After an uncharacteristically difficult week, Brownstown Central’s boys basketball team is hoping a 73-45 victory against Orleans on Friday night is a sign that happy days are here again.
The Braves (21-2) lost twice in a span of five days to top teams from Class 4A (No. 9 Floyd Central) and Class 2A (No. 1 Providence), causing Brownstown to drop from its No. 1 perch atop the Class 3A rankings.
But Friday’s 28-point win saw the Braves bounce back emphatically.
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One night after what head coach Dave Benter called his team’s best practice of the season, the Braves opened with a 20-5 run against Orleans that essentially decided the game in just seven minutes.
Brownstown scored on nine of its first 12 trips down the court and showed the kind of movement and selfless passing that Benter has been searching for. Six of the Braves’ first seven field goals were assisted.
“We really came out ready to play,” Benter said. “We watched film of our game with North Harrison (in December), and we talked about how we moved the ball so much better then.”
Carson Lambring scored Brownstown’s first five points of the game on a jumper in the lane that was assisted by Derek Rieckers and a 3-pointer off an assist from Cody Waskom.
Lambring then returned the favor, assisting two layups by Rieckers and a 3-pointer by Kyle Kramer.
With a minute to go in the first quarter, Orleans already found itself down by 15 points. A 13-2 run midway through the second quarter and a 6-0 spurt to end the first half enlarged Brownstown’s lead to 39-16.
Lambring finished with six assists and 13 points. He was one of four Braves with more than 10 points. Waskom, who scored a game-high 21, Rieckers (12) and Ty Maxie (11) joined Lambring in double figures.
Combining Friday’s performance with a favorable draw in next week’s tough Sectional 30 tournament at Salem has Benter hopeful as his team heads into March.
“We knew playing the schedule we played late in the season that we could lose some games,” Benter said. “We were more concerned with how we played. This is a confident group. They’re willing to take on a challenge. I’ll put their competitiveness up against anyone.”
Friday’s game was the final home game for Brownstown’s 10 seniors, seven of whom scored at least a point.
“Kids don’t understand sometimes how quickly these years go by,” Benter said. “I’ve known these guys since they were in the third grade. It’s unbelievable that 10 guys stayed together all of these years when only five get to play. They’ve played with each other and against each other. They’ve shed blood, sweat and tears together. I’ll always appreciate how tough and competitive they are.”