Brandywine freshman Brooke Smith gets fouled as she tries to split the Cassopolis defense Thursday night to get off a shot. Smith finished with eight points as the Bobcats rolled to a 52-16 Lakeland Conference victory. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

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Defense leads ’Cats to victory

Published 10:36pm Thursday, December 8, 2011

Great defense and offensive rebounding led to an easy victory Thursday night for the Brandywine Bobcats.

The Bobcats forced 32 turnovers and held a 17-2 first half advantage in offensive rebounds as they blew out visiting Cassopolis 52-16 in a Lakeland Conference clash.

Brandywine (4-0, 1-0 Lakeland) was so dominating defensively that the Rangers (2-2, 1-1 Lakeland) were held to just one field goal through the first three quarters of play.

That score came with 45 seconds remaining in the opening quarter on a basket by Jocelyn Transou. That basket trimmed the lead to 13-4 and snapped a 12-0 run by the Bobcats.

Cassopolis would get no closer.

“Tonight we didn’t have the start we wanted, we missed a lot of easy shots, but when you play good defense you can withstand those droughts,” Brandywine coach Josh Hood said. “When you hold a team to six points through three quarters, that says a lot about the girls working on defense. That takes a total team effort and it was that tonight.”

Despite the offensive struggles, the Bobcats were able to score points in the opening half. Most of that could be attributed to their work on defense and the offensive glass. Brandywine more often than not had at least three shots on its possession and sometimes more than that.

The second quarter opened with Courtney Moore hitting one of two free throws for what turned out to be the only point of the period for the Rangers.

Rachael Ort matched the free throw at the other end to return the lead to nine points, but then the Rangers went on a 15-0 run to finish out the first half, including a 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining by freshman Brooke Smith.

In the third quarter, Brandywine went with the deep ball to force a running clock for the entire final period.

The Bobcats had four 3-pointers, including a pair by Ort as the lead reached 47-6 by the end of the quarter as the Rangers were again held to a single free throw.

Cassopolis outscored the Rangers 10-5 in the final eight minutes of play.

First year Ranger coach Larry Ash was anything but pleased with the performance of his team.

“Like I was just telling the girls, if you are not going to let me coach you the way I want to coach you this is going to happen to us all the time,” he said. “You have to come into practice ready to practice. You want to be a ball player then you have to let me run my system. If you are not going to let me run my system then this is what is going to happen to us all the time.

“I think we can be as good as anybody. But until we do what I want them to do we aren’t going to be as good as anybody.”

Senior Carlie Newman led all scorers with 17 points for the Bobcats. Ort finished with 10 points and Smith eight. Mackenzie Shelton and Madison Pellow added six.

Tammy Lee and Moore each had five points for the Rangers.

CASSOPOLIS 16

Tammy Lee 1 3-4 5; Bre Coleman 0 0-0 0; Jameka Eleazor 0 0-0 0; Olivia Nelson 1 0-0 3; Lauren Smith 0 1-2 1; Jade Gatson 0 0-0 0; Courtney Moore 1 3-4 5; Jocelyn Transou 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 4 7-12 16

BRANDYWINE 52

Carlie Newman 4 7-8 17; Rachael Ort 3 1-2 10; Mackenzie Shelton 2 2-2 6; Tia Hullinger 1 0-0 3; Victoria Knight 1 0-0 2; Brooke Smith 3 1-3 8; Mikayla Kemp 0 0-1 0; Madison Pellow 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 18 11-15 52

Cassopolis 4 5 6 16

Brandywine 13 29 47 52

3-point baskets: Cassopolis 1 (Nelson), Brandywine 8 (Newman 2, Ort 3, Hullinger, Smith). Total fouls (fouled out): Cassopolis 15 (none), Brandywine 14 (none). Varsity records: Cassopolis 2-2, 1-1 Lakeland; Brandywine 4-0, 1-0 Lakeland

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