News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

January 26, 2013

South seniors lift girls to victory over North

Brewer, Joyner score 19 each in MIC win for Braves

TERRE HAUTE — At halftime of the Terre Haute South vs. Terre Haute North girls high school basketball game, the Braves’ Tasia Brewer and Labrea Joyner had scored four and two points respectively as their team trailed 22-15 Friday night in Hulman Center.

The situation looked bleaker for South in the early minutes of the third quarter when the Patriots’ Adrienne Pritchard, Nicole Anderson and Pritchard again posted field goals to boost their advantage to 28-15.

But at the end of overtime — yes, overtime — the two South seniors had 19 points apiece and the Braves were on the positive side of a 60-56 Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference victory.

Joyner’s point total represented a career high.

“I felt like I was taking it to them [in the second half and overtime], penetrating and trying to create things to make stuff happen,” the 5-foot-3 Joyner told the Tribune-Star after the postgame celebration. “I felt like, I was hitting shots, just keep going and they’ll fall.”

“I was just playing the same game [in the second half],” Brewer said from her perspective.

“Labrea hit a few shots [in the third quarter] that gave us confidence. She did a really good job of trying to get our spirits up. … I was trying to drive as much as I could to get them in foul trouble and go to the line to get our team ahead.”

“At halftime, we talked about playing at our pace,” South coach Cara Stuckey noted. “In the first half, we played at North’s pace. We were walking up the court when we want to push it up the court. So we just picked up the tempo [in the second half] and got into our style of play.”

Another factor that worked against North was the Miami (Ohio)-bound Anderson fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

“We were able to get the ball into Nicole’s hands and she did a good job of finishing, so we were able to take advantage of that in the first half,” North coach Mike Allen mentioned. “But we tried to do that in the second half and [South] kinda shut that down. They were double-teaming her a little bit and we kinda got in foul trouble. We couldn’t do some things that we would normally do.”

Although disappointed in the outcome, Allen praised Joyner for her clutch performance.

“Labrea did a great job for them tonight,” he admitted. “That’s what a senior point guard is supposed to do. She stepped up and hit some of what I thought were impossible shots. But they went in and that’s all that matters.”

After the Braves fell behind by 13 points, Joyner sank three fielders in a row and Brewer followed with a pair of free throws to pull them within 28-23 with 3:23 to go in the third period.

North took a 31-26 advantage into the fourth frame, but South immediately got two free throws and a short jumper by freshman Lauren Hambrock and a running jumper by Joyner to catapult on top 32-31 with 6:39 remaining.

Although the Patriots regained the lead at 33-32 on two free throws by freshman Abby Howes, South answered with a 7-1 run — thanks to a three-point play by Joyner, a left-handed hook by Hambrock and two free throws by Joyner — to move ahead 39-34 with 5:32 left.

A free throw by Layne Curley and a 3-pointer from the right corner by Sierra Sykes cut North’s deficit to 39-38 with 4:23 showing on the scoreboard.

In the final minutes, the 6-2 Pritchard converted back-to-back inside buckets to tie the score at 42-42. One free throw followed by two free throws from Brewer made it 45-42 in the Braves’ favor, but Sykes responded with a 3 from slightly left of the arc with 37 ticks left on the clock to tie the score.

A missed 3-point attempt by Joyner — rebounded by Howes at the buzzer — sent the first game of a girls-boys doubleheader into OT.

Pritchard opened the extra period with an inside basket, then Brewer countered with a driving bucket through traffic. With 2:37 remaining, Curley converted a three-point play to put the Patriots ahead 50-47.

Then South, which went 0 for 9 from 3-point range in regulation, found the right time to get hot from beyond the long-range arc.

First it was Emily Bell from the right corner, which tied the score at 50-50. After Curley hit a free throw for North, Joyner drilled a 3 from up top to give the Braves a 53-51 advantage.

A rebound bucket by Pritchard knotted the score at 53-53. But down the stretch, South went on a 7-3 run that consisted of seven free throws — two by Brewer (1:16), two by Hambrock (41.3), one by Brewer (22.5) and two by Brewer (11.4) — to secure the triumph.

All eight of Hambrock’s points came either in the fourth quarter or overtime.

For North, its leading scorers were Anderson with 16 points, but only three after halftime, and Pritchard with 14, all after halftime. Pritchard also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Another statistic worth noting is turnovers as North finished with 19 (seven in each of the first and third quarters) and South ended up with four (one in each quarter of regulation).

“That’s the best we’ve taken care of the basketball all season,” Stuckey mentioned.

After the final buzzer, officials presented South’s team with the “Terre Haute Savings Bank Champions of the Court” trophy, which goes to the winner of this annual rivalry matchup.

“It feels like really good [to earn possession of the ‘Champions’ trophy), especially because this is my last year,” Joyner said. “To win with this group of girls is just awesome. It feels great.”

“I know this might not be the biggest game in the MIC, but it means a lot to the south side of our community,” Brewer added. “It feels good knowing that we still have the ‘Crown’ for my team and everyone else at South.”

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