Late surge lifts Braves



A fourth-quarter surge lifted the Brownstown Central boys basketball team to a 49-44 win against Providence on Saturday night at home.

In a game where both teams combined for 28 points in the third and fourth quarters, the Braves sealed the win by outscoring the Pioneers 21-12 in the closing eight minutes.

Braves coach Dave Benter said mental toughness carried his team through the final quarter to secure the win.

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“That has kind of been our thing all year, and there have been nights where we’ve struggled to score,” he said. “In the second half, we picked things up and started playing with more energy.”

Michael Boshears and Cameron Luedeman both led the Braves with 13 points. They were the only two in double digits for the team. Ethan Wischmeier led the team in rebounds with five.

While the outcome was in favor of the Braves, the start of the game was sluggish.

“I thought we wasted some offensive possessions there late, and I thought our defensive energy really picked up in the second half,” Benter said. “We just came out really flat.”

The Pioneers got off to a hot start and built a 7-0 lead.

Luedeman ended their run and got the Braves on the board with back-to-back buckets.

From there, both teams exchanged baskets, but the Pioneers turned the ball over with the Braves down 12-6.

The Braves heated up with a 6-0 run to tie the game at 12 with Luedeman, Seth Borden and Boshears each hitting a basket.

The Pioneers added a 3-pointer and a bucket before Luedeman added a 3, and the Braves were down 17-15 at the end of the opening quarter.

Brownstown also got off to a slow start in the second quarter.

Providence started on an 8-0 run before Boshears converted a three-point play at the 1:07 mark. He added another basket, and the Braves found themselves down 25-20 heading into the locker room.

Both Boshears and Luedeman led the Braves with nine points in the half.

One Pioneer kept giving the Braves trouble all night, and that was Blake Murphy. The 6-foot-5 senior led the Pioneers with 14 points and seven rebounds.

“He was playing like a man,” Benter said.

Benter said his team missed a number of offensive opportunities in the third quarter when the Braves barely outscored the Pioneers 8-7.

“We had careless turnovers. We missed a couple of easy shots I thought we should have made,” he said.

When the game entered the fourth quarter, the Braves trailed 32-28.

That’s when Boshears got things going for the team and quickly tied the game within the first 45 seconds.

The Braves’ defense then forced a turnover, and Isaac Johnson hit a 3-pointer to give the Braves a 35-32 lead.

Cullen Ebert converted a three-point play for the Pioneers, but the Braves responded with two more 3-pointers from Johnson and a basket from Hayden Kinsler to give the Braves a 43-35 lead. That forced a timeout by Providence with 3:44 left in the game.

Providence pulled within four points on a 3 by Ebert, but Brownstown went 4 for 6 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the win.

“Everybody was in, and our communication was better,” Benter said of the latter part of the game.

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