For The Tribune
Coach Dave Banter had a simple explanation as to why his Brownstown Central boys basketball team was able to take control of Tuesday night’s game against South Knox in the Graber Post Buildings Classic — they made shots.
“You always look better when you make shots,” Benter said after the Braves opened the third quarter on a 13-0 run to pull away to a 66-47 win at North Daviess High School.
“We shot the ball well at the start of the third quarter. I thought our ball movement was real good. We were able to get some defensive stops.”
The Braves held a 30-24 lead at the half before Cody Waskom began the rally with a short jumper.
BCHS’ Cam Shoemaker followed with two 3-pointers, Carson Lambring had two baskets, and Waskom sealed the run with a free throw and a 43-24 lead at the 4:41 mark.
The Braves shot 8-for-10 from the floor in the third period when they outscored the Spartans 20-11 to take a 50-35 lead into the fourth.
Baskets by Ty Maxie and Jacoby Shade at the start of the final period extended the margin to 54-35.
“They had some long possessions in the first half,” Benter said.
The Spartans led 8-4 after 2½ minutes before two free throws and a layup by Shoemaker and another layup by Shade put the Braves on top 11-8.
Nathan Jones hit a 3-pointer for Knox to tie the game at 11 all with 3:12 on the clock. Brownstown closed the quarter on an 11-2 run and was in front to stay.
The Spartans committed five turnovers in the second period and four more in the third, and Benter said the Braves were able to take advantage of the mistakes.
“We were able to turn them over a little bit, and come down and move the basketball, and once we moved the basketball and then we made shots, it was kind of a perfect storm. I thought we played well the first four minutes of the second half,” he said.
“We let a couple possessions get away in the first half. I thought we were unselfish, I thought we got the ball inside but we missed four layups. There were two balls that our guys were wrestling for on defensive rebounds that popped to them and they scored both times, so right there is a 10- to 12-point swing in the first half.
“It’s not necessarily that we played bad. You’ve got to make layups and come down with those loose balls. We shot the ball well in the third quarter.”
Benter said he has a lot of respect for Isiah Stafford, who topped the Spartans with 16 points.
“They’ve got a really good player,” he said. “I thought we did a really nice job on him. He ended up with 16 but none of them were easy, I didn’t think. He had to fight for all of those.”
Waskom topped the Braves’ balanced scoring with 15. Shade scored 14 to go along with nine rebounds, and McCory and Shade tallied 11 points each.
Brownstown has been playing in the classic since 2007.
Benter has the most wins of any coach in the history of the tournament with 19, and has coached the Braves to three titles.
Five teams in the tournament were ranked in the The Associated Press Top-20 last week, and the four teams in the semifinals tonight are all unbeaten.
Brownstown (6-0) will play Barr-Reeve (8-0) at 6 p.m., and Park Tudor (8-0) and Pike Central (7-0) will play after that.
“There are some really good basketball teams here,” Benter said. “Top-to-bottom, this is the best it’s been since we’ve been over here.
“(Barr-Reeve) will spread us out and be patient and run 1,000 sets. They’re much disciplined and have great shooters. They’ve got a four-year starter in Logan James, the point guard, and they’ve got other good, smart players with him. We’re going to play a really good basketball team.”