Physically beaten the Lady Broncos escaped the bi-district contest against the East Central Hornets in overtime. Everyone knew the area round game would be a difficult contest as the Lee Volunteers were coming into the game off a trouncing against the Vandergrift Girls Basketball team.
The Lee Volunteers brought a physical defense and two very tall post players in the game. To remind the Lady Broncos how physical the game could become, one of the tallest post players for Lee extended her arm and shoved, drove, pushed, the Lady Bronco defender to the ground so she could score a basket. Hate to comment but it was another night of inconsistency by the referees.
During the first half of the game, Brandeis and Lee continued to swap baskets. Lee used outside the three-point ring to build a lead and then used them to keep them within reach of the Lady Broncos.
“During the first half, they outhustled us,” said Jennifer Brewer, Lady Bronco coach. “They certainly were grabbing the boards much better than we. Each time they took a shot, they had someone waiting and ready to grab the ball and put it back up.”
At the end of the half, the Lady Broncos led 23 to 22 over the Volunteers.
For successful teams to continue in the play-offs adjustments at half time are necessary. “We adjusted at half time. We decided to go out and start rebounding. The team is coming together really well now,” added Brewer.
Kaia Herrera continued to play defense with at least six hands and maybe two sets of feet. Although she doesn’t have six hands, she moves across the floor and into the offensive players much like Ali dominated the boxing ring. Her footwork and hands caused turnovers and shut down the lane to the basket.
Gabby Connally enjoyed another great night. She finished with 30 points and was almost perfect from the free throw line. She continued to drive the lane and she created a spark during the second half that turned the momentum in the favor of the Lady Broncos.
The Lady Broncos improved their shooting from the bi-district round. During the game against East Central the Lady Broncos shot 22 percent from the floor. Tonight, the team shot 26 percent. At the end of regulation play, the Lady Broncos scored 53 points to the Volunteers 42.
An intimidating thought, a team shooting 26 percent can score 53 points. Imagine the score when the team shoots closer to sixty percent?
Key to the victory tonight, so many of the Lady Broncos were called off the bench and helped to maintain and build the lead over the Lady Volunteers.
“Tonight, the bench contributed to our win,” remarked Brewer. “I was able to substitute players in and out tonight and we did not lose our momentum or position on the floor. The team is coming together and peaking at the right time.”
The Lady Broncos will play the Steele Lady Knights in the next round of the playoffs. The Knights defeated the Madison Mavericks in their area match up 65 to 41.
When asked which team, she preferred to meet, “It doesn’t matter at this level, both teams are great. We are going to have to continue to improve to continue in the playoffs.”
The Knights enter the game as the second seed in 6A District 27. They finished in a three-way tie for first with a 12-2 record. They are a senior heavy team and bring a forest of height to the court.
The time and place for the game has not been decided by press time.
For images from the game go here https://jwilliamphotos.smugmug.com/browse