Brownstown wins sectional title with 58-39 victory over Northview


ELLETTSVILLE — For the last 365 days, the Brownstown Central boys basketball team has been motivated by its loss in last year’s sectional to Northview.

On Saturday night, the Braves had a chance to avenge that loss against the Knights, and they did just that, winning the game 58-39 to claim the 2022 sectional championship at Edgewood High School.

“I think our guys probably the last 365 days thought about that loss,” head coach Dave Benter said. “We controlled most of that first half (last year), then we sort of just lost our way. They were really good, and we were inexperienced.

“Our guys and their determination the last 365 days to put themselves back in this position, then to play the way we played tonight was great to see.”

Brownstown jumped out to an 11-5 lead, and then Jack Benter got red hot from beyond the arc. He nailed three 3-pointers in the first quarter alone, and the Braves led 19-7.

Northview closed the first quarter on a 4-0 run to make the score 19-11. After getting the first basket of the second quarter, it marked as close as Northview would get the rest of the game.

Benter, along with senior Carter Waskom, carried the scoring load for Brownstown. The Braves led 31-18 at halftime as Benter had 19 points and Waskom had eight.

“We had a chip on our shoulder all season,” Waskom said. “We knew we were probably going to see these guys again today, and we practiced every day to be ready for this moment.”

The Braves were certainly ready, as they came out in the second half and put up a 20-point third quarter to take a 51-26 lead heading into the final frame.

The third quarter featured more offensive fireworks from Benter and Waskom. Waskom crossed up a Northview defender at the top of key, the Knights’ defender fell to the floor, and Waskom stepped back and drilled a 3-pointer. He turned to Brownstown’s student section and was fired up after that play.

“It got everybody pretty hyped,” Waskom said. “It’s one the first times I’ve ever done that, so I was pretty hyped myself.”

Then Benter had some heat check moments from behind the 3-point line. Benter had 31 points going into the fourth quarter.

“He’s automatic, man,” Waskom said of his teammate. “He doesn’t miss.”

Benter finished with 34 points on the night, knocking in five 3-pointers and going 11-for-13 from the charity stripe. Benter scored his 1,000th career point on Friday night against Edgewood, and his career total now sits at 1,049 after Saturday.

Waskom was also in double digits with 20 points and went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Carson Darlage and Jakob Arthur each had two points.

“Those two (Benter and Waskom) carried us offensively at times tonight, but the other guys made big plays, getting offensive rebounds, setting screens, moving the ball,” coach Benter said. “It was great to see those two come out the way they did.”

In addition to the offensive output, Brownstown’s defense was yet again stellar for a second-straight night. In both sectional games, Brownstown held its opponents to 39 points.

“They’re such a motional team and can put up a lot of points, so we got off to a good start just to keep them down,” Benter said. “We did that, and then you run the risk of taking your foot off the pedal, and I don’t think they ever did that. We grinded it out defensively and on the backboard.”

Brownstown outrebounded Northview 26-17, and at halftime, the Braves had a 16-5 advantage on the glass.

After cutting down the nets, the Braves spread out across the Edgewood floor and took turns taking photos with the sectional trophy. The four seniors — Waskom, Levi Stahl, Aidan Schroer and Trapper Dean — took one together.

“It’s something you’re always going to remember,” Benter said. “There are certain teams that you coach that you think deserve to win, and sometimes, it doesn’t always happen, sometimes, it does happen, and this is one of those groups. The team camaraderie and team chemistry has been great the whole year. They play for each other.”

Waskom feels the same way.

“I just come out here with my guys and have fun,” he said. “That’s all we want to do — have fun and win basketball games.”

This group of seniors won the sectional in 2020, but their trip to regional got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Saturday will be their first time competing in this stage of the postseason, and the Braves (22-3) will take on Beech Grove (18-6) in the second regional semifinal game at Greencastle High School.

“I know we aren’t done yet,” Waskom said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. I think we knew we were going to be here, and I’m excited.”

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