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Eastland battles Brunner, Aquin

Comeback incomplete

Published: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 12:24 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 12:24 a.m. CDT
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/
Eastland's Megan Janssen shoots while Aquin's Sophie Brunner goes for a block Friday during the championship game of the Pearl City tournament. Aquin won 51-42.

PEARL CITY – Eastland overcame a 13-point deficit before succumbing to Arizona State-bound Sophie Brunner and defending 1A state champion Aquin.

Down by 13 in the second quarter, the Cougars fought all the way back to a take a two-point lead late in the third period before Brunner and company regained the momentum and again pulled away for a 51-42 victory Friday night in the championship game of the Pearl City tournament.

With her future college coach reportedly in attendance, Brunner poured in a game-high 23 points for the Bulldogs (11-2) on 10-of-13 shooting.

Megan Jannsen came off the bench to ignite Eastland (11-2), scoring eight of her team-high 11 points in the second quarter.

"When it was open, I drove. And, it was open, so I shot," said Janssen, who did the bulk of her damage driving the baseline to the basket.

Janssen was glad she did not have to contend with the 6-foot-1 multitalented Brunner.

"You can't really do much about her," Janssen said. "Luckily, I didn't have to guard her, because I'm 5-2."

Down 22-9 midway through the second quarter, Eastland used a 10-2 tear to make it 24-19.

Aquin answered and took a 30-21 lead into the half after a three-point play from Brunner with less than a second left.

With her team trailing 32-23, the Cougars' Courtney Walker (9 points) knocked down consecutive 3-pointers. Lexis Macomber (9 points) added an inside bucket before a free throw by Brunner.

Haley Miller hit a bucket to pull Eastland even before Janssen knocked down two free throws to put the Cougars in front 35-33 with 2:19 left in the third quarter. It was Eastland's first lead since 3-2.

"When we get down, we pull together. It's amazing," Walker said. "We get this fire and intensity inside us. I don't know how we do it."

Brunner provided eight points down the stretch as Aquin closed with an 18-7 blitz.

"We came out tight and scared," Eastland coach Colleen Henze said. "You're playing the state champs, so it's kind of understandable. I wish we wouldn't have had the bad start, because I think we could have got them."

Star of the game: Sophie Brunner, Aquin, game-high 23 points

Key performers: Megan Janssen, Eastland, 11 points off bench; Lexis Macomber and Courtney Walker, Eastland, 9 points apiece

Up next: Eastland at Dixon tournament, Dec. 27-29

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