The Brownstown Central boys basketball team came out with stingy defense and never trailed, as the Braves came away with a 67-37 win Tuesday against Providence.
In the first quarter, Braves senior Zach McCory put on an offensive show scoring the Braves’ first 10 points.
McCory converted an and-one opportunity, hit a 3-pointer and two jump shots to give the Braves an early 10-0 advantage.
The Pioneers’ Juston Betz ended the scoring streak with a basket but Brownstown senior Jacoby Shade answered with a 3-pointer to put the Braves up 13-2 at the 3:46-mark.
During that stretch, the Braves took away the best scorers for the Pioneers.
“I thought that Cam (Shoemaker) did a very good job on (Griffin) Libs down low,” Benter said. “We took their two best scorers away during that run. I thought we did a nice job of pressuring and containing without fouling. The first few minutes we were really solid and consistent defensively.”
The Pioneers added a pair of scores under the rim as they trailed 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Following two baskets by the Pioneers’ Eli Coker, the Braves went on a 6-0 run behind four points by senior Cam Shoemaker.
A trey by Betz cut the deficit to 21-13 halfway through the second quarter, but Brownstown didn’t allow another point until halftime. The Braves led 25-13 at intermission.
The Braves forced six turnovers in the first half without coughing up the ball once.
Junior Cody Waskom got the Brownstown offense rolling to start the second half with two 3-pointers to propel the Braves to a 9-2 run through four minutes as they took a 34-15 lead.
Brownstown led 38-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Waskom caught fire in the fourth quarter, making four shots (three 3-pointers) and a pair of free throws as the Braves went on a 14-4 run.
Another 3-pointer from Waskom put the Braves up 60-30 with 4:29 left, and the team coasted to the victory.
Waskom led with 22 points, all in the second half, while McCory and Shade each finished with 15.
On the boards, the Braves out-rebounded the Pioneers 29 to 22.
Brownstown had 19 assists in the game to the Pioneers’ three.
The Braves offense was efficient, only giving up one turnovers in the contest.
“We always talk about, going into the tournament (sectional), that there won’t be games where we will shoot the ball well — you have to defend and rebound,” Benter said. “I thought we did all those things well tonight.”
McCory, Shoemaker, Matt Nierman and Shade — all seniors — were honored prior to the night’s game along with members of the band and cheerleading squad.
“They’ve been huge. They are guys you know will always be there and work at it,” Benter said. They had a lot of success early, and they’ve matured. They’re seeing the finality in it. You can tell a different personality out of them. They have much more focus and it’s good for our younger guys to see.
“They’re good guys off the court also. We have guys who are good students and hard workers off the court. They have brought a lot of positive things to our program.”
On Friday, the Braves (19-3) play at Orleans.