In a wild fourth quarter — with seven lead changes — the team that would buckle down on defense as the final ticks on the clock diminished would punch a ticket to the Class 3A Sectional 31 semifinals.
In the final 13 seconds of the game, trailing by one, the Brownstown Central girls basketball team got two shots up before the final buzzer.
To the Braves’ dismay, the first attempt was blocked and the second rattled off the rim as Charlestown held on for a 47-46 win.
In the first quarter, neither team could find much offensive rhythm as the teams stayed knotted at 7-7 after eight minutes.
Brownstown sophomore Shelby Stuckwisch provided the bulk of the Braves’ scoring with five points off the bench.
In the second quarter, Braves sophomore Grace Jaynes caught fire from the field.
From 3:12 to 36 seconds on the scoreboard, Jaynes scored 10-straight points for Brownstown off jump shots near the free throw line.
The 10-4 run gave the Braves a 25-20 advantage at intermission.
Brownstown coach Karla Rieckers said that they ran the same play over and again to get Jaynes open looks.
“We were trying to overload one side, flash someone through and have Grace flash second,” she said. “(Jaynes) was open from the free throw line, and she’s a good shooter from there. We couldn’t quite get into that rhythm in the second half like we wanted to, but it was a really good effort by our team.”
Both teams turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, as Brownstown and Charlestown each applied press defenses.
The Pirates went on a 7-2 run to open the third quarter, led by a 3-pointer by senior Lexi Logsdon, to tie the game at 27-27 by the 3:25-mark.
Two free throws by Braves freshman Payton Farmer, a basket by sophomore Kristen Stuckwisch and split freebies from Jaynes put Brownstown up 34-33 after 24 minutes of play.
The teams had their back-and-forth affair in the fourth quarter until Jaynes knocked-down a 10-foot jumper to give the Braves a 46-45 lead with 45 seconds left.
Pirates freshman Sam Matthews collected an offensive rebound and converted a shot attempt under the rim to tally the final points of the game prior to the Braves’ shot attempts.
Bri Harvey scored nine points in the final eight minutes for the Pirates, going 4-for-6 from the free throw line, and finished with 14 on the game.
Logsdon led the Pirates with 15 points.
Jaynes topped the Braves’ scoring with 17 points and Farmer tallied 10.
“They got to the free throw line a little more than we did (in the fourth quarter),” Rieckers said. “We never really got in the bonus to get to the line. Part of that is we need to drive and attack to draw the foul.”
“For the most part I think we battled with them. Earlier in the season it was a 20-points loss. I thought the girls all executed the gameplan that we had.”
Charlestown out-rebounded BCHS 28-25, and the Braves were led by nine boards from Farmer and eight by Kristen Stuckwisch.
Morgan Wehmiller represented the lone senior for the Braves for 2015-16.
“(Wehmiller) is a very good outside shooter for us even though she didn’t shoot particularly well tonight,” Rieckers said. “She knocked down a lot of (3-pointers) for us during the season. We’re going to miss that and will need someone to step into that role next year.”
The Braves (12-13) will return 11 of their 12 roster spots next season.
“They’re young and have improved,” Rieckers said. “I said that if we could take the last 20 seconds back and reboot, we could have done a couple different things. We need to have patience to get a good shot or get fouled and get to the free throw line. I’m proud of their effort and we will work towards next season.”
Charlestown will face North Harrison on Friday.