Brownstown girls ready for sectional play


The Brownstown girls basketball team is playing some of its best basketball of the season, and it’s taking place at the right time.

The Braves have won four of their last five games as they head into sectional play, which begins tonight against Owen Valley at Northview High School, slated for a 7 p.m. tip.

Northview is quite a drive from Brownstown on a school night, so head coach Brandon Allman and the team got on a bus this past Saturday and did a mock drive to test out how it felt.

“I think going through a two-hour, 10-minunte bus drive and just get a feel for that length was good,” Allman said. “It’s a new facility, so just the girls getting used to the rims and the background. That’s definitely beneficial.”

The team plans to break up the drive into one hour segments and stop halfway there to grab food and get out and stretch.

In terms of the game itself, this is an Owen Valley team that Brownstown has not yet seen this year. The Patriots have a 10-14 record and are led by 6-foot junior forward Reagan Martin.

“They got a great player,” Allman said. “She’s averaging 19 points per game and almost nine rebounds per game. She’s definitely going to be a handful for us, so first and foremost, we’re definitely going to have to limit her.”

Allman said the Patriots run a lot of different motion on offense, and defensively, he expects to see a little bit of both man-to-man and zone.

“We gotta be ready for a little bit of everything,” Allman said.

Brownstown finished the regular season with a 13-11 record. Maddy Hackman led the Braves in scoring with 15.6 points per game. Kalee Borden scored 7.5 ppg, Emma Klinge scored 7.0, Hannah Stahl scored 6.9 and Andrea Bair averaged 3.7 to round out the starting five.

Stahl became more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball down the home stretch of this season. The Braves also got key minutes from players off the bench, such as Addie Shelton and Jenna and Mallory Klosterman.

“She (Stahl) continued to do that again on Thursday night at North Harrison, but we’ve been getting contributions from our other role players as well, which is nice,” Allman said. “We’re really going to need our role players to have a big influence tonight.”

Defense has been the Braves’ calling card all season. Back on Dec. 18, Brownstown held Silver Creek, the No. 4 team in Class 3A, to its lowest point total of the year at 38 points.

The Braves almost won that game at home, losing 38-35, but it was a game that was the turning point for the Braves. After that loss, Brownstown closed the season with a 9-3 record.

“I think we’re definitely playing some of our best basketball all season,” Allman said.

Allman isn’t the only one believing that either. He said it’s been nice to have basketball minds outside the program compliment how much the team has improved from the start of the season.

“Sometimes us coaches can be blinded because we see them every single day,” Allman said. “It’s really nice to have several basketball-minded people around our community tell us they’ve seen huge improvement. Winning four out of five, hopefully confidence-wise for the girls, our confidence is where it needs to be.”

The Braves have an experienced group with all five starters being upperclassmen, and Allman has leaned on that in the preparation process leading up to tonight.

“Emma Klinge, who’s been down this road before and started in three-straight sectionals for us, just being positive and being someone the other girls can lean on for advice,” Allman said. “The same goes for Maddy Hackman. She’s only a junior, but being there for three years, seeing some of the highs and lows of the tournament, that’s just definitely beneficial for the other girls.”

The winner of Brownstown and Owen Valley will play West Vigo, who received a first-round bye, on Friday at 6 p.m.

Brown County, Northview, Edgewood and South Vermillion are all on the other side of the bracket. The championship game is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m.

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