The only player capable of slowing Doherty senior Brionna McBride on Friday at Wasson High School turned out to be the Spartan star.
After racking up most of her 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals in the first three quarters of the Spartans’ 52-35 win over Pine Creek to keep Doherty unbeaten in the Colorado Springs Metro League, McBride had an early exit. She got whistled for her fourth foul, a reach that negated a seventh steal, with five minutes to play and her protest was met with a technical foul to end her night.
“Mad, irritated, sad all in one, because I didn’t think it was a foul. In my head, I was just trying to take the ball, get a layup,” McBride said before acknowledging the punishment that was coming at Monday’s practice.
“I gotta run for that.”
She earned the five minutes of rest, a rarity for the senior. Before she headed to the bench for good, her only breather came late in the third quarter and lasted roughly a minute.
After being the Metro League’s Player of the Year as a junior, it’s tough for Doherty coach Patrick McKiernan to take her off the court, as she’s developed a balanced game. She can initiate the offense and guard just about anybody put in front of her.
“She’s become an all-around player, and she is a lock-down defender,” McKiernan said. “I mean she will just lock it down. She is total game and she can run any position on the floor 1 through 5.”
On the game’s first possession, McBride grabbed an offensive rebound and hit Aujanae Latimer for the opening bucket. She hit a pair of free throws soon after and gave the Spartans a 12-6 lead after one by banking in a 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer.
She showcased her versatility early in the second with a steal near midcourt and finished the play with a spin move into a reverse layup.
“I get motivation a lot when I try to play the best defense I can,” McBride said.
Doherty took an eight-point lead to half before that defense helped put the game away.
McBride grabbed another offensive rebound on the Spartans’ first possession of the second half, this time scoring on a put back.
A couple of more steals and two free throws came in a 6-0 spurt to start the second half, increasing the lead to 14.
Slow starts and second-chance points were two things Pine Creek coach Janean Jubic said her young and injury-plagued team could’ve done better to make for a closer game.
“We take two or three minutes to get to that point and I think it’s just a lack of experience,” Jubic said.
Doherty led by 20 after three and McBride scored four straight early in the fourth to make it a 22-point game when she made her exit.
“She’s a great player,” Jubic said. “You focus on her, though they also have some pretty good guys around her, so you’ve got to be balanced.”
While McBride was the only Spartan in double figures, Latimer added nine points and Abbey Mansfield hit a pair of 3-pointers.
Sophomore Jordyn Gutierrez and Brooklyn Thomas led Pine Creek with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“I felt like tonight we worked hard,” Jubic said. “We had that grit and that heart I’ve been looking for and asking for.”
The effort was there, but an answer for McBride — who is attracting a lot of interest from college recruiters while playing on an injured meniscus — wasn’t.
“She just personifies everything that we could ask (for),” said McKiernan.