Braves capitalize on defense



Defense doesn’t just win championships — it pays off in the regular season, too.

Brownstown Central held Mitchell to fewer than 10 points every quarter as they came away with a 46-28 victory Thursday at home.

Both sides applied full-court pressure defense in the opening quarter, and each side struggled to maintain possession as a result.

Brownstown (4-1) turned over the ball 10 times in the first quarter, while Mitchell gave it away eight times.

A basket from Madison Klinge on the opening possession and a 3-pointer from fellow junior Kristen Stuckwisch put the Braves up 5-1 by the 5:54 mark.

Scores from the Bluejackets’ Macy Robbins and Bethany Hudson knotted the game at 5-5, and the teams would tie again at 7-7 before Klinge and freshman Ashley Scorer nailed back-to-back baskets to give the Braves an 11-7 lead after eight minutes.

Sophomore Tayler Garland sank a 3-pointer, as the Braves led 14-9 with 5:12 in the half.

The Braves held the Bluejackets to just two baskets — both from Jasmine Blais — and three free throws in the second quarter as they were up 21-14.

Some halftime adjustments on defense paid dividends for the Braves.

“We switched to a 2-3 zone because we didn’t think they had a lot of strong outside shooters,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “We knew they had a couple (shooters), but we wanted to switch it up a little bit. We’ve played a lot of games in a short amount of time, and I think our legs started to give a little bit. I was proud of how they came out and applied defensive pressure to start the third quarter.”

After intermission, the Braves went on a 7-0 run to go up 28-14 with 3:02 left in the third quarter.

After a 3-pointer by Robbins, the Braves went on a 6-0 scoring string, and they led 34-20 after 24 minutes of play.

Schroer opened the fourth quarter with an and-one under the basket, and Jaynes followed with a mid-range jumpshot, as Brownstown built a 39-20 advantage with 3:14 left in the game.

The Braves emptied their bench as they ran with the win.

Nine different Brownstown players scored on the night, led by 10 from Schroer, while Kristen Stuckwisch chipped in eight, and Jaynes added seven.

Robbins topped the Bluejackets’ scoring with 10.

On the boards, the Braves dominated 37-20. Junior Shelby Stuckwisch grabbed seven, while freshman Keeli Darlage pulled down six off the bench for the Braves.

The turnover battle went to the Braves 25-26.

“We’re young. If we keep working hard, good things will happen,” Rieckers said. “We told the girls that we need to just keep improving. The thing I like about this team is we’re really deep, and if we sub out, we’re not losing a lot. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort they’re giving us in practice and at games.”

On Saturday, Brownstown Central will host Henryville.

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