Braves grind out sectional victory over Providence

AUSTIN — Survive and advance.

Both head coach Brandon Allman and senior Kalee Borden said those words after Brownstown Central edged Providence 30-28 in the Austin Class 2A girls basketball sectional Friday night.

Maddy Hackman made the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity with 16.4 seconds remaining to give the Braves the 30-28 lead.

She missed her second free throw and the ball was knocked out of bounds and was awarded to Providence.

Pioneer Addison Smith received the inbounds pass and drove to the basket, but her shot bounced off the rim as time expired and the Braves began to think about tonight’s 7 p.m. championship game against Austin/Southwestern.

A basket by Molly Richards with 4:30 remaining gave the Pioneers their final lead at 28-27. Borden scored one minute later to put the Braves back in the lead at 29-28.

“Our defense was huge,” Allman said. “We started out in a man, and we got some stops early. But, I felt like they were taking a lot of time off the clock, just doing a lot of weave action, so we went to our trap to try and speed them up, and I think we were able to do that.”

The Braves suffered their worst opening quarter of the season. Hackman’s basket with just under six minutes left in the period gave the Braves a 2-0 lead, but that would be their only points of the quarter as they shot 1-for-11 and trailed 5-2 going into the second.

The Braves had five of their 19 turnovers in the first period and Allman said, “I attribute a lot of that to nerves. One of the things that worried me about having the bye was not being able to get into a rhythm the first time playing in this gym. It’s a tough gym to play in. It’s a really tough-shooting gym. I think we’ve seen that all the tournament, and even when the boys play here.”

A 3-pointer by Hackman at the 7:15 mark of the second period tied the score at 5-5 before Borden hit two free throws and a basket, and Jenna Klosterman added a 3-pointer to leave the Braves trailing 13-12 at the break.

Borden converted another 3-point play early in the third period to put the Braves in the lead, and Hackman drove for a layup with two seconds left in the third to put her team on top 23-21.

Borden said, “I think in the second half it was just us getting the stops and us not turning the ball over as much.

“It’s always just getting comfortable. We came in at halftime and we were all just like, ‘Okay, we got our bad half of basketball, now it’s time to pick it up.’

“We switched up to a ‘12’ defense which worked out best because we got a lot of turnovers from that and Kelsey Schneider and Sophie Wischmeier and all the girls that were on top, they came in with tons of energy and gave us lots of turnovers, and lots of fast breaks so that was nice.”

Providence held an 11-9 advantage in rebounds at the half. Allman said, “They had six offensive rebounds that hurt us in the first half. We held them to two in the second half.”

The Braves held a 27-18 advantage in rebounds for the game with Borden grabbing nine.

“Probably the biggest part of the game was our rebounding in the second half,” Allman said. “I thought we dominated the rebounding in the second half.”

Borden topped the Braves (18-7) in points with 12 and Hackman scored 11

Providence (15-9) was without one of its key freshmen starters, Avery Smith, who was out with a concussion. Addison Smith topped Providence with nine points.

Allman said turnovers will be a key for his team tonight.

“We definitely have to take care of the basketball better. Our turnovers led to a lot of their points. We need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball, and we’re not going to see that same type of pressure (tonight),” he said. “The name of the game at this time of the year is ‘survive and advance.’ We didn’t play our basketball and we survived to play (tonight).”

Box score

At Austin Sectional



Brownstown (18-7): Kalee Borden 4 4-5 12, Maddy Hackman 4 1-2 11, Camryn Thompson 1 0-0 2, Jenna Klosterman 2 0-1 5, Kelsey Schneider 0 0-0 0, Sophie Wischmeier 0 0-0 0, Hailey Hobson 0 0-0 0, Addison Darlage 0 0-0 0, Harley Toppe 0 0-0, totals 11 5-8 30.

Providence (15-9): Lillie Weber 3 0-0 8, Addison Smith 3 2-2 9, Molly Richards 2 0-0 4, Olivia Theobald 1 2-8 6, Grace Denis 1 0-0 3, totals 10 4-10 28.

3-point goals: BC (Hackman 2, Klosterman 1) P (Weber 2, Smith, Denis).

Rebounds: BC 27 (Borden 9), P 18 (Weber 6).

Turnovers: BC 19, P 19.