Brentwood Academy girls headed to state
By Doug Dyer, for the Herald
Brentwood Academy advanced to the Division II-AA girls state semifinals for the second straight year with a 59-40 thrashing of Baylor at home Friday night.
The Lady Eagles (21-6) will face off against undefeated Briarcrest (29-0) Friday at David Lipscomb University.
BA was able to pull away in the second half after leading by six at halftime, thanks in large part to more emphasis on rebounding, their coach said.
“Our seniors stepped up and battled,” Lady Eagles coach Rhonda Brown said. “I think they did a great job of battling and getting rebounds.”
Bria Dial led all scorers with 16 points for BA. India Hall added 10 and Breuna Jackson finished with nine points.
After collecting just four offensive rebounds in the first two quarters, BA had eight in the second half and converted those into nine second-chance points. Baylor was able to get those put backs early on, and the goal was to limit those extra shots at the basket.
“At halftime, we really talked about boxing out and rebounding more,” senior guard Maren Kreid said. “We were really committed to do that, and that was the game changer.”
“We had four at the half and they had six,” Brown said. “They got one more, and we got eight. Their sets weren’t killing us, it was those put backs.”
The Lady Eagles had beaten Baylor on Feb. 8, so that game was still fresh in their minds, Kreid said. They didn’t want to be overconfident, but she and her teammates knew what to expect out of the Red Raiders.
“We had confidence, but we didn’t want to have a cocky mindset,” Kreid said. “We wanted to know they were good enough to beat us, but we were also good enough to beat them.”
Baylor guard Kaleigh Clemmons was able to create plenty of opportunities by driving to the basket and passing out to the perimeter early on. The Raiders almost doubled BA’s shot total in the first half (27-14), but the two teams had the same number of field goals (6). Brown took the same defensive approach to start the third, trying to keep Baylor out of the paint and crash the boards.
“We were focused on keeping the ball out of the paint,” Brown said. “We wanted to make them jump shooters.”
Youngsters Anna Stephens and Sydni Harvey gave their team an offensive boost from the perimeter, with the duo combining to shoot 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Stephens, a sophomore, hit her first two triples, the second coming after Baylor had trimmed the Eagles’ lead to six with 1:20 left in the third quarter. Harvey, an eighth grader, finished 4-of-5 shooting for the game with 12 total points.
“Our young kids are a big role in what we do,” Brown said. “They’ve been solid all year long.”
Posted on: 2/21/2014