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Girls high school basketball sectional: Mavunga leads Brownsburg to title

Senior star carries the host Bulldogs to regional with 25 points and 15 rebounds


12:00 AM, Feb. 10, 2013 EST

The bench of Brownsburg High School erupts as the girls basketball team beat Ben Davis High School on Feb. 8, 2013. / Robert Scheer / The Star

BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- Stephanie Mavunga wasn't going to be denied.

The Brownsburg High School senior led her Class 4A Bulldogs to their first sectional title since 2001 in a 51-45 win Saturday over Pike. The 6-4 University of North Carolina-bound Mavunga dominated with a game-high 25 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.

The Bulldogs (20-3) move on to face No. 5 Roncalli (22-3) in Saturday's Decatur Central Regional semifinals at approximately noon. Mooresville and Connersville will play in the other semifinal at 10 a.m., with the championship at 8 p.m.

It was the third consecutive season that Brownsburg had reached the sectional championship game.

"I've wanted this since I was a freshman," Mavunga said. "After a while, you just want it so bad that you have to look your teammates in the eyes and you have to believe and tell them, 'There's no more losing. There's no looking back. You have nothing to lose.' We told ourselves from the start we're never going to give it up, that we're going to leave it on the floor, and that's what we did."

Brownsburg led from the outset with Mavunga taking command at both ends of the court. The Bulldogs led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter and 24-17 at the half with Mavunga scoring 10 points.

Brownsburg was never fully able to pull away, though, and Pike (18-5) went on a 6-1 run to start the fourth quarter, tying the score at 36. The Red Devils had a chance to take the lead but missed a pair of free throws with 5:41 left.

Mavunga converted on back-to-back shots to help the Bulldogs regain control and Pike never threatened again. Mavunga finished with eight points in the period.

"I thought Stephanie showed she's truly Miss Basketball," Brownsburg coach Amy Brauman said. "She carried us and not just on easy buckets, either. She made some great moves down in the post and scored. When we needed some points, she stepped up."

Brownsburg senior point guard Margaret Oles overcame a hard foul in which she was knocked into the scorer's table to make four consecutive free throws late for her only points. Senior Lindsey Low added 11 points for Brownsburg. The Bulldogs remain undefeated on their home court.

"Our seniors, overall, they just knew they were going to win this," Brauman said. "There were times when (Pike) got back in it, but the look in (the Bulldogs') eyes was they were not going to be denied."

Sophomore forward Brittany Ward led Pike with 19 points. Freshman Tyana Robinson added eight points and junior Lyndsey Edwards had seven. The Brownsburg defense held Pike to 17-of-58 (29.3 percent) shooting from the field.

"We're very young," said Pike coach Bob Anglea. "We just didn't hit shots.

"(Mavunga) is great. She's hard to game plan for until you've actually played her. Kudos to her for putting the ball in the bucket when they needed it. All their girls have a little more experience on them and used that to their advantage."

 

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