DANVILLE — For only the second time in the girls’ Hendricks Regional Health County Basketball Tournament history, the Brownsburg Bulldogs have won four-in-a-row.
North Carolina recruit Stephanie Mavunga notched game highs of 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead Brownsburg to a 54-26 victory over the Tri-West Bruins.
The Bulldogs previously won four county championships in a row from 1997-2001.
“It’s awesome for the seniors,” Brownsburg coach Amy Brauman said. “We had people step up and play that haven’t even gotten to play in games in the past. It’s really awesome to be able to finish their senior year with a county championship.”
While Mavunga gets most of the attention on this team, it doesn’t bother any of her fellow seniors.
“This is a great bunch and we have really nice kids,” Brauman said. “Obviously, Stephanie has been the focal point of it but the other kids are very unselfish. They don’t care if she gets every bit of press and fame. They just want to win ball games. We’re really going to miss them because they’ve done a great job of keeping the tradition of Brownsburg basketball.”
The Bulldogs led 12-7 after the first quarter, but the Bruins kept it close.
Tri-West senior Lauren DeSutter banked in a trey, blocked on a shot on the other end and then Katrina Headlee made a 3-pointer to cut the Brownsburg lead to 14-13.
The Bulldogs though responded with 12 unanswered points to end the half and led 26-13 after two quarters.
With the exception of that 12-0 Brownsburg run, Tri-West was right there in the first half.
Tri-West coach Brad Acton said, “That’s what the disappointing thing is with our kids and our coaches. What we were trying to do was working pretty well for most of the first half. That last run we just didn’t make stops and we let them get all of that momentum getting into halftime.”
Brownsburg stretched the lead without Mavunga on the floor as she got her second foul of the game with three minutes into the second quarter.
Freshman Zhane Roper scored seven straight points to start the run for the Bulldogs.
“We talked about penetrating the gaps in their zone and they just collapsed on Stephanie, which was a great game plan,” Brauman said. “Initially we just kept trying to get it to Stephanie instead of having the other girls step up and score. Finally when they figured out they could score, that opened up everyone else.”
Brownsburg outscored Tri-West 28-13 in the second half to eventually win 54-26.
The Bruins shot 15 in the second half and 20 percent for the game.
“The second half wasn’t good for us as a lot of kids lose their confidence and you start missing shots,” Acton said. “Everybody was kind of just struggling.”
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot 40 percent on a high 60 field goal attempts.
Brauman said she cannot remember a time when her team attempted that many shots.
“That a lot of shots,” she said. “We missed a lot of close ones that we should have hit. I thought once we got going we did a nice job”
The Class 3A Bruins have challenged the Class 4A Bulldogs the past two seasons in the county finals.
While they didn’t win, Acton takes pride in making it this far.
“It’s huge for us to get into the championship game,” he said. “We got beat by 19 last year and ended up losing one game the rest of the year. We won our sectional, won 19 games, and had a great year.”