As a program, they had one of the most successful seasons in school history — from top to bottom.
The Brownstown Central boys basketball and cheerleading teams met Monday in the auditorium to commemorate the winter season.
The Braves varsity team finished 21-4 overall for 2015-16, 9-0 in Mid-Southern Conference play, and were Graber Post tournament champions.
Throughout the season, the Braves consistently ranked in the top 15 for Class 3A.
“We had really high expectations with a lot of guys back,” said varsity coach Dave Benter, who completed his 18th season. “I really felt like this was the most scorers I had since 2004. We had a lot of guys with special skills that could do a lot of things.”
“I thought it was the toughest Graber Post I have seen. There were some really good teams there. Even though we (won Graber) I felt like we weren’t yet playing our best basketball. When we went to Knightstown and got beat I felt like it might have been a good loss. I felt that, at that time, it might have been good for our guys. We only had one really bad game the second half of the (regular) season.”
The Braves started the season 9-0 before falling to Tipton in overtime Jan. 9 at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown.
“From Christmas on, we made great strides,” Benter said. “We had great chemistry and ball movement. If you go back and watch our films, I thought our ball movement was as good as any team I’ve coached.”
In the second half of the season, the Braves other two regular season losses came to Class 4A’s Floyd Central and Columbus East.
Following a win against North Harrison in the Charlestown Sectional, the Braves fell to Salem on a buzzer-beater in a sectional semifinal.
“This season didn’t end where I, or our seniors, wanted it to end,” Benter, the MSC coach of the year, said. “It was a rough couple weeks after the season, but our guys really had a fantastic year. We always talk about controlling what we can control. I think it’s a life lesson for our seniors, too. You can only take care of what you can and good things will happen.”
Benter said it’s not necessarily the wins and losses he remembers from season to season, but the time with the team in the gym.
Senior Zach McCory was voted Most Valuable Player by the team.
McCory was also MVP at Graber Post, All-MSC and had the most assists for the Braves with 112.
Jacoby Shade received the highest free-throw percentage (78 percent), most rebounds (162) and mental attitude awards.
Shade, a senior, also made the All-MSC and All-Graber Post teams along with teammate Cam Shoemaker.
Shoemaker was presented the outstanding defense award.
Junior Cody Waskom, who was also All-Graber Post, shot 57 percent from the floor to take home the highest field goal percentage award.
An All-MSC honorable mention honor went to junior Carson Lambring.
Varsity jackets went to Shade, Shoemaker and junior Gavin Bane.
A manager jacket went to Spencer Silence.
Shoemaker, Shade, McCory and Matthew Nierman will be graduating from the varsity program.
Cheerleading coach Charity Clodfelder opened the evening ceremony by introducing her team.
Suzzanna Kramer received the mental attitude award and a cheer jacket. Maggie Rohlfing also took home a cheer jacket.
Freshman basketball coach Brandon Allman then brought his 16-0 freshman team to the stage and reviewed the season.
Junior varsity coach Marty Young followed Allman with his team, a squad that also finished undefeated at 19-0, to hand out awards.
Derek Rieckers was the JV most improved and Andrew Murphy received the JV free throw award, as he shot 81 percent from the line.