Brooke scores 32, helps 2A, No. 8 Pioneer extend win streak to 8
Redinger, Dunlap score 14 each for Argos in loss
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ROYAL CENTER — Pioneer senior point guard Ashlynn Brooke was a McDonald’s All-American nominee earlier in the week, and her special sauce fried Argos and made them grimace in a tasty 56-45 win at The Cage Saturday.
Brooke scored a season-high 32 points, including all 11 of her team’s points in the third quarter, to lead the host Class 2A, No. 8 Lady Panthers.
Gracie Hopper added seven points, including five in the fourth quarter, as Pioneer won their eighth straight game to improve to 16-2.
Samantha Redinger and Emma Dunlap had 14 points each for Argos, who fell to 9-9. Ellie Bollenbacher had a team-high 12 rebounds.
Pioneer closed the first half on an 11-2 run to build a 26-16 halftime lead, and they led the entire second half.
“We’re a pretty good team fighting back when we do get down,” Argos coach Scott Jennings said. “Pioneer’s tough. They’ve lost two games to Caston, and that’s it this year. I thought early on we battled them pretty good and fought back when we got down a little bit, but they’re a good team. Give them credit. Well-coached.”
Argos got within 32-31 with under three minutes left in the third quarter on Dunlap’s pullup 19-footer, but Brooke answered with one of her five 3-pointers with help from a Crystabelle Blickenstaff assist.
Ava Stackhouse and Ellie Bollenbacher each split a pair of free throws to make it 35-33, but Brooke used a high ball screen to hit a 17-footer to push the lead to four after three quarters.
“I thought she did a nice job of getting herself in a scoring position,” Pioneer coach Jeff Brooke said of Ashlynn Brooke. “And credit her teammates. I mean, he went man-to-man, and when we set our ball screens for her, our kids do a nice job of getting her open. So credit the kids too, but Ashlynn did a nice job finding that midrange jumper and hitting those.”
A 10-footer from the left baseline from Hopper and Paula Collado Fernandez’s steal and layup to start the fourth quarter got the lead to 41-33.
At 45-38, Ashlynn Brooke split a pair of free throws, got a twisting layup in transition off a steal and dropped in a putback to get the lead to 12. The lead was in double digits for the final 5:27.
Argos started in a box-in-one defense, which evolved into a straight man-to-man by the second half. Ashlynn Brooke said that Argos’ Baleigh Binkley was always face-guarding her.
Brooke was coming off a 25-point game in a 54-50 win over Maconaquah four days earlier. She said that she has to sometimes be a decoy running off screens, which helps get her teammates open looks.
“I would say being patient,” Brooke said of her offensive hot streak. “That first quarter, I was not being very patient, but my teammates are doing a good job. You could see when we were running (the play) ‘Kansas,’ Makenna started sliding up, and then Belle got the layup. Girls are getting aware that they are open once I’m drawing defenders away.”
Argos committed 10 of their 19 turnovers in the fourth quarter. Pioneer switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense in the fourth.
“We just didn’t run our offense like we needed to,” Jennings said. “The turnovers were basically our fault. We were passing to people three feet away from us instead of spreading the floor and using screens. I think we just panicked a little bit and got down.”
Coach Brooke said the team has worked hard in practice on its man-to-man defense over the last two weeks.
“We’re typically a 2-3 zone, and we try to find those shooters, but when we let people just stand out there and bomb it, they’ve been hitting it, so we’ve got to get better as sectional comes up of just digging in and playing man-to-man defense, and I think you saw our girls do that today,” coach Brooke said.
Pioneer 56, Argos 45
ARGOS (45) (9-9)
Samantha Redinger 4 5-6 14, Baleigh Binkley 2 1-2 5, Emma Dunlap 6 0-0 14, Ellie Bollenbacher 0 1-2 1, Bella Stults 2 4-6 8, Morgyn Barcus 0 0-0 0, Ava Stackhouse 1 1-2 3
TEAM: 15 12-18 45
PIONEER (56) (16-2)
Makenna Strycker 0 2-2 2, Ashlynn Brooke 11 5-6 32, Paula Collado Fernandez 1 1-4 3, Gracie Hopper 3 1-1 7, Kylie Attinger 3 0-0 6, Crystabelle Blickenstaff 1 2-2 4, Allison McGrew 0 0-0 0, Julia McGrew 1 0-0 2, Kynzie Hathaway 0 0-0 0, Mia McKaig 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 20 11-15 56
Three-point field goals:
Argos 3 (Dunlap 2, Redinger),
Pioneer 5 (Brooke 5)
Total fouls: Argos 13, Pioneer 10
Turnovers: Argos 19, Pioneer 14
Score by quarters
Argos 8 8 17 12 – 45
Pioneer 8 18 11 19 – 56