Braves struggle against Salem in opener



Starting their season a week later than most, the Brownstown Central boys basketball team knocked off a little rust on Tuesday night.

Taking on Mid-Southern Conference rival Salem, the Braves caught fire early but turnovers and rushed shots cost them in their season opener, 55-39, against the Lions.

It’s the first win for Salem over BC since the March 4, 2016 sectional game. 

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Salem’s full-court pressure wreaked havoc against the Braves, forcing 20 turnovers. The Lions also tallied five blocked shots and had 12 steals. 

Two of those turnovers came out of Brownstown Central timeouts, much to the displeasure of coach Dave Benter. 

He hopes that’s just growing pains and the team will get better as the season progresses. 

"We have one or two guys back with much experience from last year," he explained. "Hopefully our guys learn, and then come back out and have a couple of good practices getting ready for Seymour."

When they were able to cross the timeline, the best shot falling for the Braves was a 3-pointer. Those were falling early and often in the first quarter, but the Braves went cold late and struggled to get much at the rim. 

Not driving to the rim didn’t let the Braves earn chances to get to the free-throw line where they were just 1 of 2 for the night. Salem, however, was 14-for-19 for the game.

Their lacking offense and errors with the basketball especially plagued the Braves in the second quarter as they coughed up the ball on seven straight possessions.

The limited BC offense was outscored 13-5 in the second stanza with all of their points coming from senior swingman Clay Chastain. He hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring in the second and finished it with a layup in the final minute.

Late in the third quarter the offense started clicking for the Braves and shots began to fall. They were able to cut the Salem lead to four, 35-31, at the period’s close, but the Lions re-established themselves in the fourth to take the win home.

"We quit turning the ball over so much," Benter said of the improvement he saw in the third quarter. "I thought we did a better job of taking care of the basketball, we made a couple of shots and we just couldn’t get over the hump."

Isaiah Wineinger led the Braves with 15 points and played all but two minutes of the game for the Braves. He was 3-for-5 from the 3-point line and 6 of 11 from the field. 

Chastain was the only other player in double digits for BC, scoring 10. 

Rounding out the scoring the Braves: Kiernan Tiemeyer had six, Carter Waskom and Aidan Schroer each had three, and Lucas Hines had two. 

In junior varsity action, the Braves downed the Lions 55-45 and were led by Aidan Schroer’s 17 points. He scored 15 of that total in the third quarter.

Carson Darlage also scored in double digits with 12 and was followed by Sam Schepman, who had eight, and Levi Stahl, who had seven. 

Eli Wischmeier chipped in six and Nathan Koch had three. Brandon Reynolds rounded out the scoring with two points from the free-throw line. 

Brownstown Central will head over to Seymour for their annual battle with the Owls on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Braves have won the last 11 meetings with Seymour. 

Seymour’s last win came on Nov. 30, 2007 at Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium. 

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