BROOKVILLE — It was a tale of two halves Monday in Brookville, as the Lady Raiders bounced back from a slow first half to pull away from Redbank Valley late, turning a close game into a 63-31 rout of the Lady Bulldogs.
When Brookville went into halftime with a seven-point lead, it was hard to imagine that the Lady Raiders were going to find a way to just cruise to the one-sided victory. Brookville constantly turned the ball over in the first half and couldn't seem to find a consistent offensive attack.
That all changed as soon as the third frame kicked off, as Kait Hill began hitting jumpers, and Brookville's full-court pressure became overwhelming for Redbank at times, allowing the Lady Raiders to dominate the rest of the way.
"In the second half, we were able to get our transition game going a bit more, and that's what we focused on at halftime," Brookville head coach Mark Powell said. "The final score was not indicative of how close that game was. It was much closer than that. The big difference was getting out in transition, converting, and getting into our full-court pressure."
The Lady Bulldogs rarely pushed the ball past mid-court with ease in the third quarter, as Brookville forced turnover after turnover, turning a 25-18 lead into a 43-26 advantage entering the fourth frame.
"In the second half, we really turned up the pressure in the full court, and we turned the turnovers into points," Powell said. "That's our game."
Hill knocked down a jumper to start the third quarter, followed by a quick basket by Karly Reinsel to extend the lead. Later in the quarter, Hill hit back-to-back shots to kick off a 10-0 run late in the quarter.
The fourth quarter featured much of the Brookville bench, as the Lady Raiders continued to pour on the offense.
Aisha Newsome knocked down a pair of three-pointers to keep the lead growing.
It was as if the offense was coming with ease for Brookville in the second half, which is something that couldn't have been said for the first half.
Both teams traded baskets early to tie the game at six when the Lady Raiders started getting into foul trouble. Luckily for Brookville, Redbank couldn't bury a free throw, allowing the Lady Raiders to stay ahead 9-8 entering the second quarter.
The key in the second quarter was the shooting of Hill and the rebounding of Emily Ferraro, both of which allowed Brookville to begin to separate itself from Redbank. Hill scored seven points in the quarter alone, while Ferraro hauled in five rebounds in the frame.
"(Redbank) really did a great job slowing the game down," Powell said. "We were impatient."
Hill was the constant offensive weapon throughout the game, scoring a game-high 14 points in the win.
"I thought Kait had a great game and shot the ball well," Powell said. "She had an all-around game, and that's what you need from your senior leader."
Ferraro finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Byerly chipped in eight points in the win.
Early in the contest, it was easy to tell that the game was going to be a physical one on both ends of the floor.
Even as the game progressed, and Brookville began to pull away, that feistiness from the Lady Raiders continued, even drawing a technical when Lanae Newsome slammed the basketball to the floor following a traveling call.
Powell certainly doesn't want to see his team lose its cool and get called for technicals, but the passion his squad showed Monday night was something that the head coach was very pleased with.
"We want them to be able to show their emotion. When they show that emotion, it means they care," Powell said. "I want it bottled up more, but this team really cares about what we're doing. They work hard, and this means a lot to them. That means a lot to me."