From the last possession of the first quarter to the end of the opening half, Brownstown Central boys basketball coach Dave Benter said his team played the best stretch of basketball all season.
Following a 15-foot jumpshot by Brownstown’s Cody Waskom to end the first quarter with North Harrison leading 17-16, the Braves went on a 10-run in the first four minutes of the second.
Brownstown outscored North Harrison 28-11 in the period and the Braves offense didn’t falter the rest of the way as they cruised to an 85-53 Mid-Southern Conference victory.
In the opening eight minutes, neither team could strengthen a lead of more than four points.
Braves senior Zach McCory had a hot hand from the start with seven of his team’s 16 points.
To start the second quarter, the Braves forced three Panthers turnovers.
Those giveaways turned into a pair of 3-pointers by junior Gavin Bane and two baskets in the paint by senior Cam Shoemaker.
Bane, who came off the bench, nailed another trey with 5:43 left in the first half to put the Braves up 29-19.
Bane would finish with 11 points.
“(Bane) not only made shots, but he passed the ball well and defended well,” Benter said. “He’s the best athlete we’ve got. We need to make sure we channel that athleticism. When I took him out, I told him that he’s had two good games in a row, and we need to build off this and play consistent. I’ve been really pleased with him the past few games.”
Carson Lambring also got it done for Brownstown with nine points in the second quarter, and the Braves led 44-28 at intermission.
“We changed our press up from a 1-2-2 to a 2-2-1,” Benter said. “We turned them over a few times in that press. The big thing was that, offensively, we were more efficient. We got the ball inside and had a lot of ball reverses. We had some defensive stops that turned into layups.
“I thought the second quarter was the best quarter of basketball we’ve played all year. It started the last possession of the first quarter after Cody Waskom hit that shoot.”
Brownstown kept the intensity up heading into the third quarter, opening on a 9-0 behind four different scorers.
“We asked them if they would be satisfied with the lead at halftime,” Benter said. “We didn’t want to go back and play the way we have offensively — rushing things. I challenged them to keep moving the basketball, and playing smart. We played really focused out of half time and made shots. That 12 minutes of basketball we played was fantastic.”
North Harrison would go on a 7-0 run from 4:14 to 2:58, but Brownstown responded with an 9-1 run to close the third quarter at 66-41.
With 5:45 left in the final quarter, up 74-46, the Braves emptied their bench.
Derek Rieckers tallied back-to-back 3-pointers with 3:22 left as the Braves took their largest lead at 82-48.
“It’s good for the juniors because we’re going to be depending on them next year,” Benter said. “They need to get that varsity experience for next year.”
Shoemaker topped Brownstown with 17 points, Lambring had 16 and McCory notched 14.
Alex Flock led North Harrison with 15 points behind three 3-pointers.
BCHS won the battle of the boards 37-29 behind Lambring’s seven rebounds.
Brownstown Central (4-0, 2-0 MSC) will host Mitchell tonight before playing at the North Daviess Classic from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2.