For The Tribune
Ending both halves strongly, the Brownstown Central boys basketball team pulled away to a comfortable 74-51 victory against Seymour on Friday night.
The Braves (2-0) shook off a shaky start by scoring on 14 of 19 possessions during the final 11 minutes of the opening half, stretching an early five-point lead to a 38-20 halftime advantage.
Brownstown then closed out with a 23-point fourth quarter to claim its ninth straight victory against the Owls (1-1).
“In the second half, you have to give Seymour credit, they really battled,” Brownstown head coach Dave Benter said. “We had stretches where we didn’t play too well, but we also had stretches where we played extremely well for being nine practices into the season.”
Both Seymour and Brownstown enjoyed successful football seasons, which delayed the basketball season for several key players.
Though his team ended the game shooting 35 percent from the field, including 24 percent from 3-point range, Seymour head coach Tyler Phillips emerged from Friday’s game feeling encouraged.
“We got the shots we wanted. We did a good job attacking their pressure and got good looks, our shots just didn’t drop,” Phillips said. “Tonight was a good test for us. We’re 17 practices into this. I was pleased with our effort. I know that may sound strange after losing by 20, but I’m encouraged.”
Brownstown’s plug-and-play lineup was evident throughout the contest. Four Braves ended the night with 10 or more points, led by Gavin Bane with 16 and Carson Lambring with 15.
Michael Boshears sparked Brownstown’s offense with 13 points off the bench, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Ty Maxie added 10 points.
“That’s one of our strengths,” Benter said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who can dribble, pass and shoot the ball. The thing I see with a lot of seniors (Brownstown has 10 seniors) is we’ve got a lot of guys who are capable of scoring points when someone else is having an off night.”
Brownstown hit five of nine first-half 3-pointers before settling for 44 percent (8 for 18) from long distance.
A Lambring 3-pointer from the top of the key gave Brownstown its largest lead at 70-43 with 3:05 left in the game.
Seymour was led by senior Tyler Bloom, who ended with a game-high 18 points. Bloom shot 5-for-19 from the field, but Phillips said he liked what he saw.
“I’ve got to get Tyler to realize how good a shooter he really is,” Phillips said. “He’s not releasing the ball with confidence.”
Alan Perry followed with 10 points for the Owls before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Alex Hofer, meanwhile, came off the bench and scored six points.
“We got good minutes from Alex and from Seth Ragon,” Phillips said.
Phillips said his first encounter with intra-county rival Brownstown didn’t offer too many surprises.
“There’s a reason Dave Benter has the record he has,” Phillips said. “We’re trying to build to where they are.”
For Benter, Friday’s win pushed his career record against Seymour over the .500 mark. The 19-year BC head coach now holds a 10-9 record against the Owls.
“It took forever to get the first win,” Benter said of losing his first seven games vs. Seymour. “This is a fun rivalry. It’s hard to say, ‘It’s just another game,’ but we try very hard to prepare for it like it is.”