For The Tribune
Brownstown Central’s boys basketball team needed a couple of minutes to warm up Tuesday night but soon found its shooting touch during an 80-52 victory over Charlestown in the opening round of the Class 3A Charlestown Sectional.
The win moves the Braves (18-5) into an anticipated semifinal matchup with Silver Creek (19-3) on Friday night. The Dragons received a first-round bye.
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During the regular season, Brownstown edged Silver Creek 41-40.
“We got sloppy with the ball in the first quarter,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “You’re not going to win many games turning the ball over five times in a quarter. Part of me likes to play on Tuesday night in the sectional. It’s good to get our feet wet.”
After turning the ball over five times in the first six minutes of Tuesday’s game, the Braves lost the ball just four times over the next 26 minutes of play.
Once they started limiting their mistakes, Brownstown’s offense started to flow, and a solid shooting effort followed.
The Braves shot 32-for-54 from the field (59 percent), including 11-for-20 from 3-point range (55 percent).
“That’s as well as we’ve shot the ball all year,” Benter said. “We’ve really struggled at times this year with our shooting, but tonight, it was contagious. After a few shots went down, everyone started hitting.”
Brownstown’s attack was effective inside and outside with Isaac Johnson and Seth Borden inflicting damage in the lane and Ethan Wischmeier, Braden Neal and Isaiah Wineinger hitting from long range.
Johnson ended the night with a game-high 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting, while Borden added 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting around the basket.
Meanwhile, Wischmeier, Neal and Wineinger each finished with three 3-pointers.
Neal drained his three long shots in the second quarter to help Brownstown take a 29-17 lead with two minutes left in the first half.
Wischmeier and Wineinger each hit two 3s in the second half to keep the Braves a step ahead of Charlestown (9-14), which tried but failed to put pressure on in the third quarter.
Michael Boshears finished with 14 points and was one of four Braves in double-figure scoring.
Brownstown now turns its attention to Silver Creek, which is currently ranked No. 7 in the Class 3A Associated Press poll. The Braves are ranked No. 12.
“They have so many weapons, we’ll have to pick our poison,” Benter said of Silver Creek. “It’s definitely good to get a couple of nights to prepare.”