Braves win but struggle with basics


The Brownstown Central and Mitchell basketball teams are looking for whoever is responsible for tampering with the goals before Saturday’s game.

Frustration mounted among the players in the first half. Both teams missed numerous point-blank shots, going a combined 17 of 67 from the field.

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They combined for 18 offensive rebounds during that time, but that only resulted in the teams making four putbacks.

The second half went much smoother, especially for Brownstown, which shot 16 for 28. A solid defensive effort led to some of those baskets and allowed the Braves to capture a 74-37 victory.

“Neither team shot the ball well. It was just a frustrating night, I’m sure, for both teams offensively,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “Both teams looked like there was a lid over the bucket. The one positive we really had in the first half was our offensive rebounding. We really hammered the offensive glass, and a lot of those were just missed inside shots we got ourselves and missed again.”

Brownstown, which normally is a solid 3-point shooting team, only knocked down two of its 13 attempts in the first half. That also was frustrating for the Braves.

“Our guys have got to understand if their outside shot is not going in, they’ve got to find other ways to impact the game to get their confidence going — shots at the rim or (going) to the free-throw line,” Benter said.

Brownstown managed a 14-7 lead after one quarter.

The Braves missed their first seven shots of thee second quarter, and the Bluejackets pulled within one point on a putback by Drew Passmore at the 5:24 mark.

Brownstown then responded with a 15-1 run to lead 29-14 at halftime.

After Mitchell scored the first five points of the third quarter, Brownstown’s Carson Lambring made a 3-pointer and a layup to kick off a 12-0 run. The Braves shot 8 of 15 from the floor in outscoring the Bluejackets 24-12 in the quarter for a 53-26 lead going into the fourth.

“I thought we guarded better in the third quarter,” Benter said. “We had a really hard time containing (Aidan) Wheeler in the first half, and he was getting to the rim on us. The third quarter, I thought we did a better job.”

Lambring had eight points in the third quarter, while Cam Shoemaker had seven, Zach McCory had five and Cody Waskom added four off the bench.

Six Braves scored in the fourth quarter, and a late 12-0 run sealed the win.

“I told them at halftime, ‘There’s nothing I can say. Make shots and contain the basketball. There’s nothing magical about that. That’s what we’ve got to do. It’s simple fundamentals,’” Benter said. “We did come out and contain the basketball a little better in the second half. But the first half, I didn’t think we did a very good job of that.”

Shoemaker scored a game-high 22 points, while Lambring and McCory each had 11 for Brownstown (5-0). Jacoby Shade had a game-high nine rebounds, as the Braves had a 40-30 edge in that department.

Eric Fleenor scored nine points off the bench to lead Mitchell (1-5).

The Braves now turn their attention to the Graber Post Buildings Classic at North Daviess High School, which runs Dec. 29 and 30 and Jan. 2. Their first matchup is against South Knox at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 29.

“We’ve got to get better,” Benter said. “We have not put together a full 32 minutes yet. I just think we’ve lost our mental focus at different times throughout each game throughout the year. (Friday) night, it was the first quarter and about two minutes in the third. Tonight, the game was so up and down for us from an offensive standpoint.

“We’ve got the offensive capability,” he said. “I think we’ve got five guys that are probably capable of averaging 15 to 20 points or getting 15 or 20 points on any given night. We’ve got to be more consistent offensively.”