By Corey Elliot
The Brownsburg Bulldogs (3-2) won Saturday night’s Hoosier Crossroads Conference girls’ basketball match up against the Harrison Raiders (2-7) with a convincing 24-point win, 67-43.
Harrison proved to be all bark and no bite as they were out-matched and out-played in every aspect of the game.
Senior co-captains Kayle Comer and North Carolina commit Stephanie Mavunga led the Bulldogs as the pair combined for 39 points.
Brownsburg looked rusty at the beginning of the first quarter as the Bulldogs were playing their first game in 10 days. The Bulldogs trailed Harrison 3-2 until Comer hit her first of four three-pointers, sparking an 18-0 Brownsburg run. Comer made 4 of 7 from behind the arch.
“We haven’t had a game in a week and a half so we had to get back into the rhythm of it,” Comer said. “The first two threes were a little shaky but once we got back into our rhythm, we were good.”
Brownsburg came together quickly, shooting 47 percent from the field. The inside presence of Mavunga was a big contribution as she put in 12 of Brownsburg’s 26 field goals while grabbing 10 rebounds.
“My team has really got me going,” Mavunga said. “My co-captain Kayle Comer has stepped up and really helped me. I just try to do whatever I can. My coaches have really helped me become a better leader and a better player.”
The only downfall to Saturday night’s contest was a dismal performance from the foul line. The Bulldogs only made 10 of 23 free throws.
“We’ve struggled with free throws all year,” Brownsburg coach Amy Brauman said. “We’ll just keep working on them and hopefully it will sink in because in a close game it really makes a difference.”
The girls knew what they would be practicing on this week.
“We all know we didn’t do so well from the free throw line but as long as we see each other pushing, we’ll continue to sacrifice ourselves for our teammates,” Mavunga said. “If I see one person shooting (free throws) after practice then I’ll start shooting and if I start shooting, Kayle will start shooting, so I feel like we’ll be doing alright.”
Brauman’s suffocating full court press helped ease the negative affect from the charity stripe. Brownsburg was pressing and trapping from the first quarter on, forcing the Raiders into 11 turnovers and converting that into a 13-point halftime lead.
“We wanted to get going early and we’ve been working a lot on our press,” Brauman said. “We wanted to get some quick buckets in transition, a lot of times that really gets us going. It was an HCC game so we wanted to come right out from the beginning and set the tone.”
Harrison was still lurking, down by 15 to start the fourth quarter, but the consistency of the Bulldogs was too tough to tame for the Raiders. Brownsburg closed out the game the same way they started, with an overwhelming 15-4 run.
It was a performance the Bulldogs will certainly build on heading into the middle of their schedule.
“A lot of people stepped up,” Comer said. “Chloe Dygert had four steals and really helped us get going on the offense. Our press was working really well tonight and that will give us confidence going forward for the rest of the season.”