It wasn’t the season-opening outing coach Karla Rieckers and the Brownstown Central girls basketball team were expecting.
The Braves were without senior center Kaley Wilkerson and played inexperienced varsity players throughout Friday's game, while Mitchell, playing its third game of the season, was sparked early by junior Mia Burton. The Bluejackets improved to 2-1 with a 67-53 victory.
Burton scored 12 of her team’s 17 first-quarter points and then made two more baskets and two free throws in the second quarter to give her team leads of 17-10 after one quarter and 35-28 at halftime. She finished with a game-high 25 points.
“I think part of the difference is they’ve already played two games, and we haven’t played a game,” Rieckers said. “Burton is an exceptional player. There’s no doubt about that. She made shots when somebody had a hand in her face and made one-handed shots. She led her team tonight. She did what she needed to do.
“I thought we battled back. We didn’t give up, and I was proud of that effort,” she said. “But we’re really young. When you look out there at one time, there’s four sophomores and one senior. When I talk about being young, we’re young with kids that haven’t really had varsity experience.
“We just need to be patient because we’re going to get there. We have the kids, but it’s going to take some time for those sophomores to step into their roles.”
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