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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Holly knocks off Brandon in district opener

GRAND BLANC — The Holly girls basketball team followed a dominating defensive performance against Fenton on Friday night with a similar effort to open the 2013 state tournament season at Grand Blanc on Monday. Holly topped the Ortonville Brandon, 47-25.

Leading 24-12 at the break, Holly shut out Brandon in third quarter to take a 40-12 lead into the final stanza. Holly also pitched a shutout quarter against Fenton in that Holly victory.

Holly sophomore Brooke Jackman added two three-pointers to the Holly effort and was a big part of the Holly defense as well.

“It’s all good to steal the ball and get back on offense,” said Jackman. She also said that she had been working on her three-point shooting a lot more in practice in explaining her success from behind the arc.

With someone from Division I Eastern Michigan looking on, Holly’ Allyssa Copley did not disappoint. She led all scorers with 16 points while also adding seven rebounds and two blocks and steals each.

“[Our] defense is all about communication. When we have our communication our defense is outstanding,” said Copley. “With good communication, good defense, they don’t score.”

The senior-less Blackhawks started fairly well and held the Holly offense in check for most of the first quarter.

“I thought we had control of the tempo” [fairly well] “in the first four or five minutes,” said Brandon coach Andy Tiberian. “[The score] was 3-2 forever. We were limiting them to one shot. The next thing you know they (Holly) rattled off eight straight points and again it was a lack of experience [on our part].”

When Holly made its big run in the second and third quarters by outscoring Brandon during that time 32-9, Jackman’s eight points and 10 from Copley were the catalyst. On the defensive end, Holly junior Katie Ordiway provided some spark with two quick steals.

The young Blackhawks have a future. In particular, sophomore Katelyn Hendershot and freshman Brooke Becker both played strong games. Hendershot led Brandon with eight points. Becker added six points and led the Blackhawks on the boards with eight rebounds. Also a volleyball player, Becker used her superior jumping ability to gather in the boards. She said that she likes volleyball in explaining her good lift off the floor but she likes basketball better.

Hendershot has a well-rounded game and is progressing nicely while finishing out her second year as a Brandon varsity player and starter.

“We couldn’t get things to fall and we fell apart defensively a little bit,” Hendershot said.

Hendershot’s two free throws 30 seconds into the fourth quarter put an end to the dreadful dry spot the Blackhawks had in the third quarter.

Holly coach David Hall was obviously happy with his team’s effort and the outcome.

“That third quarter was huge for us,” he said.

He felt that Holly’s switching to a two-three defense was a factor in slowing down the Brandon offense that had been somewhat effective in the first half.

“Brooke Jackman had a good first half for us," he said. Allyssa [Copley] got off to a good start. That’s huge."

For Brandon, junior Rachel D’Alio also had six points.

For the Bronchos, Kaitlyn Smith dropped in 12 points and senior Delaney Serra had nine assists.

Holly hopes to keep the momentum going and will now take its 18-3 record back to Grand Blanc on Wednesday night for a 5:30 p.m. matchup with Fenton, which drew the bye. Holly split the two games with Fenton this year with each time winning easily at home. Fenton comes into the Wednesday game at 13-7.

Brandon hopes the painful experience of youth will pay off and they can approve next year on this year’s final mark of 7-14.

Last Updated: 2/25/2013 9:23:05 PM EST

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