Corbin's sectional performance keeps Daleville's postseason alive

Feb. 7—DALEVILLE — With the Sectional 55 championship on the line in the closing seconds, the Daleville Broncos were on the brink, teetering between a heartbreaking loss and the program's second sectional crown.

Trailing by one point, a defensive deflection ended up in the hands of Broncos sophomore Makenna Corbin near the Anderson Prep free-throw line, nearly the full length of the court away from the potential game-winning basket.

Corbin is not Daleville's No. 1 option offensively, nor is she its second choice. Statistically speaking, she is the team's sixth-leading scorer, averaging less than two points per game.

Even with a timeout remaining and a chance to set up a play on offense, Daleville coach Brandon Hanshew saw something in Corbin's face. It was a look that told the first-year Broncos' coach, on this particular play, Corbin was the best bet for a championship.

"When she got that ball, I saw the look in her face. She was determined," Hanshew said. "I was not going to take the timeout and rolled with Makenna. When she looks that determined, I have all the faith in the world in her."

Corbin did not hesitate, dribbling past center court and the Daleville bench, driving all the way to the basket where she was fouled as her layup attempt fell through the net for the go-ahead basket.

She hit the ground and was greeted by senior Isabelle Williams, who trailed the play and was going for rebounding position when the shot was made.

"It was really exciting that I got us the lead," Corbin said.

"I was in shock," Williams said. "She missed (the free throw), but she hit the shot that mattered. We got back on defense and contested APA's shot. That's all that mattered."

When APA's shot at the buzzer rimmed out, Corbin's dash to the basket proved to be the game winner and capped a remarkable two-game run for the sophomore guard as she boosted Daleville to its second all-time girls basketball sectional championship.

Not only did she score four points — including the game winner — in the final, she also put seven on the board the night before against arch-rival Cowan in the semifinals.

None of those seven decided the game at the final buzzer, but they were equally important to the Broncos' cause.

Near the end of a very close first half, Corbin scored on a steal and layup and hit a 30-foot desperation 3-point basket at the buzzer to send the Broncos into the locker room with a five-point advantage after trailing early on.

Those points provided vital momentum as Daleville looked to distance itself from Cowan in the third quarter.

"She's been hitting shots in practice, and when she doesn't think about it, she can do it," Hanshew said. "We have confidence in her to do it."

"It went in, and I was not expecting it to. It felt good that I was able to do that for the team," Corbin said. "We were really hyped in the locker room. We walked in screaming."

Corbin entered sectional week having scored just 23 points all year, and her halftime heave was the first 3-point shot she made in nine attempts this season.

Her role this season has been providing two important elements for the team, defense and energy.

"Part of our game plan against APA was to draw charges, and she was the first to draw a charge," Hanshew said. "She's our little train that can, that can do it."

And staying true to her humble personality, Corbin continues to maintain a team-first approach to Saturday's regional game at Wes-Del.

While her sectional performance proved she can be an offensive weapon for the Broncos, Corbin maintains that job still belongs to Williams and fellow sophomore Addisyn Gothrup.

Her job is to help them succeed.

"I was pretty happy that I was able to do that for the team," Corbin said. "But if Emma (Voss) wouldn't have hit that block, it wouldn't have happened. I'm just glad it worked out."

Contact Rob Hunt at

or 765-640-4886.