June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Girls basketball: Blue Devils upset state-ranked Jaguars

CLEVELAND — Senior center Gabrielle Bulic celebrated her 18th birthday with a cake, balloons and the biggest victory of her career.

Bulic collected 14 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and two blocked shots Wednesday, leading Brunswick’s girls basketball team to a 39-30 upset of St. Joseph Academy.

Bri Moss

The Jaguars (14-1) are ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press Division I state poll, three spots ahead of Medina County superpower Wadsworth.

“This was the most amazing game and win of my life,” said Bulic, who played in her 83rd varsity contest. “It was the most amazing, the most intense, the most tiring — really the most everything game any of us have been a part of.”

Senior small forward Brianna Moss also came up big in the triumph, scoring 14 of her career-high 18 points in the first half for the Blue Devils (10-5), who won their sixth straight game.

Brunswick, which led from wire to wire, shut out St. Joseph in the second quarter to build a 22-4 advantage at intermission.

The Blue Devils’ largest lead came with 3:15 left in the third when junior power forward Monica Wasson buried a baseline jumper to make it 32-5.

“We knew St. Joseph was really good, but we wanted to show them that we came here tonight to win,” said Moss, who made 3-of-6 3-pointers. “We worked the ball around and we were patient, which is what made our offense work so well.”

Brunswick’s defense was even better, holding the Jaguars to 2-of-30 shooting (6.7 percent) over the first 16 minutes.

Shooting guard Katie Battaglia had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists for St. Joseph, but was 4-of-20 from the field.

The Blue Devils finished with 11 blocked shots, including a career-best six from sophomore point guard Paige Salisbury, who added three points, seven boards and three assists. She also held Jaguars point guard Daija Jones to a 0-of-9, zero-assist outing.

“Paige has shown that she can shut the other team’s best player down, and she was great on Jones tonight,” Brunswick coach Halle Lengal said.

St. Joseph rattled off an 18-0 run spanning the final 3:14 of the third and the first 6:21 of the fourth, then got as close as six points in the final minute.

But Bulic, Moss and senior point guard Courtney Laudato closed out the win by each making 2-of-2 free throws.

“This was, by far, our best regular-season win,” a beaming Lengal said. “It truly was a signature win for our program. To beat an undefeated, 14-0, state-ranked team in their gym means so much to all of us at Brunswick.”

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.