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BRUINS RELY ON STINGY DEFENSE IN WIN

Senior Jessie Goergen (right) tries to steal the ball from Del Norte's Robyn Suzuki in the Bruins 27-24 win Thursday night. (The Pilot/Josh Bronson).
Senior Jessie Goergen (right) tries to steal the ball from Del Norte's Robyn Suzuki in the Bruins 27-24 win Thursday night. (The Pilot/Josh Bronson).

By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

Defense wins games.

This age-old adage has been used time and time again by coaches, players and sportswriters.

And to this day, the saying still stands true.

The Brookings-Harbor High School girls' basketball team has used this methodology to win half-a-dozen games already this season, with their latest being a 27-24 win over the Del Norte Warriors Thursday night.

"We've talked a lot as a team about how our defense has to carry us when our offense isn't clicking," Coach Chris Schofield said.

And the Bruin defense has most certainly carried them this season.

Through 13 games this year, the Bruins (6-7) are only allowing 35.2 points per game – which is fourth best in the state at the 4A level.

When the Bruins are able to hold their opponents to 30 points or less, which has happened on six occasions this season, they win.

On Thursday, the Bruins were once again able to hold their opponents under 30 points as they shut down the Warriors for their third win a row.

"We're happy with where we're at," Schofield said. "And it's nice to finally have a full compliment of players where we can go a little deeper."

With the game tied at 6-6 late in the first quarter, Kara Miller nailed a 3-pointer to put the Bruins up 9-6 heading into the second stanza.

The Bruins' full-court press frustrated Del Norte in the second quarter as the Warriors were unable to score until 1:30 left in the half.

The Warriors' Bailee McCulloch drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Bruin lead to 19-13 at the half.

Once again, the Bruins methodical offense was able to put points on the board while limiting their opponents to very few quality shots.

With a 27-22 lead heading into the final period, both teams had trouble putting points on the board, as the Warriors' Robyn Suzuki scored the only points in the quarter with a long jumper with about three minutes left to play in the quarter.

On offense, the Bruins did a good job moving the ball around the perimeter, eating up the clock and waiting for quality shots.

Miller scored in double figures for the fourth time this year and led the Bruins with a game-high 11 points.

Ashley Juarez scored six points, Jessie Goergen added four while Taylor Keys, Ciara Freeman and Chelsey Hannan had two points apiece.

McCulloch led the Warriors with eight points.

In the JV game, the Bruins stuck with the Warriors for the majority of the game, but an 11-2 third quarter lifted the Warriors over the Bruins 46-41.

The Bruins trailed by as many as six points late in the second quarter, but two buckets by Freeman and a pair of free throws by Sarah Pate cut the lead to two at the half.

The Warriors built up an 11 point lead after a dominating third quarter, but the Bruins were able to chip away at the lead and pulled with three, 44-41, with less than two minutes left to play on a baseline bucket by Pate.

Pate led the Bruins with 13 points while Jillian McCool chipped in 10.

Heather Thomas was a force inside for the Warriors as she scored a game-high 19 points.

The Bruins will be off for two week and resume action at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at home against Gold Beach.

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