BROWNSBURG — The Brownsburg Bulldogs knocked the Ben Davis Giant monkey off its back last Friday.
After three straight seasons of being eliminated by Ben Davis in the postseason, Brownsburg got its sectional redemption with a 40-39 victory.
“I thought we played as hard as we have played all year,” Ben Davis coach Joe Lentz said. “We showed a lot of heart and we put the challenge to them to be tougher than Brownsburg. Bottom line, I don’t know if we were any tougher, but they weren’t any tougher than us either. They just happened to get an extra point on the board.”
Bulldogs senior Stephanie Mavunga connected on two go-ahead free throws with 22.8 seconds remaining to give Brownsburg the one-point advantage.
“This is great,” Brownsburg coach Amy Brauman said. “The last few years we’ve gotten knocked out by Ben Davis and as I explained to the girls, you’re not just winning the game for this team, you’re winning this game for the past three teams that haven’t been able to beat them.”
The Giants jumped up eight in the third quarter but was unable to hold onto the advantage.
The Bulldogs had three fouls to give after the Mavunga free throws and Brauman strategically used them to help burn time on the ensuing Ben Davis inbounds plays.
With 7.2 seconds remaining the Giants inbounded the ball and sophomore Kenisha Jones drove left just outside of the lane. Bulldogs senior Margaret Oles stayed on Jones’ hip the entire way and was able to knock the ball loose when Jones attempted a shot.
“I tried to stay with her as best as I could without fouling,” Oles said. “I had my hands up, stayed with her, had my body on her but tried not to foul.”
“They took away our initial pass and our second option was to drive in the middle and hopefully come to a stop and be able to dish to somebody or at least get off a shot,” Lentz said.