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Tri-West, Brownsburg to Meet in County Tournament Title Game
January 7, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Anders Rotto
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
With Friday night’s Hendricks County Girls Basketball Tournament semifinals in the books, the stage is now set for an intense battle between Class 3A Tri-West (11-2) and Class 4A No. 13 Brownsburg (11-2) in the title game.
VYPE High School Sports Magazine (Central Indiana) was on hand Friday for the tournament semifinal games that these two teams played in with each team escaping with narrow victories.
Tri-West defeated 4A Avon 49-41 in the first semifinal game of the night.
Avon’s height was an advantage due to having five players over 5-foot-10 on the roster. Tri-West’s tallest player was only 5-9. However, the team’s up tempo style proved the difference.
After the game Tri-West head coach Brad Acton said, “Our plan was to be really aggressive with our defense out front, try to keep them from getting the ball inside. If we’re not aggressive, we’re not going to win. We have to use our lack of height and our quickness to our advantage.”
This strategy set up an interesting game with leading scorer Lauren DeSutter, a junior, hampered by illness all night and held to only 7 points.
As a result, seniors Kelly Ricks and Jade Hill both stepped up their games and played extremely important roles with 20 and 14 points, respectively. Tri-West was able to control the tempo despite being pressed most of the night by Avon as their stellar guard play led them to a championship game berth.
In the thrilling second semifinal game, 4A No. 13 Brownsburg eliminated 4A Plainfield by a score of 61-59.
Even though Plainfield’s two guards, seniors Lesley Fisher and Kasey Johnson, gave them a huge lift, 17 and 14 points, respectively, it was not enough to upset Brownsburg for the second time this year.
Brownsburg’s leading scorer junior Stephanie Mavunga was in foul trouble and had to sit most of the second quarter, which led to an early eight-point lead for Plainfield.
In the second half, however, Mavunga and fellow junior Kayle Comer gave Brownsburg a much-needed spark. By speeding up their game play, Brownsburg was able to more effectively attack Plainfield’s press. This higher paced style allowed Brownsburg to get numerous high-percentage layups and mid-ranged shots in transition.
Brownsburg head coach Amy Brauman explained, “[Mavunga] is kind of the life of the team and so once she gets going, everyone kind of goes off of that.”
Previewing the Championship Game: 4A No. 13 Brownsburg vs. 3A Tri-West
The key for the championship game will be whether Brownsburg’s guards can slow down the one-two punch of Hill and Ricks in the frontcourt for Tri-West. Brownsburg needs to force Tri-West into becoming an outside shooting team where they are much less effective instead of letting Tri-West drive to the basket for easy buckets.
On the flip side, Tri-West must continue to use their guards to fluster Brownsburg on defense and possibly press Brownsburg to slow the game down. They should also look to double team Mavunga whenever she catches the ball in the post area. If she is able to catch the ball in the paint close to the basket, she can be virtually unstoppable. This may open up the wings for Comer to hit some big outside shots like in the Plainfield game, but could also be more favorable for Tri-West than letting Mavunga impose her will against the undersized forwards of Tri-West.
“Our height is our advantage in every game so we’ve really got to use that, and sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t,” Brauman said.
If this game is close down the stretch, Brownsburg’s experience in winning games decided by narrow margins will be an advantage. A combined 13 points have decided the team's last four games.
Meanwhile, the resilience that Tri-West has shown thus far in the tournament will come into play due to Brownsburg being a stronger and faster team.
Despite the fact that Tri-West will look to obtain their second upset win against a 4A school in as many days, Coach Acton said that this has not changed their philosophy.
“Our kids were confident. The No. 1 key tonight was expect to win,” Acton said.