YORK – Bruton never trailed and cruised to a Group 2A Conference 33 girls basketball championship Wednesday in a 42-24 triumph at home over Maggie Walker.
Banged up from its Bay Rivers District schedule, the postgame celebration complete with a proper net-cutting may be just what the doctor ordered for Bruton (12-11) as it seeks to build momentum for a region run.
“We know we can compete throughout the year,” Panthers co-coach Bobby Warner said. “We can compete with anybody. Now, we get a fair shot.”
Senior point guard Mykael Johnson said, “We’ve been through a lot of obstacles and we came together as a team and won Conference 33, again, so it was really important to us.”
Top-seeded Bruton, which has claimed the last three contested Conference 33 tourneys, will host fourth-seeded Amelia County on Friday in the first round of the 2A East Region tournament.
After defeating Arcadia in the conference semifinals Monday, the Panthers jumped out to an 11-1 lead Wednesday, pushed it to 13-6 after the first quarter and were up by 12 points at halftime.
Gabby Calloway and Makayla Johnson each finished with 11 points for Bruton and Mykael Johnson scored eight including a triple from near the top of the key midway through the second quarter that made it 19-6.
Calloway had eight points by halftime and added a third-quarter 3-pointer to extend the Panthers’ lead to 33-16 with 3:02 to play in the frame.
Bruton finished Bay Rivers play on a bit of a slide, going 1-4, but played well under co-coaches Warner and Shawn Preston the second half of the season. The Panthers’ district slate included wins over Lafayette, Jamestown, Tabb, and Grafton.
“Really, you can't pinpoint one player over any one of the others,” Warner said.
“It’s not really one person," Preston added. “It’s the team collectively stepping up.”
BRUTON 42, MAGGIE WALKER 24Maggie Walker: Atkins 10, Tripodi 5, Qin 5, Ragone 4. Totals 10 3-7 24. Bruton: My. Johnson 8, Calloway 11, Robinson 3, Ma. Johnson 11, Lucas 6, Stringfield 1, Freeman 2. Totals 16 8-11 42. MAGGIE WALKER 6 5 9 4 – 24BRUTON 13 10 14 5 – 42 3-point goals: Maggie Walker 1 (Qin), Bruton 2 (My. Johnson, Calloway).
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.