Brandywine’s Michael Shelton leans in for two of his 11 points Monday night. The Bobcats defeated visiting Brandywine 46-39. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

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Brandywine rallies for victory

Published 10:30pm Monday, February 20, 2012

After surviving a chaotic opening 16 minutes Monday night, the Brandywine boys basketball team rallied to defeat visiting Coloma 46-39.

The Lakeland Conference contest had the Bobcats race out to an 18-5 first quarter advantage, which included a 10-2 start.

The Bobcats (9-9, 3-8 Lakeland) used a quartet of 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of play, including to by Austin Searles.

Brandywine moved the ball well in the first quarter and created open shots for its shooters with that movement.

But in the second half, the movement went away and Coloma began applying the pressure in what turned out to be a very physical and sometimes out of control quarter.

The play was so physical at one point, the Bobcats’ Pierce Gleason was knocked to the ground and injured his shoulder. He would not return and was taken to a hospital.

A basket by Alex Erwin with 5:51 to play in the first half gave the Bobcats a 21-11 advantage.

Brandywine would not score again until Michael Shelton canned a pair of free throws with 2:03 to play, which gave the Bobcats back the lead momentarily, 23-22.

The Comets (3-14, 2-8 Lakeland) outscored Brandywine 15-2 in the final six minutes of the opening half to take a 26-23 advantage to the locker room at the intermission.

During the break, Bobcats’ coach Nathan Knapp settled his team down and point out that when they were moving the ball well and executing their offense, good things were happening. He also noted that the Comets had seven offensive rebounds.

Brandywine was able to take care of both items in the final 16 minutes of play.

In the third quarter the two teams traded baskets in a much less intense atmosphere.

The Bobcats held a 13-9 advantage on the scoreboard to reclaim their lead, 36-35.

In the final eight minutes, Brandywine showed poise and patience, which gave it a chance to get into an offensive flow.

Brandywine scored just 10 points in the fourth quarter, but controlled the clock and the tempo of the contest.

At the defensive end, the Bobcats kept Coloma off the glass and limited the Comets to just a pair of offensive rebounds in the second half.

“The tempo changed a little bit in the second quarter and we got a little bit uncomfortable,” Knapp said. “We had the size advantage all night if we just took the time to pound it inside. When we did that we were fine. When they put pressure on us and we put our heads down and went, we were in trouble.

“The kids started setting screens a lot better in the second half. Our kids are starting to get a little bit more confident shooting the ball.”

Michael Shelton and Searles each scored 11 points for the Bobcats, who also got eight points from Mykal Toxopeus and seven points from Erwin.

Coloma was led by Tyler Fisher’s game-high 14 points.

COLOMA 39

Nate Caldwell 1 0-0 3; Earl Taylor 3 1-5 8; Andrew Steinhoff 0 0-0 0; Nick Caldwell 0 0-0 0; Rickey Payne 0 0-0 0; Devin Williams 3 1-2 7; Tracey Lamar Jr. 3 0-0 7; Tyler Fisher 6 2-2 14; Marcus Hughes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16 4-9 39

BRANDYWINE 46

Austin Searles 4 0-0 11; Pierce Gleason 0 0-0 0; Michael Schoenleber 0 0-0 0; Alex Ulrickson 0 0-0 0; Brian Kline 1 0-0 3; Mykal Toxopeus 3 1-2 8; Michael Shelton 4 2-2 11; Courtlan Gordon 1 0-4 2; Alex Erwin 3 1-2 7; Evan Hartman 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 16 4-10 46

Coloma 5 26 35 39

Brandywine 18 23 36 46

3-point baskets: Coloma 3 (Na. Caldwell, Taylor, Lamar Jr.), Brandywine 6 (Searles 3, Toxopeus 2, Shelton). Total fouls (fouled out): Coloma 12 (none), Brandywine 12 (none). Varsity records: Coloma 3-14, 2-8 Lakeland; Brandywine 9-9, 3-8 Lakeland

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