2A East quarterfinal — Brunswick too much for Eagle girls, 67-50

Posted: February 28, 2014

Special to The Winchester Star

Clarke County senior Anna Bodkin and the Eagles found it tough to find any openings against a swarming Brunswick defense Thursday.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Four members of the Brunswick County girls’ basketball team were a little late arriving for Thursday’s 2A East Region quarterfinal contest with Clarke County.

They had good reason.

The four had spent most of the day at the 2A Indoor Track state championship in Lynchburg where all four earned state titles.

After impressing on the track, they arrived back home in time to put on a show on the hardwood and help the Bulldogs to a 67-50 win over Clarke County and keep their dream for a state basketball title alive.

The win improved Brunswick to 23-0 on the season, while Clarke County saw its season come to an end with a 21-4 mark.

Brunswick coach Julianna Grant said she was very appreciative that the Eagles allowed the game time to be moved after the boys’ game — Clarke County and Brunswick squared off in a 2A East Region quarterfinal prior to the girls’ game — in order to allow her four girls to participate in both events.

“We have to share our athletes,” she said. “I’m thankful that Clarke County agreed to move the game time.”

Brunswick’s stifling defensive pressure proved to be the difference in the game, especially in the first half when Clarke County committed 18 of its 27 turnovers in the game.

“We just didn’t take care of the ball in the first half,” said Clarke County first-year coach Regina Downing. “And that was really the difference. I was proud of the way our girls stepped up and fought back in the second half.”

Brunswick spurted out to an 8-0 lead behind four points from Bria Stith, the daughter of University of Virginia legend Bryant Stith, and one of the four Brunswick players, along with her sister Brooke, to earn track state titles earlier in the day.

Clarke County got on the board when junior Sydney Chrane scored on a short jumper at the 3:02 mark.

Chrane added four more points in the stanza to help cut the Brunswick lead to 13-7 at the end of the first quarter and later completed a 3-point play at the 7:22 mark of the second quarter to trim the Brunswick lead to 15-10, but the Bulldogs responded with an 11-1 run behind seven points from Myneshia Walker to open up a 26-11 lead with 3:15 left in the first half.

Brunswick took a commanding 31-13 lead to the halftime break.

Two buckets by Bria Stith early in the third quarter gave Brunswick a 37-15 lead, but Clarke County fought back behind 10 points from Allie Hicks in the stanza to cut the gap to 40-23 at the 2:23 mark.

Brunswick put the game away after opening the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run behind five points apiece from Juanita Eshelman and Walker.

Walker’s 3-pointer at the 4:42 mark gave Brunswick a 60-28 lead.

Clarke County did not quit and ended the quarter on a 22-8 run to make the final score respectable.

Walker led Brunswick with 21 points on the night while Chrane led Clarke County with 24.

Junior Anna Blue Catlett knocked down two 3-pointers and finished with nine points in the loss for the Eagles.