Hot-shooting Braves use strength beyond arc to topple Charlestown



Half of Brownstown Central’s 20 field goals in the first half of Friday’s game came from the 3-point line.

To make it a competition, the opponent needed to match that hot shooting.

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Charlestown wasn’t able to do that, and Class 3A No. 4 Brownstown doubled up on the Pirates by halftime and didn’t allow a big run in winning 74-55, moving the Braves to 5-1 in the Mid-Southern Conference and 13-2 overall.

Braves junior Jacoby Shade had four of the Braves’ treys in the first half and finished the game one shy of a season high with 21 points.

“I thought the team brought a lot of energy,” Shade said. “We were cutting harder, moving the ball, just got a lot of open shots and got our feet set underneath us. Really, shots were falling for us tonight.”

Pushing the ball in transition allowed the Braves to make those 3s, Shade said.

“That got the defense scrambled, and they couldn’t match up with us in transition,” he said.

Braves coach Dave Benter was happy to see his team with 16 assists and only one turnover at the break.

“Our execution in the first half was outstanding,” Benter said. “We got good shots early, we just missed some. Then, I think we hit a stretch where we made 10 of 12 3s in the first half. We moved the ball, we reversed the basketball, we got the ball inside and we attacked in transition.”

The Braves put together runs of 7-0 and 10-0 in the first quarter, resulting in Pirates coach Jason Connell having to burn a pair of timeouts.

Brownstown led 21-6 through one quarter, and then Shade hit back-to-back 3s within the first minute of the second quarter.

Cody Waskom, Zach McCory, Cole Borden, Matthew Nierman and Carson Lambring added to the 3-point barrage, each hitting one to boost the Braves to a 50-25 lead at the half.

“We were just so unselfish, we made extra passes, we got good shots and then we made shots,” Benter said.

“The other thing in the first half, on the other end, we were physical, we rebounded, we got 50/50 balls.”

Charlestown went on a 7-0 run in the third quarter to pull within 58-36, but that was the Pirates’ only threat.

The Braves took a 61-38 lead into the final quarter, and their biggest lead (74-45) came on Darrell Branaman’s free throw when the Pirates’ Gage Martin was issued a technical foul and ejected.

“In the second half, obviously, we didn’t play as well, but I understand it’s tough when you’re up 25 against a team like that,” Benter said. “We’ve got to make sure that we understand why we were successful in the first half and transfer that for 32 minutes.”

Braves joining Shade in double figures were McCory with 13 points, Borden with 12 and Cam Shoemaker with 11. Shoemaker grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Jamal Long led the Pirates (5-10, 1-4 MSC) with 17 points and six rebounds, while Eli Daniel scored 12 points.

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