Brantley girls win 1st state title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 2, 2013

Michael Rodgers

The Luverne Journal

All it took was a little extra motivation for the Brantley Bulldog girls.

Down 20-16 in the third quarter, head coach Andrew Kilcrease called a timeout. The Bulldogs came out of that timeout on a 17-3 run, and that ultimately carried them to a 53-42 win over Keith and the first girls Class 1A state championship in school history.

“He told us that we weren’t going to lose this game, and we believed him,” Final Four MVP Amahni Upshaw said about the timeout. “We went out there and played like a team and made that statement true.”

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team taking control of the game. Brantley trailed 9-7 after the first quarter and 17-13 at halftime.

The Bulldogs put 23 points on the board in the third quarter.

Also stepping up big for Brantley in the second half was Peyton Hill. Hill was scoreless in the first half but came up with 11 points in the second half.

“I got on her at halftime, but she was able to take it and it motivated her,” Kilcrease said.

Raven Davis led the Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points, Upshaw had 12 and Hill finished with 11.

The Bulldogs finish the season with a 25-6 record.


St. Jude boys 57, Brantley boys 56

Trailing St. Jude 57-56 with 14.8 seconds left, the Brantley boys had a shot to win a state title, but a jumper from Wesley Person rimmed out and there was no time left for a putback.

“We wanted the ball in our hands at the last,” Brantley coach Andrew Kilcrease said. “We had what we wanted. Wesley attacked the basket and shot it. We were hoping for a foul, but didn’t get one. Terence [Bogen] had a good rebound and just didn’t get back up in time.”

The Bulldogs didn’t back down from St. Jude in the first half, matching them with 11 points in the first quarter and taking a 28-23 lead at halftime.

Kilcrease said he knew that the Pirates would be trying to feed the ball to Andrew Rogers inside, but that BHS was trying to make them shoot the outside shot.

“They had a great shooting night on Tuesday night, and it’s hard to do that two nights in a row,” Kilcrease said. “They missed a few shots early, but they hit some in the fourth quarter that hurt us.”

The Pirates outscored Brantley 21-14 in the third quarter, but Brantley fought back to trail by two points going into the final period and neither team led by more than three for the last six minutes of the game.

Person led the Bulldogs in scoring with 22 points, and O.J. Guice had 17 points, going 4-7 from three-point range.

The trip to Birmingham and the Final Four was Brantley’s first since 1995.

The Bulldogs end the year with a 21-6 record.