Starting off right
Balanced Brookfield keeps momentum from 2019, tops United
The Warriors earned upsets over the sixth and third seeds in the district tournament before bowing out to Cornerstone Christian in the Division IV Orwell District final.
With a clean slate, the Warriors opened up their 2020-2021 campaign the right way at home with a 53-47 victory over the United Golden Eagles on Monday.
“It’s huge, we just faced a lot of adversity last year playing younger girls,” Brookfield coach Ken Forsythe said. “For them to be 1-0 is a big step for them because they’re still young year-wise, game experience-wise they’re not young, but getting that first one is huge.”
Brookfield trailed after the first quarter, 11-7, but the Warriors, and namely sophomore guard Sophia Hook caught fire soon thereafter. They started the second period on a 7-0 run to take a 14-11 advantage over United.
Overall, Brookfield outscored the Golden Eagles by a margin of 24-10 to take a 31-21 lead into the intermission, with Hook’s 16 first-half points, including four 3-pointers, helping create distance on the scoreboard.
The sophomore guard nearly averaged 14 points during her freshman season, and she started to fall into a rhythm after making a few shots.
“It definitely boosts my confidence, and I feel more confident in myself to shoot more, and I know I can make it,” she said.
United played Hook tougher in the second half and kept her off the scoreboard completely during the third quarter, cutting the deficit down to 40-31 going into the final 8 minutes.
“They came out in the box-and-one on me, so I had to adjust because I had to start cutting back more and more, and get open more myself to generate open shots,” Hook said.
The Golden Eagles kept fighting back and made it a one possession game at 44-41 midway through the fourth quarter, but Hook responded with a massive layup to push the lead back to five moments later.
Down the stretch, sophomore Katie Logan made some critical free throws to keep United at bay as finished with 11 points.
Junior Audrey Reardon recorded 14 points, including seven in the third quarter for the Warriors.
As United (0-2) began coming back, Reardon identified that Brookfield relaxed and had to pick the energy back up during the fourth quarter.
“Everyone just realized that, ‘Oh crap, they’re coming back and our lead’s gone,’ “ Reardon said. “So we had to all start playing harder than them.
“I got a lot of shots because my teammates were passing me the ball and stuff and getting me the ball, and I had to few steals that got me points that my teammates created.”
Hook finished with a game-high 23, and having a trio of scorers in double figures is something that Forsythe hopes to continue.
“It’s huge because a lot of teams look at us and just think it’s the Sophia Hook show, and there’s probably about four or five girls capable of scoring 10 points on this team any given night,” he said. “That’s the key for us to be successful.”
Accounting for the rest of Brookfield’s scoring is sophomore guard Katie Gibson, who pitched in with five. The Warriors (1-0) will continue their homestand in a non-conference matchup Wednesday against Heartland Christian.
“I’m excited (for the season), I just hope we get to play because these girls have been working their tail off since June,” Forsythe said. “I hope everybody gets to play, with everything going on it’s a different year.
“I tell our girls everyday, play like it’s your last game because you never know when that phone call is going to come and they say you’re shut down for a little while.”