The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

January 13, 2013

Warriors outlast Falcons in double OT

Brookfield’s full-court offense and defense do in Jefferson

JEFFERSON — The way the full-court press works, big plays are inevitable. The Brookfield girls basketball team made the press work for them both offensively and defensively to pull away from Jefferson for a 44-39 double-overtime victory at Falcon Gymnasium on Saturday night.

With 1:24 to play in the second extra period, Tori Thompson broke the Falcons’ press and dished to Ali Harpster for a layup to put the Warriors (5-6) up, 41-39.

Thompson then made just enough of three trips to free-throw line in the final 20 seconds, knocking down four of six attempts to seal the win.

“At least we got one of two,” Brookfield coach John Hammond said. “Especially late in the game, when you’re sitting on the line (you have to get at least one point each time you get there).

“We’ve been in that situation before. After we did that, we were able to get into our press. With a three-point lead, and everything hanging on every shot, we were able to get our drops, and make it a halfcourt game. We were able to make use of the clock while playing from behind. When you’re playing from behind and looking at the clock, that forces you to speed up a bit. When you’re playing from behind, that makes a difference.”

“They got up on us a little bit there,” Jefferson coach Rod Holmes said. “We handled (the pressure), but when we did make a mistake, they made us pay.”

Jefferson struggled to put the ball through the hoop going 16 of 63 from the field (25.4 percent).

“We battled tonight,” Holmes said. “We had trouble putting the ball in the basket. It was a team effort of having trouble putting it in.”

Through regulation, neither the Warriors or the Falcons (5-8, 1-4 in All-American Conference) could establish much in the way of control.

Ariann Barile gave Jefferson a 30-29 lead off a feed from Sarah Busch with 28 seconds to play in regulation. Busch then connected on a free throw to give the Falcons a two-point edge, 31-29, with 10.9 seconds left. She also made her second attempt, but the shot was waved off when she crossed the line too early.

“We all made plays at different times and we all made mistakes at different times,” Holmes said. “You could see many positive things and many things we need to work on. One of the things you definitely can’t question was how hard we played because we played hard.”

Lauren Hawley took a pass from Thompson and scored with one second left to send the game to overtime.

In the first overtime, Jefferson got a bucket from LeeAnn Farr and a free throw from Jessica Becker. The Warriors countered with a free throw from Kirila to open the session, another from Thompson and yet another from Kirila — that one with 13.8 seconds left to force the second overtime.

Brookfield used the press to take the early momentum in the second extra quarter.

Kirila made a steal and fed Thompson for a layup with 3:23 remaining. Kayla Boyer’s steal on the subsequent possession led to a free throw and the Warriors were up, 37-34.

After Farr scored on an assist from Barile to cut the deficit to one, 37-36, Kirila scored on an assist from Danielle DiCristofaro with 1:48 to go.

Farr answered, scoring on a pass from Becker while drawing a foul. She made the charity toss and the score was tied once again, this time at 39 with 1:32 remaining.

Kirila and Hawley each scored in the final minute of the first half as Brookfield (5-6) went to the locker room with a 17-12 advantage.

A 3-pointer from Busch and a putback from Becker had Jefferson back within a point, 25-24, after three periods.

Kirila led the Warriors with 16 points and 14 boards while Farr paced the Falcons with 12 points and Busch added 11.   

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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