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Broncos throw Trojans in season opener

Girls Basketball

HARRIS — The Bark River-Harris Broncos knew if they could contain 6-foot-2 Mercedes Simmons they’d have a good shot to win. They did that, and got 14 points from Allison Richer as they hung on for a 44-31 girls basketball win over Forest Park in their season opener here Friday night.

Simmons finished with 14 points, but the Broncos were able to get her in foul trouble in the second quarter as they won the period 12-3 to gain a 19-11 halftime cushion.

“We kind of focused our whole game plan on her,” said first-year BRH coach Matt Richer. “We knew if we limited her we’d have a good chance. It seemed like when she went to the bench in the second quarter we kind of sparked up and had more energy.”

Coach Richer said the plan was to press and then fall back into a 2-3 zone.

“We watched North Central play them the other night and they drop back into the zone,” he said. “She’s so physical and strong and long, so it’s hard to do it on every play, but I liked the way we played aggressive. We put them on the free throw line, but I liked the way my girls hustled tonight.”

The Broncos then survived an ugly second half in this Skyline Central Conference contest, as five players fouled out in a game that became a free throw shooting contest.

With BRH holding a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Trojans put on a press that forced four straight BRH turnovers at one point. That’s when Allison Richer came to the rescue, shooting 8 for 8 from the free to help close the deal.

With just seven girls on their roster, the Trojans (0-2, 0-2 SCC) had three girls foul out, forcing them to finish the game with just four players.

Neither team shot well from the field, as the Broncos went just 11 of 52 and the Trojans 10 for 42.

“I had to tell them to slow down in the fourth quarter,” coach Richer said. “It’s easy to forget the girls are young.”

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