By Jake Thompson
Hendricks County Flyer
BROWNSBURG — Dating back to the 2000-01 season, the Ben Davis girls’ basketball team has held a 14-3 record against Brownsburg and had never lost back-to-back games to the Bulldogs in that span.
That changed Saturday night with the game turning in Brownsburg’s favor by the most unlikely of sources. A pair of freshmen ignited the Bulldogs in the second half as Brownsburg took a 46-45 victory.
Brownsburg, who started a 3-2 majority of underclassmen, impressed coach Amy Brauman with their scrappy and resilient play.
“This shows great things for our young team and I’m really excited for what (they) can do,” Brauman said. “This is a step to show them they can play against really good competition. Hopefully, this provides them some confidence.”
Brownsburg freshman Reilly Olmstead’s 10 second half points sparked the Bulldogs, who trailed 27-20 at the half. Olmstead’s 3-pointer to begin the fourth quarter brought her team within five of Ben Davis at 39-34.
Brownsburg outscored Ben Davis 10-0 to end the game and Bulldogs freshman Devin Courtney came up with the two biggest shots to seal the win.
With 35.7 seconds left, Courtney drained a wide open 3-pointer to tie the game at 45. Courtney celebrated with a fist pump.
It wouldn’t be her last.
With 8.7 seconds remaining, Courtney gave Brownsburg its first lead of the night from the free throw line and again whipped her fist in the air.
Courtney, who was sporting a black eye from Brownsburg’s game with Decatur Central earlier in the week said the free throw was the more difficult of the two shots, but the trey wasn’t exactly easy.
“I was really nervous but my teammates Ailyah Walker and Hannah (Mingus) are always telling me to calm down and take my time,” Courtney said. “It was a nerve-wracking shot. I felt like I was going to air ball (the 3-pointer) because I don’t trust my shot.”
Olmstead and Courtney combined for 21 of Brownsburg’s points. The Bulldogs had two other scorers in double figures as senior Hannah Mingus tallied 10 and sophomore Aliyah Walker led the team with 12.
Ben Davis had its chances to win the game despite shooting the ball very poorly, along with other factors that led to the loss.
“We should've and could've shot better,” Ben Davis coach Joe Lentz said. “We did not block out as well as I would have hoped. There were so many occasions we tried to get them into an offensive set and they went around and wouldn’t get into it. We ran out of energy and the things I wanted to do, we couldn’t.”
The Giants hit a paltry 18 of 67 from the floor, shooting .268 percent. There was a stretch from the second quarter to the end of the third where Ben Davis scored just four field goals.
“We have to focus more on getting the ball in the basket and executing offensively,” Lentz said. “I don’t know what we shot percentage-wise, but it wasn’t good and we still had a shot to win the game.”
Ben Davis jumped out to a 5-0 advantage and led by as many as 11 headed into the second quarter. With Brownsburg within two at 13-11, Ben Davis’ Erynn Young went on her own 6-0 run and Taylor McDaniel capped the run with a 3-pointer from close to mid-court at the buzzer for a 22-11 advantage.
Adaleena Sibande led Ben Davis with 12 points and nine rebounds. AeRianna Harris pulled down 13 rebounds and scored five points. Nine players scored for the Giants.
Both teams play rivalry and conference games at 7:30 p.m. this Friday. Brownsburg (2-0) travels to Avon and Ben Davis (0-1) visits Warren central on the second of its four away games to start the season.
- Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.