Brownstown clinches share of MSC title


EASTERN PEKIN — A career-high in scoring for Brownstown’s Carter Waskom helped lead the Braves to clinch a share of the Mid-Southern Conference title Friday night.

Waskom scored 32 points as Brownstown won at Eastern (Pekin) 77-73.

“I thought Carter was really good offensively the whole night,” head coach Dave Benter said.

Waskom got it going for Brownstown early on, scoring seven of the Braves’ first nine points.

But the Musketeers were the ones who made the first run of the game. In the final minute of the first quarter, Pekin took an 18-11 lead and Brownstown head coach Dave Benter called timeout, displeased with what he was seeing on the court.

“We were just too lackadaisical defensively,” Benter said. “I thought we were thinking too much out there. Those are just things we got to be better at.”

The Braves trailed 20-13 at the end of the first quarter, and then they quickly turned it around.

Brownstown started the second frame on an 11-2 run, and a 3-point play from Waskom allowed the Braves to regain the lead at 24-22.

From that point on, Brownstown kept the lead until halftime, leading 34-27 at halftime. Waskom led the Braves with 13 points and Jack Benter scored 10 points.

Pekin was still getting some baskets, though, as the Musketeers shot 11-of-22 from the field in the first half.

Pekin started the third quarter by hitting a 3-pointer, and it set the tone for the back-and-forth battle both teams had in the third frame.

Both teams shot over 60 percent from the field in the third quarter. Anytime Brownstown threatened to pull away, Pekin was able to put a small run together to keep the game within striking distance.

Benter ended the third quarter with a nice turnaround jump shot off the glass, which gave the Braves a 55-45 lead heading into the fourth.

An and-one that Waskom converted early in the fourth quarter allowed the Braves to take their largest lead of the game at 60-47.

Waskom had the hot hand all night for Brownstown, making 5-of-7 3-pointers. The Braves as a team shot 29-of-49 from the field, and Pekin shot 30-of-53 as both teams put on an impressive offensive display.

Pekin just kept hitting 3-pointers at the end of the game to keep it close, but Brownstown was able to make its free throws to keep the Musketeers at arms length.

Benter scored 21 points for the Braves on the night, and he also had 11 rebounds and 9 assists, which coach Benter was really pleased with. Schroer scored 12 for Brownstown and also had a big defensive impact.

The Braves are now 18-3 overall and 7-1 in the MSC, tying North Harrison, who Brownstown beat earlier this season in double overtime, for the conference title.

“Our goals before the season were to win the conference and then win the sectional and get better as the year went on,” Benter said. “I obviously thought we’ve gotten a lot better from where we were at this fall. Now, we’ve accomplished our first goal winning the conference, and we’ve got two good teams left to get ready for sectionals.”

The Braves will be back in action tonight against Providence at home for Senior Night.

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