Brunswick ended Firestone’s season for the third year in a row, this time on the hot hand of sophomore Farrah Benner, in a 64-33 Division I sectional final win Thursday night at Firestone High School in Akron.
Benner hit eight 3-pointers against Firestone, breaking Brunswick’s school record for 3-pointers in a game, to finish with a game-high 26 points, six rebounds and two steals.
“It was awesome,” Benner said. “I loved it. I love when it’s like that. It means a lot. To break it as a sophomore is incredible.”
Brunswick (10-12) got off to a slow start but found a rhythm in the second quarter and entered halftime leading 30-13. Benner already had eight points by that time but caught fire in the second half, hitting five 3-pointers, most from the corner on excellent ball movement as Firestone struggled to keep an eye on her.
Benner poured in 29 points (on seven 3-pointers, tying the school record) against Elyria on Feb. 12 and had 22 points against Shaker Heights Feb. 10.
“I’ve just been into the games and doing what I need to do,” Benner said. “I’m in the zone, in the game.”
Brunswick coach Halle Lengal once held the school record for 3-pointers in a game with six, so she knows a thing or two about great shooters.
“The kid can shoot,” Lengal said. “She’s been shooting the ball extremely well for us all year. And she has a pretty quick trigger so she can get it off when people are closing in on her.”
Junior Paige Salisbury had six points, four rebounds and three steals, junior Samantha Gut added eight points and five rebounds and freshman Olivia Andrew finished with nine points.
Getting that kind of production from so many spots, combined with Benner’s shooting, is a great sign for Brunswick heading into the district tournament, according to Lengal.
“We’ve definitely hit our stride the second half of the season,” Lengal said. “[Senior Monica Wasson, 10 rebounds] rebounded the ball extremely well tonight. I was proud of Sam Gut; she played probably the best game I’ve seen her play in a long time. Everybody played their role to a T tonight. What they needed to do is what happened. I’m proud because we always say ‘control tempo,’ and they did that tonight.”
Brunswick beat Firestone in the tournament last year by a similar 59-36 score. Two seasons ago, the Blue Devils won a 59-57 overtime thriller. The Blue Devils will face Lakewood in the district semifinal Feb. 25 at Medina High School.
Firestone junior Darian Cater and senior Yolanda Sims each had eight points and five rebounds for the Falcons (14-8), who were coming off a last-minute loss to Kenmore in the City Series title game. Seniors Ashley Phillips and Destini Turner each added six points.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.