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Lady Bruins best Burros in semifinal battle

Brentwood continues to play their best basketball of the season, beating Hillsboro 51-48 Monday in the Region 6-AAA girls semifinals.

“We try to peak at the right time because that’s when you want to play your best ball,” Lady Bruins coach Ronnie Seigenthaler said after the game. “There are things that we do – like tapper back practice, when we go through walk-throughs we go through mental exercises rather than physical exercises.”

Trailing the District 11-AAA tournament champions by as many as seven points midway through the opening quarter, the No. 3 seed Lady Bruins fought through three lead changes and three ties in the second period to lead 27-26 at intermission.

A large part of Brentwood’s lead was due to point guard Olivia Shealy, who scored 15 of her team-high 17 points in the first 16 minutes. Seigenthaler credits his guard with a huge growth in understanding the flow of the game – knowing when to pass and when to pull back.

Leading 37-34 late in the third, Brentwood went on a 7-0 run to give themselves a 10-point cushion headed into a physical fourth-quarter battle with featuring contact aplenty and little whistles from officials.

The fact that his team was resilient enough to come out on top is a point of pride for Seigenthaler.

“In past years, we would have needed a fundamental (officiating) crew to officiate in a fundamental fashion for us to succeed,” the coach said. “We’ve addressed that over the last few years and we’ve gotten better at handling the physicality of an opponent.”

Hillsboro chipped away Brentwood’s lead to 47-43 with 3:29 remaining before the Lady Bruin defense clamped down.

Nicole Bowers, the District 11-AAA tournament Most Valuable Player, was to eight points – all coming in the first half after being saddled with foul trouble. Jemilah Leonard led the Lady Burros with 12 points. Her final basket was a 3-pointer as time expired to cut the final deficit in half.

Paige Parker, the District 11-AAA regular season MVP, had 15 points for Brentwood.

The win advances the Lady Bruins to the Region 6-AAA championship game against Antioch Wednesday and guarantees a spot in the Class AAA sectional round.

“Two really strong teams just laying it on the line tonight,” Seigenthaler districted Monday night’s game as. “I told (the team) before the game: “the winner of this game deserves to play in the (sectionals).”

Posted on: 2/25/2013


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