Braves resume game with Dragons, Benter scores 48 to break school record

BROWNSTOWN — In the initial meeting between Brownstown Central and Silver Creek on Jan. 13, Jack Benter broke the backboard with a dunk, shattering the fiberglass and causing the game to be postponed in the second quarter.

The game resumed on Monday inside The Pit, and all backboards stayed intact this time, but Benter broke something else.

The junior guard scored 48 points in an 85-74 winning effort over the Dragons, which breaks the single game scoring record at BCHS, which was previously held by his head coach and dad, Dave Benter.

Dave scored 47 points against Brown County in 1992.

“I knew he’d have a chance,” Dave said of Jack. “Last year he had 41 and we took him out with six or seven minutes left in a game. He’s a kid that can get hot and put points on the board in a hurry. What I liked about this game was he didn’t have a stretch where he scored a bunch of points in a row. He was just really steady throughout the game.”

When the game was originally postponed on Jan. 13, the Braves led 37-35 and Benter had 15 points with 2:21 remaining in the second quarter.

Silver Creek started the resumption with two technical free throws since Parker Hehman, who wasn’t active in the original game, was in the lineup for the Braves on Monday after returning from injury.

Hayden Garten knocked in both free throws, and it sparked a 13-2 run that the Dragons closed the second quarter on to take a 48-39 lead into the locker room for halftime.

But the Braves responded in the second half. Back-to-back triples from Chace Coomer and Colby Hall kickstarted Brownstown, and then Benter got fouled on a 3-point shot, and after making all three free throws, the game was knotted up at 48 just two minutes into the third quarter.

A couple possessions later, Benter converted an and-one, and then Coomer drilled another 3-pointer to put the Braves up 54-50.

The rejuvenated Braves used that second-half energy to take a 62-55 to the fourth quarter.

“I just challenged them at half,” coach Benter said. “We were so nonchalant on the defensive end in that first half, and I just challenged our guys to be tougher. I thought we really responded.”

Benter, who missed Friday’s game with five stitches in his shooting hand from the backboard incident, got the stitches out but still had a little wrap on his hand, but he got it going in the fourth quarter as he started to get hot from the perimeter.

A number of 3-point bombs and late-game free throws allowed Benter to propel his total up to 48 points.

Hall scored 16 for the Braves and Coomer had 13. Carson Darlage, Jakob Arthur, Adam Stahl and Lane Pendleton all scored two points apiece.

Although Hehman didn’t score, having his presence back on the floor has been big for the Braves.

“Just his leadership,” Benter said. “Defensively, he’s such a good defender and can guard multiple positions. He’s the best talker, and I know I’ve said this before, he’s the best leader I’ve coached in 25 years. Just those traits are huge.”

Kaden Oliver scored 31 to lead Silver Creek, followed by Nate Davidson with 14 and Jace Burton had 11.

In addition to Brownstown ramping up the defensive intensity in the second half, the Braves also hurt the Dragons on the boards, which is something Benter has challenged his team to do.

“Earlier in the season and the summer, we were so good at that, and I felt our bigs weren’t getting on the offensive glass lately,” Benter said. “Usually this late in the season, we’re toning things down in practice, but we’ve had some grueling practices this last month. Hopefully that’ll pay off by the end of the year.”

With this victory, Brownstown is now alone at the top of the Mid-Southern Conference at 4-0. Silver Creek is now 4-1.

The Braves (10-4) will look to stay atop the MSC with another conference game later tonight at Austin starting at 7:30 p.m.

“Get better and play your best basketball, win conference and win sectional,” Benter said of the team’s standard goals each year. “We’re far from over. We got three more games this week, but I really liked the way we played the second half.”