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January 12, 2014

H.S. GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: Braves best Charlestown in MSC showdown

Prichard unhappy with calls in waning moments

BROWNSTOWN — Charlestown had its eye on handing Brownstown Central its first Mid-Southern Conference loss of the season on Saturday.

For the second straight game, the Pirates jumped out to an early lead, but they let it slip away and trailed 26-17 by halftime.

In the third quarter, though, Charlestown outscored the host Braves 16-11 to pull within 37-33. The teams then battled through three ties and six lead changes, with the final lead switch favoring the Braves.

Brownstown made 13 of its 18 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to pull out a 58-53 win and improve to 6-0 in the MSC and 12-1 overall. Charlestown, meanwhile, dropped to 3-2 in the MSC and 8-4 overall.

Pirates coach Michael Prichard said he wasn’t happy with some calls down the stretch.

“I’m not a person that harps on officiating, but anybody that saw this, anybody, they know that there were things that were blatant, that were one-sided,” Prichard said. “I never complain about officiating. Ask any player, ask any coach. But it was point-blank very obvious.”

With the game tied at 49 with 2:20 to go, the Pirates missed two free throws. On the ensuing play, Brownstown’s Jaelyn Reynolds was fouled on a shot attempt and connected on both free throws.

On the inbounds play, the Braves’ Trinity Booher stole the ball, was fouled on a shot and made 1 of 2 for a 52-49 lead.

Charlestown’s Megan Brooks grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled, and she made both free throws to pull her team within 52-51 with 2:02 remaining.

The Braves ran the clock down to 1:30 until the Pirates fouled Booher, and she made a pair from the line. Fifteen seconds later, Brooks scored in the post to make it a one-point game.

Brownstown then claimed the win by making free throws, forcing a turnover and blocking a shot in the final 22 seconds.

Prichard was disappointed with the finish to the game after watching his team build a 9-2 lead in the first quarter.

“It happened the last game against Jeff [in a 71-46 loss on Thursday],” he said. “We were up 9-2, and then somehow, we just let the team get back in it. It’s not something that we say, ‘Hey, let a team come back in.’ But somehow, it seems to be something that’s going on the last couple games.”

The Braves managed to close the first quarter on a 6-0 run to pull within 13-12. Then in the second quarter, Charlestown was outscored 14-4 and had 10 turnovers.

After only scoring four points in the first half, Pirates junior Kaitlynn Henning scored eight of her game-high 24 points in the third quarter.

“We can explode at times, but somehow, we’ve got to get over that hump,” Prichard said. “We even talked about it in a timeout. We’ve got to push ahead.”

Brooks was the other Pirate scoring in double figures with 14. She pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to help her team to a 32-21 advantage on the boards.

Booher was one of three Braves scoring in double figures, leading the way with 14.

The Braves finished the game 21 of 33 from the free-throw line, compared to the Pirates’ 15 of 21. Charlestown was called for 24 fouls in the game and had two players foul out, while Brownstown was whistled for 17 and had a player foul out.

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