Playing four different defensive sets in the first half, Brownstown Central’s boys basketball team gave Austin all they could handle on Tuesday night.
The No. 2-ranked team in Class 3A limited Austin (5-11, 1-4 MSC) to just 18 first-half points in a 75-51 Mid-Southern Conference drubbing Tuesday night.
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The trio of Cody Waskom, Gavin Bane and Carson Lambring accounted for all but three of the Braves’ first-half points.
Lambring and Waskom mirrored each other, as each hit a 3-pointer and a field goal, with the Braves (14-0, 5-0 MSC) taking an early 10-2 lead.
In the final 3:38 of the first quarter, the Braves outscored the Eagles 11-4 to take a 21-10 advantage into the second quarter.
Brownstown Central lit it up from the floor and held the Eagles to just eight points before intermission.
From the 6:57 to 2:56 mark, the Braves scored nine unanswered points, led by seven from Bane, to go up 33-14.
Austin scored just one basket in the final 2:07 of the quarter, with Waskom tacking on seven more points and Maxie draining a trey to put the Braves up 43-18 at the half.
Waskom scored 20 points, Bane tallied 11, Lambring added nine and Maxie had three for the Braves.
The Braves recorded 11 steals in the first 16 minutes.
“We were really mixing up our defenses there in the first half,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “I thought our guys anticipated really well. We let the ball get inside a couple times too easily, but other than that, we did a really good job pressuring the basketball and rotating through our press and half-court trap.”
Brownstown Central went on a 10-4 run to start the third quarter to extend their lead to 53-22 by the 3:58 mark.
Benter said the team continued to play tough defense after the break.
“We went half-court man second half, and I thought after the first layup, we were fantastic for the next six or seven minutes,” Benter said. “We pressured the ball, protected the lane and the rim.”
An and-one conversion by Ben Rexroat and a 3-pointer by Drew Buhr cut the Eagles’ deficit to 58-30 with 2:06 on the clock.
After 24 minutes, the Braves led 62-35.
Waskom scored the first six points for the Braves in the final quarter, and up 68-38, the Braves emptied their bench in the last 6:07 of the game to cruise to the win.
Waskom’s 33 points topped the Braves’ scorebook, making 13 of 20 attempts from the field. Bane had 13, and Lambring scored 11.
“(Waskom) had a lot of great looks, but you have to make those, too,” Benter said. “He was shooting the ball a lot better last week like he’s capable of. He had a two- or three-game slump, but he’s back to shooting, and that’s what we need from him. If he can play at that level offensively, it’s going to open up even more for some other guys.”
Rexroat led the Eagles with 16 points.
The Braves had 10 turnovers to the Eagles’ 23 and also won the rebounding battle 43-33.