Staying alive: Braves advance to Sectional 30 semis with win over hosts



In the second match-up of the 2018-19 season between the two programs, the game came down to the final few possessions: just like the first meeting.

Brownstown Central jumped to an early lead, and held off a late Charlestown comeback, for a 56-50 Class 3A Sectional 30 quarterfinals win Tuesday.

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The Braves (15-8) will play Scottsburg (17-6) in the semifinals Friday at 6 p.m. at CHS.

A pair of 3-pointers by Tayler Garland, and basket by Ashley Schroer, made the score 8-6 Braves four minutes into the game.

After tying the score three times, Payton Farmer converted an and-one to put the Braves up 16-13 with 55 ticks on the clock.

Samantha Matthews answered with a 3-pointer for the Pirates (14-10), as the teams deadlocked at 16 going into the second quarter.

After exchanging 3-pointers to start the second, the Braves went on a 9-2 run to lead 33-21 with 59 seconds left in the half.

At intermission, after split free throws by Matthews, the Braves led 33-22.

Brownstown made six 3-pointers in the first half, with Garland hitting four to lead the team with 12 points. After scoring nine points in the first quarter, the Braves limited Matthews to three points in the second.

The Braves shot 11-for-20 (6-for-9 3-point) in the first half to the Pirates’ 7-for-23 (3-for-9 3-point) in the first 16 minutes.

The Braves’ Katherine Benter hit two 3-pointers to open the second half, but the Pirates answered with three treys, including two by Jacqueline Biscardi.

Going into the final eight minutes of play, the Braves led 44-37.

The Pirates caught fire in the fourth quarter.

In the first four minutes of the period, the Pirates went on a 9-3 run — on eight points by Biscardi — to pull within one at 47-46.

Halle Hehman hit a 3-pointer, with three minutes left, pushing the Braves’ lead to four until another basket by Biscardi made it 40-38 with 1:01 remaining.

Garland hit a pair of free throws to put the Braves up 52-48, but a bucket by Matthews brought it back to a one possession game with 34 ticks left.

In the final 19 seconds of the game, Benter, a sophomore, made all four of her free throw attempts while the Braves buckled in on defense.

Benter led the Braves with 19 points. She shot 5-for-10 from the field while making all six of her free throw attempts.

“Katherine is a heck of a competitor,” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “You can tell she’s a coach’s kid. She wants to win, and will do what it takes to win. At the end, I wanted the ball in our best shooter’s hands, and Katherine leads the team right now in free throw percentage. It’s always nice to see a sophomore do that.”

Garland scored 17 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field. From beyond the arc, Garland went 5-for-8.

“Tayler is a kid that we know can do that. She can knock down those shots,” Rieckers said. “It’s nice to see her have the confidence to do that. When I took her out of the North Harrison (final regular season) game, I told her we’re not done yet. Tayler was big tonight for us.”

Matthews topped the Pirates with 20 points and Biscardi totaled 18.

Overall, the Braves were 17-for-39 shooting while the Pirates finished 17-for-43.

BCHS made 10 total 3-pointers and the Pirates hit eight.

“I thought we were patient on offense,” Rieckers said. “Sometimes, we try to hurry and take the first shot. I always tell hem that the shot will come back around. We wanted to make them play defense for more than 10 seconds. Some teams don’t like to play defense, and if we make them play for a longer period of time, we’re going to get more looks like we want.”

On the boards, the Pirates outrebounded the Braves 28-24. The Braves had nine turnovers to the Pirates’ 12.

“Overall, I can’t say enough about our kids tonight,” Rieckers said. “I think everyone did their job.”

In the regular season, Scottsburg beat Brownstown 58-56 in overtime at BCHS.

“I haven’t really watched film yet (on Scottsburg),” Rieckers said. “I always take it one game at a time. It’s really nice we don’t have school (today), so I can go watch film and stuff like that. Scottsburg is a little similar to Charlestown. They have a nice group of five that they play. We have to be ready and try to stop the drive on them as well. We were ahead in that game, and then they came out and had a big fourth quarter.”

In the second game on Tuesday, Class 3A No. 2 Salem defeated Corydon Central 54-39. The Lions will play Silver Creek in the late game on Friday.

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