High School Basketball

State Hoops: Brentwood prepped for big stage

The Lady Bruins open their first state tournament in 7 seasons Wednesday

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Hoops – Brentwood girls vs. Page, Region 6-AAA Championship

The “Big 3” have guided the Brentwood girls basketball team for three seasons, which included a Class AAA Sectional loss in 2018, an early exit in the regional last year and now the Lady Bruins’ first state tournament berth since 2013.

Senior twins Delaney and Emily Trushel and junior point guard Amelia Osgood pace a team averaging nearly 65 points per game. The trio are leaned on heavily – Osgood leads the Lady Bruins with 18.9 points per game and 4.9 assists, while the Trushels combine for more than 27 points. Less than two weeks ago, the Big 3 scored 65 of the Lady Bruins 70 points in a win over Cane Ridge, accounting for all 50 of the team’s points after the opening quarter of play.

However, Brentwood coach Myles Thrash said it’s been the “unsung heroes” and role players he calls “the others” who have stepped up to help Brentwood make the final push and reach the state stage.

“You have to have great players who know their roles for the team, who are ready to be to be that unsung hero,” Thrash said. “We wanted to make sure ‘the others’ had confidence to do more.”

On Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. at Middle Tennessee State’s Murphy Center, Thrash said he expects his Big 3 to provide their best, while getting plenty of help. Brentwood battles a tested Arlington team in the first round.

“We take pride in having the ability to have different girls step up,” Thrash said. “It’s what we preach and it’s what you need to be in a position to win a championship.

“We try to emphasize knowing their moments and being able to stay in it. I’m just so excited for this team.”

Just this weekend, junior Chloe Wampler stepped into that unsung hero role and scored nine critical fourth-quarter points in a fearless and clutch performance in the sectional round, garnering her a Gateway Tire Female Athlete of the Week nod. Last week it was junior Sophie Roston who provided a spark in the Region 6-AAA championship that helped carry through for the team’s first region title since 2013.

All will be needed against Arlington.

The Lady Tigers have exited the state tournament in the first round in each of the last three seasons and is actually one of two teams – the other being Whitehaven – to not hold a state tournament win under their belt. According to Arlington’s schedule, this year – much like Brentwood’s goal of reaching state – was constructed around making that next step.

The Lady Tigers boast a 30-5 record with three losses to out-of-state competition and their only in-state blemishes coming against recent repeat Division II-AA champion and nationally-ranked Ensworth and powerhouse Hamilton Heights of Chattanooga.

“They are athletic and like to push the tempo as well and be a fast-paced team,” said Thrash, whose team suffered a similar setback against Ensworth. “We have seen some fast and athletic teams as well, though, so our main focus will be offensive execution, our defense and our rebounding – the things that got us here.”

The Trushels won’t be the only set of twins on the floor Wednesday. Among the leaders for the Lady Tigers are Carmen and Charmen Taylor – a pair of 5-foot-8 juniors. Carmen leads the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game, while Charmen is netting 9.3 per outing. Seniors Nya Stewart (10.8 ppg) and Nya Stewart (8.6 ppg) are also relied on for scoring.

One difference leaning heavily toward Brentwood is the ability to shoot the 3-ball. The Lady Bruins have combined for 298 made 3-pointers this season with a team shooting percentage of 40 percent. Delaney Trushel leads Brentwood with 55 percent shooting from beyond the arc (105-of-191).

Thrash said his team has been working toward reaching this stage for years and now that it's here, he expects his team to rise even higher. 

“I think you are going to see the very best of Brentwood,” Thrash said of Wednesday’s game. “We are excited to be here and we are determined. We don’t want this season to end.”

2020 Class AAA Girls State Tournament

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at MTSU’s Murphy Center

10 a.m. – Science Hill (28-7) vs. Stone Memorial (29-4)

11:30 a.m. – Maryville (30-4) vs. Whitehaven (27-3)

1:15 p.m. – Bradley Central (29-3) vs. Lebanon (30-6)

2:45 p.m. – Brentwood (29-2) vs. Arlington (30-5)

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