BRUSLY — Throughout the season Brusly coach Shawn Bradford urged his team to bring the same level of intensity for all four quarters and his response after Tuesday night’s game was “we’re close.”
Brusly getting close to accomplishing that goal resulted in a 64-47 win at home over Caldwell Parish in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Laila Clark led all scorers with 23 points for Brusly (27-9). Tia Anderson added 20 points. Danasia Andrews paced Caldwell (20-6) with 19 points.
Brusly advances to the quarterfinals for the first time in four years and will take on the winner of Kaplan and Donaldsonville.
“Coach talked about us hustling going into the playoffs because every possession counts,” Anderson said. “We knew coming out that we had to start off strong and end strong. We had to keep it up until the end.”
Brusly’s intensity was evident from the opening tip. The Panthers looked to chase down every loose ball and snatch every rebound. Brusly’s full-court pressure caused problems early for Caldwell.
The Spartans turned the ball over frequently, which helped Brusly build a double-digit lead early.
Anderson hit a 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter that gave Brusly a 21-9 lead.
The teams played each other to a draw in the second quarter, resulting in Brusly taking a 41-29 lead into halftime.
Caldwell never cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the game. Brusly led by 14 heading into the fourth and built its largest lead of 20 points late in the final quarter.
“I tell them all the time about getting better every rep, every possession and always trying to make it better,” Bradford said. “We got better tonight, and we showed it. I’m super proud of the girls. They stepped up to the challenge. I couldn’t ask for much more. They were bigger, but we battled and that shows the heart and integrity that we have for the game.”