Brookfield closes in on Blue title

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Dianna Oatridge Brookfield’s Dana Sydlowski (30) stops Izzy Kline of Newton Falls Saturday.

NEWTON FALLS — The Brookfield girls basketball team kept rolling Saturday with a 49-39 victory over Newton Falls, clinching a tie for the All-American Conference Blue Tier. The victory, the 10th in a row for Brookfield, also marked the first win against Newton Falls in head coach Marc Morgan’s tenure with the Warriors.

“We haven’t won in Newton Falls in 14 years,” Morgan said. “When I took this job they told me, ‘watch when we play Falls, because we go into a different mindset.’

“I’ve tried to take that away, coming into this I told them we need to punch these guys in the teeth, and we’ve got to do our thing. We do our thing, we should be able to take care of the game, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that today.”

Brookfield is 14-3 overall and 9-1 in the AAC Blue. The Warriors have two league games remaining and their closest competitors, Newton Falls, Champion and Liberty, all have three league losses.

Fresh off scoring her 1000th career point, Bailey Drapola continued draining shots for the Warriors. The senior put up 18 points in the game, including 10 in the first quarter. Tori Sheehan led the Warriors with 19 points, and had eight rebounds.

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Dianna Oatridge Bailey Drapola (24) of Brookfield drives against Izzy Kline (33) of Newton Falls Saturday in the Warriors’ win.

Rebecca Litz conributed 12 rebounds, five steals and five assists and Dana Sydlowski had 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.

“Game-plan wise, we pretty much did everything I wanted us to do,” Morgan said. “Small-balled it. Try to keep Izzy (Kline) in check, know where she was every possession. Try to take (Allison) Sembach away as much as possible. Trying to make the other players beat us. That was the game plan.

“Izzy’s gonna get her points, but we didn’t want her to go off on us. Try to keep her in front, make her take some outside shots. We did that for a long period of time. She had a good stretch where she got some points and got them back in it, but for the most part we executed our game plan pretty well.”

The defense for the Warriors held the Tigers to two points in the second quarter. The lone basket was scored by Kline with two seconds remaining in the half. The Warriors also held Sembach to three points. Kline led the Tigers with 19 points and Bree Hutson finished with eight. Senior LeighAnn Knorzer had six on the night for Newton Falls.

“Collectively, these guys, in their minds, know that they’re pretty good now,” Morgan said. “So I think that if they band together and they figure that out, and play the way we’ve been playing, that we’re a very difficult team to beat.”

Newton Falls' Libby Barreca makes her way to the hoop past Brookfield's Chloe Willrich.

The loss ends a five-game win streak for the Tigers (12-6, 7-3).