Brownstown Central head coach Brandon Allman admits he was mad at himself in the locker room at halftime during Saturday’s afternoon matchup against Charlestown.
The Braves suffered a 43-36 loss, and the Pirates laid a lot of the groundwork for that victory in the first half.
Brownstown usually plays a man-to-man defense, but Allman decided to throw a zone at Charlestown to start the game.
The Pirates were able to have their way offensively in the first half. Laney Hawkins and Maddie Nipper each hit a couple 3-pointers, and Kennedy Coleman hit some routine jumpers in the middle of the zone to stretch the lead out to 15-9 after the first quarter.
Charlestown also dominated on the glass in the first half and took a 28-16 lead into halftime.
“I’ll take the blame on this,” Allman said. “We saw them on film and saw they struggled with zone a bit, so we wanted to come out with a different look. Our zone just wasn’t very good.”
The second half, however, was a different story.
The Braves’ man-to-man defense became stingy, and they started to really take advantage of Charlestown’s “switch everything” defensive scheme by using some back cuts to get some easy looks.
An Emma Klinge 3-pointer reeled the lead to single digits at 30-21, and that’s when the Braves made their run.
Charlestown only scored four points in the third quarter, and Brownstown clawed back into the game, only trailing by five, 32-27, heading into the fourth quarter.
“I think defensively, we got a lot of stops,” Allman said. “I think my assistant coach told me we once got eight stops in a row. We were able to capitalize today. We were more patient, and we were understanding how to slip. Our girls were also just making plays. We had some girls really step up and make some plays when we needed them.”
The Braves started the final frame on a 5-0 run, and a 3-pointer from Maddy Hackman tied the game at 32.
The two teams slugged it out down the stretch. With the game tied at 34, Brownstown had a couple offensive trips where they missed some layups that could’ve scored them their first lead of the game.
Instead, Tatum McFarland hit a big 3-pointer off an offensive rebound for Charlestown, and Brownstown was running out of time to take the lead.
“Really tough,” Allman said. “You get yourself in the right places, and then you miss two layups. After we missed the second one, they get an offensive rebound and kick-out three, and those are daggers.”
The Braves had to resort to the foul game, but Charlestown made 7-of-8 free throws with McFarland making all six of her attempts.
The Pirates were able to hold off the Braves just enough to escape The Pit with a victory.
This was the second loss for Brownstown this week where it came down to the final couple possessions. But the Braves have also won their fair share of tight games, as well.
“These are the type of games that make you better and prepare you for the sectional,” Allman said. “I think our girls are learning a lot and learning how to succeed in these situations.”
Hackman led the Braves in scoring with 17 points, Klinge scored seven, Kalee Borden had six, Hannah Stahl four and Jenna Klosterman two.
Brownstown is now 9-10 on the season and will next play on Thursday at Greensburg.
“We’ve got to remain positive,” Allman said. “We’re getting more and more confidence. I think we’re a scary basketball team. People are going to look at our record, 9-10, but we’re getting better every day.”