot of games in a short amount of time. New Albany Thursday, tonight, then we play Tuesday, Friday Saturday. I think there’s a stretch where we have nine games in 21 days. Some of that is a little bit of legs, and some of that is just mentality, being able to step when you need to and knock them down.”
The Braves will travel to Trinity Lutheran tomorrow night.