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Despite battling back to tie the game at halftime, Bronson High School’s girls varsity basketball team couldn’t overcome Branford’s third quarter scoring surge, falling 36-19 to the Buccaneers last Monday.
The loss was an early stumbling block for the young Eagles, coach Greg Hamilton said. Starting a group of young players — several of whom did not play for the team last season — presents several challenges. It’s still early, but Hamilton said his squad has plenty of room to grow.
We took a lot of shots and just couldn’t hit them,” he said. “We’re just trying to get better offensively. We’re trying to find our identity. I was very proud of them that they went out there and hustled and played hard. We did do a good job defensively, forcing a lot of turnovers.”
Branford started the game in control, keeping Bronson scoreless in the first quarter until the Eagles’ Victeashianna Hinds dropped two free throws to put her team on the board. The Bucs responded quickly with two quick layups to take a 6-2 lead after the first buzzer.
The Eagles pushed back in the second, with Brittni Davis grabbing a steal and a quick layup to close the gap. She did it again midway through the quarter to bring the score to 8-6, and a Bronson 3-pointer with 50 seconds left brought the Eagles to within one, and a free throw tied the game.
Things fell apart in the third quarter, despite Hinds’ early short jumper to keep things close at 12-12. The Buccaneers’ offense exploded for a 14-0 run that spanned much of the frame, extending the score to a point that was too much for the Eagles, who faced a 28-15 deficit after the third. Bronson’s scoring drought lasted nearly six minutes.
Bronson tried to close the gap in the fourth, with an offensive rebound and putback by Angela Freeman and two free throws Sara Trimm, but it was too little, too late.
There were some statistical bright spots for Bronson, however. Hinds finished the game with seven strong rebounds and three steals to go with her four points. Freeman topped that eight rebounds.
Davis led the team with 10 points and five rebounds.
With the Thanksgiving break over, the girls’ season is now in full swing. Bronson plays Yankeetown tonight, Hawthorne tomorrow, Chiefland at home on Dec. 7 and St Francis at home on Dec. 8.
Hamilton has a busy week ahead of him, but he’s seeing progress.
“It hurts to lose, but the truth is I think we improved as a team tonight,” he said.