In a rare Tuesday night game, Brownstown Central’s boys basketball team came up in the clutch in a big Mid-Southern Conference test.
The Braves (9-4, 3-2 MSC) drained 12 3-pointers, and used a 13-5 run in the fourth quarter to come away with a 76-58 win against Austin (9-5, 2-2 MSC) at the pit.
Following a pair of lead changes, the Braves’ Cameron Luedeman hit two 3-pointers and Braden Neal split free throws to put the Braves up 9-3 with 4:17 on the clock.
After the Eagles scored on back-to-back possessions, the Braves closed the quarter on a 7-0 run — capped by a 3-pointer from Matthew Garland — to lead 16-7 after eight minutes of play.
Fouls played factor in the early minutes, as the Braves amassed six while the Eagles were called for five.
Brownstown kept letting it fly from deep in the second quarter, hitting four more 3-pointers.
Ethan Wischmeier hit a pair of treys and Isaac Johnson also nailed one from beyond the arc to put the Braves up 25-9 with 5:28 left in the half.
Another trey from Garland and basket from Johnson extended the Braves’ advantage to 32-15 before the Eagles answered with six unanswered points, including a 3-pointer from John Tyler-Ashby.
In the final 1:04 of the second quarter, Michael Boshears got a pair of shots to go to put the Braves up 36-25 at intermission.
At the break, the Braves had made seven total 3-pointers.
The Eagles came out of the locker rooms hot to start the second half.
Austin went on a 13-5 run to tie the game at 41 with 4:40 left in the third quarter. In the stretch, the Eagles hit a pair of 3-pointers and converted an and-one opportunity.
A four-point play conversion by Luedeman gave the Braves the lead back on the next possession, and Boshears got a layup to go to put the Braves back on top at 47-41 with 3:31 on the clock.
Five straight points from Neal and a 3-pointer put the Braves up 57-46, but a 3-pointer from Drew Buhr cut the Eagles’ deficit to eight points at the end of 24 minutes of play.
“We quit scoring the ball and they started to hurt us in transition,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “We had great looks the first four minutes of the third quarter, but we weren’t finishing. I thought our guys showed some character after (Austin) tied it up. Once we started scoring the ball we did a better job of getting back in transition. They made some tough shots. They weren’t afraid to pull up from 24-feet in transition.”
The teams traded blows in the fourth quarter until the Braves scored seven unanswered to distance themselves at 70-54 with 3:50 left in the game.
Consecutive baskets by Seth Borden and Boshears put the Braves up 74-56 with 3:05 remaining, and the Braves were able to ride out the lead to the finish on the run.
Luedeman led the Braves with 19 points, Neal scored 15 and Boshears added 14. Peyton Hollan and Buhr each scored 16 for the Eagles.
“Our guys really battled,” Benter said. “I thought that everyone who played really contributed tonight.”
Brownstown had 10 turnovers to the Eagles’ 16 errors while the Braves were called for 22 fouls to the visitors’ 15 infringements.
On the boards, the Braves outrebounded the Eagles 41-33.
“You look at Austin and they’re 9-4 coming into (Tuesday), and their losses are to teams that are like a combined 39-5,” Benter said. “We had a lot of respect for them and knew it was going to be a tough game for us. I thought we maybe played our best overall offensive and defensive game of the year. We’ve maybe played better defensively a couple times, but overall I thought we did a lot of nice things.”
The Braves will travel to Charlestown on Friday before going to Corydon Central on Saturday.