Trinity Lutheran boys basketball coach Brian Stuckwisch said Brownstown Central definitely deserves to be ranked No. 5 in the Class 3A poll.
“They have 10 seniors, they’re a very strong, sound team. Dave (Benter, Brownstown coach) always has a good, fundamental team,” Stuckwisch said as the Cougars fell to the Braves 76-35 on Saturday night.
“It doesn’t matter who’s there; they just change players, the seniors move on and they’re strong every year. They weren’t nervous at all. They knew that this team was good, undefeated. I just told them to come and play with 100 percent, and we really didn’t come out of the gate very good.”
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The Cougars (4-10) missed their first four shots of the game and had five turnovers early.
At the other end of the floor Cody Waskom hit a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the game, Ty Maxie scored off an offensive rebound on the Braves’ next possession and the home team was off and running.
All five Brownstown starters scored as Maxie netted six points, Gavin Bane and Derek Rieckers hit jump shots and Carson Lambring added a 3-pointer as the Braves opened up a 16-0 lead at the 4:24-mark in the opening period.
Colton Wischmeier finally hit a jump shot to light up Trinity’s side of the scoreboard at the 4:13-mark.
Lambring added a 3-pointer late as the Braves held a 21-7 lead at the end of the first period.
Benter said he was pleased with the way his team played at the start of the game.
“We really pressured them,” Benter said. “I thought defensively we took them out of any kind of ball movement, and they just didn’t feel comfortable with the basketball.
“I thought we let our defense generate our offense. I thought our ball movement was really good early in the game. We were attacking the lane, we got some kick-out 3s, and we got some shots at the rim.”
The Braves had 14 assists on their 29 field goals with Waskom having six and Maxie at three.
Benter substituted freely and he said he felt his team lost some of its sharpness in the second period.
“I thought late in the first quarter, early second we kind of got away from (good ball movement),” he said. “We turned the ball over and we started settling for just about all 3-point shots. Once we called that time out in the second quarter and came back out I thought the rest of the game our ball movement and our unselfishness was really good.”
Lambring turned up his offense in the second period with a 3-pointer, a layup, and was 5-for-5 at the free-throw line for 10 points to help the Braves increase their lead to 42-15 at the half.
Sam Marksberry drained a 3-pointer in the first quarter, and Jacob Rowe hit a ’3’ in the second, but none of the Cougars scored more than one basket in the first half as Trinity shot only 5-for-22 and had 12 turnovers in those 16 minutes.
Brownstown (12-0) shot 14-for-31 from the floor in the first half, and was nine-for-nine at the line.
Lambring, Maxie and Rieckers each had a 3-popinter and a deuce in the third quarter when the Braves built their lead to 61-24.
Lambring took game scoring honors with 26 points, Waskom added 11, Rieckers 10, and Bane scored 8.
Wischmeier was high scorer for Trinity with seven points.
“The press really bothered us,” Stuckwisch said. “Once they took the press off we could run a half-court offense. We got some decent shots up and we hit some better shots percentage wise in the second half. Their defense is really good and they affect your offense all the way around. They have 10 guys that come in. it doesn’t matter, their starting five or their second five they can play anybody and they don’t really lose anything.”
Benter said he liked the way his team kept up its intensity in the second half.
“That is something this team can hang their hat on,” he said. “We’ve been able to guard and rebound. Those have been our two big things. There have been nights when we haven’t shot the ball well or haven’t played real well offensively, but we’ve played well enough on the defensive end and rebounded the ball well enough that good things have been able to happen for us.”