Brodie’s big game

Junior takes over in OT of Central's win

Central’s Jodeci Toomalatai scores two of her eight points Tuesday night in the Warriors’ 52-50 overtime victory over Rifle.

Rifle’s Chante Church, 23, scored 21 points Tuesday night to keep the Bears in the game, but Rifle fell to Central 52-50 in overtime.

Makenzie Lange made a free throw with 7.8 seconds left to force overtime. Sierra Batchelor twice made free throws to take the lead in the extra session. Tyler Hays hit a big 3-pointer shortly before her night ended with a fifth foul.

Then, it was D’Kota Brodie’s turn to deliver in the clutch as the Central junior started grabbing offensive rebounds, making layups and sinking free throws as the Warriors won a nonleague battle between determined girls basketball teams, 52-50, in overtime Tuesday.

Brodie scored seven of her team-high 10 points in the final two minutes of overtime and played the way Central coach Mary Doane said she’s capable of playing every game.

“Hopefully this game brings that out of her a little bit,” Doane said.

Brodie made one of two free throws with 1 minute, 59 seconds remaining. After Batchelor made a free throw to give the Warriors the lead for good, she missed her second attempt, and Brodie was there for the rebound, a quick spin into the lane and two points for a 46-43 lead.

About 35 seconds later, Brodie snared a long pass on a fast break, stopped to let a defender fly by, then dropped in an easy shot for a 48-43 lead. Then, with 39.7 seconds left, she rebounded a missed free throw by a teammate, was fouled and sank two free throws for a 51-45 lead.

“My team kind of just picked me up, and once my team picked me up, there was no stopping,” Brodie said. “When you’re so pumped up to win a game, and you want it so bad, you just put a whole bunch more effort into it.”

Doane lauded Central’s “complete team effort” as every Warrior played, and many contributions won’t show up in a box score, such as the two charges 5-foot-1 guard Amanda Etcheverry drew, or the job Batchelor did bringing the ball up the court.

Others did make the box score, such as freshman Jodeci Toomalatai, who came off the bench for long stretches when Central post players Brodie and Cassidy Bryant were in foul trouble. Toomalatai posted up strong on two of her baskets en route to eight points.

“This was a good win for these kids,” said Doane, adding the Warriors (2-7) weren’t in an overtime game last year. “It was a great team effort. It really was, and they got rewarded for it.”

After a terrible first half in which it was limited to seven points, Rifle flashed effort and heart that nearly got the Bears (0-5) in the win column for the first time this season.

Chante Church led the Bears with 21 points, including nine in overtime, as she constantly drove to the basket for buckets or free throws. Meanwhile, Kailee Cordova kept the Bears close in the second half as she made all four of her 3-pointers and scored all 18 of her points after the intermission.

Rifle coach Kristy Wallner pointed to first-half free-throw shooting — the Bears were 5 of 12 from the line — as a big difference in the game. Rifle made 19 of 35 free throws overall, and Central made 16 of 33.


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