Tall task for Sand CreekPublished 11:26pm Monday, March 14, 2011
The Brandywine Bobcats are no stranger to the state quarterfinals, having made the same trip just a season ago.
On the other hand, their opponent, Sand Creek, is appearing in the quarterfinal round for the first time in school history.
The No. 9-ranked Bobcats present a tall challenge for Sand Creek, which does not have a starter over 5-foot-5.
But don’t let its size fool you, says Brandywine coach Josh Hood, because they play much bigger than the heights listed on the roster.
“Sand Creek is a lot like the Bridgman boys,” Hood said. “They start five girls 5-foot-5 and under. They are a very good, fast perimeter team that shoots the three extremely well.”
The Aggies come into tonight’s game with a 23-2 record, having won the school’s first regional title Friday night. Sand Creek defeated Monroe St. Marys Catholic Central in the championship game, 47-40.
Brandywine will have to stay disciplined on defense because a breakdown could result in a 3-point basket and that’s exactly what Sand Creek tries to do. They also rebound well despite their size disadvantage.
“They like to spread the floor and penetrate with the dribble,” Hood said. “They play a lot bigger than they are. They have a shooter at every position. They like to spread you out and they do a great job of crashing the boards on the back side.”
Because of their size, Brandywine’s post players are going to have to step out and take on players that are quick to the basket. Hood said that his team will also have to figure out ways to isolate the post players at the offensive end of the court in order to get some scoring opportunities.
“We have to find a way to create some one-on-one sistuations because they do such a great job with their weak-side defense,” Hood said. “We also have to be able to finish.”
That has been a problem for the Bobcats throughout the post season.
Brandywine is shooting around 30 percent from the field and only 47 percent from the free throw line.
The Aggies are led by twins Michaela and Landis Robichaud. Michaela is averaging 13.6 points per game and 5.9 steals, while Landis is currently scoring 7.9 points per game.
Another player Brandywine will have to keep an eye on is Elizabeth Herriman, who averages 11.7 points and 6.2 rebounds. Her twin sister Gabrielle is averaging 7.7 points and five rebounds a contest.
While the Bobcats have been struggling with shooting from both the field and the charity stripe, they have been playing sound defense and rebounding well.
Brandywine is currently forcing 29 turnovers per game in the post season.
“Both teams are going to put some pressure on the ball and both teams like the uptempo game, so this could be a lot of fun for the fans to watch,” Hood said.
Tip-off for the game at Hudson High School is set for 7 p.m.
The winner advances to the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University on Thursday for a 1 p.m. contest.