Bruner’s bomb breaks Borden
Sporting an “unimpressive” 8-5 record, South Central was probably coming into the final of Saturday’s Borden Tournament overlooked and undermanned against the No. 3-ranked (Class 1A) Lady Braves.
Instead, the game was the other way around.
South Central led previously-unbeaten Borden, 26-23, at the half and pushed the lead out to as many as nine in the third quarter. The hosts closed to six heading into the final period, 37-31.
Borden trailed by two with a minute left in the game and put South Central’s leading scorer, Rachel Dixon, on the line for a one-plus-one. Dixon shanked the front end, the Lady Braves rebounded and Jessica Vick put up a deuce to tie the game at 44.
Borden (9-1) then rebounded a Dixon miss, called timeout with 20 seconds left and ran a play for Lisa Heiny, whose jumper on the baseline rimmed out. The ball ricocheted out to junior Shannon Bruner, who dribbled once and let a 50-foot prayer fly to the heavens.
Her prayers were answered: the ball splashed through the net as time expired to give the championship to the Lady Rebels and shatter Borden’s hopes of a perfect season.
South handed Borden a 51-47 overtime loss in the championship game last year, too.
Bruner’s game winner was only her fifth point of the ball game.
Fellow junior Rikki Abbott led the winners with her best all-around game of the season. She scored 12, and defensively she made life miserable for Borden’s guards.
Samantha Troutman and Rachel Dixon each added nine, Melissa Biesel scored eight, Abbie Knear had three and Ashley Koons dropped home a free throw for her only point.
South (9-5) was 20 of 47 from the field and 4 of 15 from long range. The squad got to the line just six times, hitting three. Borden, which out-rebounded the Lady Rebels, 30-26, forced just three second-half turnovers while coughing the ball up 17 times for the game.
The Lady Braves were 15 of 37 and 2-10 on threes. They sank 12 frees in 21 tries.
Heiny and Vick each scored 10 in the losing effort, with Nicole Smith ended the night with 13 points.
The two ball clubs will square off again on Feb. 1 in a Southern Athletic Conference war at Borden.
n In the consolation game, Henryville rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half to defeat Lanesville, 38-35.
The Lady Hornets (3-9) trailed Lanesville (4-7) after one period and six by halftime thanks to eight turnovers.
In the third, the Lady Eagles extended the lead to 25-16 on six points from sophomore Amanda Picente before Henryville went on a 9-0 run in the final four minutes to tie it at 25 heading into the final eight minutes.
Henryville had one turnover in the run while forcing eight.
In the final act, the Lady Hornets were 3-6 from the floor and 7-11 from the charity stripe to snare the victory.
Lanesville out-rebounded Henryville, 34-32 and wound up shooting 15-47 overall, 1-9 on threes and 4-9 on free throws.
Shelby Acton scored 14 in the losing effort as Picente and Maegan Van Hoose had six apiece.
For the winners, which were 12-38 from the floor and knocked down 13 of 21 free throws, Shallon Hill got up for 12 points and Alicia Hatter had nine.