Braves hold Salem scoreless for 12 minutes in win



For almost 12 straight minutes, Brownstown Central’s boys basketball team worked as an impenetrable force.

The Braves held Salem scoreless from the 4:08 mark in the third quarter until 1:08 was left in the game Wednesday to come away with a 51-38 win in the North Harrison Sectional.

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In the big sequence, the Braves (18-6) also scored 23 unanswered points against the Lions (17-7).

Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the opening minutes, as each team missed its first five shots of the game.

Michael Boshears got a basket to finally go for Brownstown Central with 5:19 on the clock to open the scoring before he added another score to give the Braves a 4-3 lead by the 3:46 mark.

The Braves wouldn’t score again in the first quarter.

Free throws from the Lions’ Hunter Weedin and a four-point play from Xavier Haendiges gave the Lions a 9-4 lead at the end of eight minutes of play.

A 3-pointer by Ethan Wischmeier and free throws by Boshears tied the game at 9 with 6:37 left in the half.

The teams exchanged the lead two more times before Wischmeier drained another 3-pointer to put the Braves on top 18-17.

In the final 2:05 of the first half, the Lions hit back-to-back 3-pointers and sank two free throws to lead 25-18 at the break.

Salem hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter and was led by eight points from Weedin.

Boshears accounted for 10 of the Braves’ points at intermission.

“Our backs were against the wall,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “(Salem) had played outstanding up until (the drought in the third quarter). We were having trouble stopping them.

“They were hitting some tough, contested shots. We went to our half-court trap, and all of a sudden, we started getting some stops. It led to some easy baskets for us after we really struggled to score in the first half.”

After exchanging baskets out of halftime, the Braves went on a 10-0 run in the final 4:02 of the third quarter behind 3-pointers from Wischmeier and Boshears.

At the end of 24 minutes, the Braves led 36-35.

The Braves allowed just three points the rest of the game and went on a 13-0 run in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter behind four different scorers.

Boshears led the Braves with 18 points, and Wischmeier had 12.

Haendiges topped the Lions with 15 points, and Weedin had 10.

Brownstown Central won the rebounding battle 33-24 and turnover margin 10-5.

The Braves shot 17 of 47 from the field, and Salem went 11 of 38.

“We knew we couldn’t turn the ball over, and we couldn’t have bad shots on our possessions,” Benter said. “When we do that and defend at a high level, we feel like we have a chance any night. As the game went on, I think we got better and better.”

The Braves will face North Harrison on Friday in the sectional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. The Cougars (16-8) beat Charlestown 61-46 in the early quarterfinals matchup Tuesday.

On Dec. 15, the Cougars beat the Braves 52-51 in overtime.

“They really hurt us in the backcourt the first time we played,” Benter said. “(North Harrison) has a lot of guys that can score. They have a great point guard, two good wings and bench guys that can score. Their post guys are also really physical. Our work will be cut out for us. We’re going to have to defend at a high level and handle their physicality and pressure. We will go back to work (today) and see what we can do.”

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