While last week’s gauntlet of three Mid-Southern Conference games in five days came to a halt for Brownstown Central’s boys basketball team over the weekend, its winning streak didn’t lose momentum.
After grinding out three close quarters, the Class 3A No. 2-ranked Braves finally got a big run in the fourth quarter for an 86-67 victory against Corydon Central on Saturday.
The win keeps the Braves undefeated on the season at 16-0, including 6-0 in the MSC.
The Braves made their first four shots, three of which came from behind the 3-point arc, as they took an 8-5 lead with 6:45 on the clock.
From the 4:18 to 1:41-mark, the Braves built a 10-3 run behind four points by Gavin Bane.
Despite their nine turnovers in the first quarter, the Panthers (7-9, 1-5 MSC) kept the game close thanks to four 3-pointers, as they trailed 23-16.
Brownstown extended its lead to 30-20 with 2 minutes gone in the second quarter, but the Panthers had an answer for every make.
Alec Saulman poured-in eight points and Jordan Ripperdan hit a pair of 3-pointers before Kurt Strubler got a layup to cut the deficit to 41-36 at the break.
The Panthers made 15 of 21 field goal attempts in the first half (71 percent) while the Braves were 17-for-37 (46 percent).
Coach Dave Benter liked the defensive plan, but other factors weren’t getting it done in the first half for the Braves.
“I really told them at halftime that there weren’t any adjustments they needed to make,” Benter said. “It was just our effort and energy level. We had it in spurts in the second half, but I feel like we didn’t have it consistently.
The Panthers would pull within three points in the third quarter, but the Braves distanced themselves in the final 1:15. Lambring had three points, Waskom added two and Kyle Kramer sank a 3-pointer in a 8-0 run to close the quarter.
After 24 minutes, the Braves had a 60-47 lead.
Back-to-back threes from Saulman and Wiseman continued to give the Panthers life in the fourth quarter with 6:50 on the clock.
Then, the shots started to fall and the stops came in droves for the Braves.
In the final three minutes, Kramer, Bane and Lambring all hit 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.
“We were fortunate to make a big run late to get some separation, but I didn’t think top-to-bottom we played with energy and toughness tonight,” Benter said.
Waskom led the Braves with 25 points, Lambring scored 19 and Kramer chipped-in 15 on five 3-pointers.
“Kyle is one of the better shooters on our team,” Benter said. “He hasn’t been getting a lot of shots off, but he came in and got some open looks tonight. I was happy to see that.”
The Panthers finished with 20 turnovers to nine Braves giveaways.
Benter said that the team’s playing with a target on its back every time it takes to the court.
“We’re going to get the other team’s best game a lot of nights,” he said. “We’ve got to come out with that energy and focus night in and out. I’m not sure we did that this weekend. We need to have three good days of practice leading up to Columbus East, who have been a thorn in our side the past few years.”