By Jake Thompson
— Plainfield and Terre Haute South played to overtime in their meeting earlier this season with the Braves taking an 88-80 win. Last night’s contest between the two girls’ basketball teams was not that close as the Quakers lost the sectional semifinal, 72-49.
“It was a tough matchup for us,” Plainfield coach Curt Benge said. “Terre Haute has so much size and athleticism at their perimeter positions.”
Terre Haute South’s Tasia Brewer proved to be the biggest difference in the rematch as she was in foul trouble early in the first matchup between the two squads. Brewer would lead all scorers with 22 points.
“When she is not in the game, they are a different team,” Benge said. “We would lead and when she came in, the gap would close in that first game. We just did not have as many contributors on the offensive end as we did the first game.”
Plainfield led 16-14 after the first period but had to claw back after falling behind 12-5. That momentum carried over into the second quarter.
“From about half way through the first quarter to half way through the second quarter we really controlled the game,” Benge said. “For those eight minutes we really played well on both ends of the floor. Terre Haute made some adjustments and Brewer started to get hot.”
However, it did not last as Terre Haute South took a 35-29 lead into the half.
As the third period opened, the Braves hit their opening shot to go up eight and after a quick shot and miss by the Quakers, the Braves nailed a 3-pointer and were up by 11 right away.
After three quarters, Terre Haute South led by 16 points, 59-43.
Plainfield could not close that gap and according to Benge, “we started gambling and trying to do some things” in the last four minutes of the game that allowed the Braves to stretch their lead.
Plainfield had played well coming down the stretch, winning 4 of 6 since the county tournament in early January and that leaves the Quakers with a 9-11 overall record on the season.
“I thought we got a lot better here as of late,” Benge said. “I thought we got a lot better on the defensive end and were doing some nice things offensively.”
Benge credits seniors Mackenzie Jeffries, Katie Robertson, DeAnn Cowell, and Betsy Gillenwater with that turnaround.
“Our seniors never gave up on the season and kept plugging along and encouraging everybody,” Benge said. “That kept us moving in the right direction. Throughout their careers they’ve had to fight for time with players in front of them. Theses girls have a sincere caring for each other this season and that’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Jeffries scored a team-high 18 points, hitting six 3-pointers in her final game. Gillenwater chipped in eight, Robertson and Kyndall Spears each had six and Mackenzie Reeder tallied five.