In 1996 Brookside High School Girls Basketball won the Sectional championship. In the years since, the Lady Cards have not won a single tournament game. That is, they had not won one until February 19th 2020, because on that day the team defeated a scrappy Wickliffe team in the North Ridgeville District first round tournament by a final of 43-31. It was an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, for a Brookside team to “reverse the curse” as it were, but to do it in such a dramatic fashion will make this victory one for the record books. The Cards finished their regular season on February 12th, and since then the Flu Bug has been a dominant factor. Of the 11 members of the varsity team, seven have missed at least one practice in the past week due to illness, and two of them (Sophomore Shyanne Shinsky and Junior Hanna Trowbridge) missed the first tournament game hosted in the new Brookside High School. In fact, several key members of the team played while considerably less than 100%, but they were not to be denied on this night. The game started slow for both teams, with a halftime score of just 15-14 in favor of the Blue Devils, as the Cards struggled to find a rhythm offensively minus several key players.
The key to this game was the first four minutes of the second half, as Junior Sarah Torres hit a jumper to put the Cards up two, and senior Emma Gillespie made back to back baskets to push Brookside into a lead that they would never relinquish. While the offensive spurt is what pushed the Cards ahead, it was outstanding defensive pressure from Sophomore Heaven Vanzant, great rebounding by Sophomores Madison Adams and Savanah Walls, and a few key defensive plays by Ashlee Aliff that held off the Blue Devils on this night. The outstanding effort from several bench players (Walls, Aliff and especially Adrianna Mihalak) made the loss of Shinsky and Trowbridge much more bearable. Mihalak in particular had an outstanding performance, knocking down 6 free throws to go with several great defensive plays that kept the Cards in front throughout the 4th quarter. Williams and Torres consistently sliced through the Blue Devil defense on their way to the basket, or pulled the ball out to run the offense and burn precious time off of the clock. But to just raise the degree of difficulty a little bit more, both Torres and Vanzant sustained injuries in the second half, compounded by foul trouble for Walls, Adams and Gillespie that forced some line-ups that the Cards had never used in tight ball games to be in during the final stretch.
Final scoring for the Cards went as follows:
With the win the Cards up their win total for the season to 7, and will play in the sectional finals on Saturday against state powerhouse Elyria Catholic. Good Luck Ladies!