Contagious scoring ignites Braves


It was like the eight-point deficit in the third quarter never happened.

The energy level changed.

The shots began to fall.

By the time Brownstown Central stormed back to out-score Charlestown 38-18 over the final 1-1/2 quarters, the Braves rolled home with a 70-58 victory.

It wasn’t a smooth offensive performance in the opening half, but the second half scoring barrage (20 points in the third quarter and 25 in the fourth) is what the Braves needed.

“We are playing better offensively,” said Brownstown Central coach Dave Benter. “We struggled so bad early in the season to score points. It’s good to see our offense become contagious. We survived and stayed in games with our defense, now we have to make sure we keep defending now that we are playing better offensively.”

It was balanced scoring, with four players –– Aidan Schroer (14 points), Isaiah Wineinger (13), Eli Brown (13) and Derek Thompson (12) –– reaching double figures. Schroer posted a team-high while playing limited minutes due to foul trouble.

Brownstown Central extended pressure when they could post-halftime. While they did give up some fast break chances to Charlestown’s swift-footed Devron West (17 points), the turnovers and pace of play shifted to the Braves’ favor.

After West hit a bucket for a 40-32 Charlestown lead, it was all Braves.

A five-point run from Thompson, capped by a triple, brought the Braves’ crowd to a rumble that would soon erupt with louder roars.

Charlestown would maintain the lead going into the final quarter, 47-45, but it wouldn’t last much longer.

Finding the right shooting stroke came in a blitz for the Braves in the opening 3-1/2 minutes of that stanza. In that time, Brownstown Central found the bottom of the net on four 3-pointers (two from Brown and one each via Wineinger and Thompson) to take the lead, 59-53.

“The second half, we executed better,” Benter said. “We gave up too many lay-ups, but, part of that was we were trying to extend our defense. They were able to get to the rim … We were so much sharper in the second half. Our ball movement and cutting was a lot more decisive.”

Schroer rolled to the rim to convert an and-one, to push the margin to 62-55 in favor of Brownstown Central.

Charlestown managed one more field goal in the final 2:50, a Ty Crace triple. Crace led his team with 18 points before fouling out late.

At the line Brownstown Central helped seal the game, going 18 of 21 overall, making all nine attempts in the fourth quarter.

“I thought our energy was a lot better in the second half,” said Benter. “We weren’t very sharp in the first half. Charlestown has us on our heels much of the first half.”

The win was the third in its last four outings for the Braves, who move to 5-10 overall.

“Isaiah, early in the season, was a majority of our offense,” said Benter. “Now, we have other guys stepping up. I was proud of them for responding in the second half.

The Braves also got solid bench play from Brown, along with Clay Chastain (nine points) and Lucas Hines (six rebounds).

“Off the bench Eli, Clay and Lucas did great,” said Benter. “They scored, rebounded and got our energy level up.”

Rounding out the scoring for the Braves: Clay Chastain scored nine, Nathan Koch added five and Lucas Hines chipped in four.

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