Big Walnut Roundup: Abby Brown delivers as girls basketball team’s go-to scorer

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Abby Brown has delivered a big senior season as the go-to scorer for Big Walnut, averaging 18 points through 17 games. “She’s been developing into this role the past three or four years,” coach Jason Crawford said.

Abby Brown didn’t mind the wait.

As a sophomore and junior on the Big Walnut girls basketball team, she settled into a supporting role behind a strong group of players who would accumulate 67 victories over four consecutive winning seasons and earn three second-place finishes in the OCC-Capital Division.

“It was exciting watching them play, and they were certainly athletes that I looked up to,” Brown said. “I had the mentality of going in and helping the team whenever I could.”

While the senior guard’s mindset hasn’t changed, her role is much different as a leader and the Golden Eagles’ go-to scorer who was averaging 18 points through 17 games.

Big Walnut was 9-9 overall and 5-8 in the OCC-Capital before finishing the regular-season schedule against Dublin Scioto on Feb. 12. The Golden Eagles lost to Canal Winchester 42-40 on Feb. 9.

Brown had scored in the 20s six times and poured in 33 points in a 70-15 win over Franklin Heights on Dec. 18.

Scioto’s defense held her to eight points in a 38-33 loss Jan. 8, the only time she didn’t score in double figures through 18 games.

“She’s been developing into this role the past three or four years,” coach Jason Crawford said. “She was always a really good shooter. Her sophomore year, she led us behind the arc in field-goal percentage at 42%, but she was still off the radar because she was only playing a couple quarters a game.”

Last season, Brown averaged nine points and was second-team all-league.

What has changed this season?

“She’s able to take people off the bounce and get to the rim and finish it,” Crawford said. “Obviously, with her going to the rim more, she’s getting to the free-throw line more and making some easier points that way. She’s really worked on her floater, and that’s gotten her a lot of points this season.”

Brown also spent more time in the weight room in the offseason, building her strength for driving to the basket, and she’s always working on her shot.

“A lot of Sundays, I’ll go in with other girls on the team to shoot,” she said. “It’s all about consistency and just putting up a lot of shots.”

Big Walnut begins postseason play in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 19 at Olentangy. Both teams have a first-round bye.

The 19th-seeded Golden Eagles defeated the 12th-seeded Braves 50-42 on Dec. 30.

“We are familiar with each other,” Crawford said. “We’ve played each other four years in a row. It was a really good game the first time, and it really could’ve gone either way. We’re just hoping to come out on the right side again.”

The winner advances to a district semifinal Feb. 24 against eighth-seeded Westerville South, 32nd-seeded Olentangy Berlin or 34th-seeded Logan.

South defeated Big Walnut in both OCC-Capital meetings this season, 57-42 on Jan. 22 and 54-31 on Jan. 12.

Senior Troy Musser has been one of the top contributors for Big Walnut, averaging nearly eight points through 13 games.

Musser embraces 

role for boys team

Senior Troy Musser has been a welcome addition to the boys basketball team’s starting lineup, coach Brett Bartlett said.

The 6-foot-2 wing player was averaging nearly eight points per game before Big Walnut’s Feb. 9 contest at Canal Winchester.

“He’s been good at getting to the rim and finishing,” Bartlett said. “Honestly, just like our entire team, he needs to be more consistent. … He’s been finishing in transition for us and he’s pretty athletic when he attacks the basket.”

Musser had scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 15 points in a 52-29 loss to Westerville South on Jan. 22.

Seniors Caleb Conard and Jagger Barnett were leading Big Walnut in scoring, averaging 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The Golden Eagles were 7-7 overall and 4-4 in the OCC-Capital after losing 56-55 to the Indians.

Big Walnut, seeded 26th, plays host to 42nd-seeded Logan in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 23. The winner plays at 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange on Feb. 26.

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