STORY BY CHIP CIRILLO | PHOTOS BY DEB SCALLY
Emily Trushel is by far Brentwood’s best foul shooter.
So, she was the perfect person to have at the free-throw line with the Lady Bruins’ season hanging in the balance.
The junior guard hit 1of 2 foul shots, missing the second one on purpose, with 1.1 second left to give Brentwood a 37-36 win over visiting Summit in the first round of the District 11-AAA tournament Friday night.
“Well, I knew I had to step up for the team, but I wasn’t really that nervous,” said Trushel, an 85.5 free-throw shooter. “I knew I could make it. But it’s still pressure and it was just a big moment for me.”
Trushel got a friendly bounce after the ball hit the rim to give Brentwood its third straight win.
“It was a little iffy, but I thought it was going in,” Trushel said of the first winning shot of her high-school career.
Her twin sister, Delaney, led the Lady Bruins with 10 points.
Fourth-seeded Brentwood (18-9) faces No. 1 Page (27-3) in a 3 p.m. semifinal on Saturday at Dickson County.
“Emily is big time and we expect her to make big-time plays, especially in the crunch time,” Brentwood coach Myles Thrash said. “I thought she really, really grew up and matured as a leader on this team earlier in the season and we trust her late in ball games.”
Summit post Ellie Colson was called for blocking when Trushel drove the lane for a layup, setting up her winning foul shot.
“It’s a hard pill to swallow when you’ve got a lot of hours invested into this entire season to have it come down to an official,” Summit coach Kari Goodwin said. “I think it would have been amazing if it was a no call or a call in our favor, but I’m having a hard time processing myself right now of closing this door just for this season because of how awesome we rallied in that game.
‘I didn’t see much movement on that block. I thought she was pretty set, but it’s something I have no control over.”
Summit’s Marli Anderson made a layup that tied the score at 36 with 39 seconds left. The game was tight the entire second half.
Freshman Claudette Runk led the Lady Spartans (13-10) with 10 points as Summit ended the season with four straight losses.
“There we a lot of sad girls in that locker room,” said Goodwin, whose starting five included one senior, two juniors and two sophomores.
Girls basketball has almost become a year-round sport.
“It starts in May and then we start team camp in June, so you’re looking at March/April as their break and then we’re right back at it,” Goodwin said. “A lot of the girls are wanting to play AAU basketball this summer and they weren’t playing last year, so that’s exciting to see.”
Brentwood won two of three against Summit this season. The last two were decided by less than three points, including Summit’s 54-52 win on Jan. 25.