Edwardsburg falls to BobcatsPublished 9:00pm Thursday, February 23, 2012
NILES —Brandywine unleashed the beast Friday night.
Bobcats senior forward Madison Pellow exploded for 22 points as Brandywine won its third consecutive Lakeland Conference girls basketball championship with a 63-54 victory over visiting Edwardsburg Friday night.
The win was also the 40th consecutive conference win for the No. 4-ranked Bobcats.
Brandywine (18-1, 11-0 Lakeland) used a huge second quarter run to take control of the contest.
Trailing 11-10 after the opening eight minutes, the Eddies (13-6, 9-2 Lakeland) got a 3-pointer by Sarah D’Amico to take a 13-11 lead. After a pair of free throws by Ashley Streb put Edwardsburg back out in front, 15-13, it was all Brandywine the rest of the first half.
The Bobcats outscored the Eddies 22-6 over the final seven minutes of the second quarter to take a 35-21 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
“We try to be a team built on runs,” Brandywine coach Josh Hood said. “We made a heckuva run. The thing of it was we had different girls hitting threes and we spread the court. It’s just the unselfishness of this team.
“It takes a team effort for us, being the fifth biggest school in the conference, to win a third straight title and 40 in a row. That says a lot about the kids at Brandywine. We as a program, I think our girls work harder than anybody’s. It’s just really special to see the smiles on their face because of all the hard work in June, July and the off season.”
The Eddies came out of the locker room and made a run at the Bobcats to start the second half.
Brandywine refocused and the second half of the third quarter belonged to the Bobcats.
Edwardsburg trailed by as many as 20 points (50-32) and ended the fourth quarter facing a 50-32 deficit.
The Eddies didn’t give up.
Edwardsburg kept chipping away at the Brandywine lead and when Streb hit a pair of free throws with 3:52 showing on the clock, the lead was down to 10, 58-48.
Two more Streb free throws a minute later cut the lead to 58-50.
Pellow helped keep the Eddies at bay with a bucket and a free throw in the final two and a half minutes.
“Madison tonight, that’s as good as she’s played in the three years that I’ve had her,” Hood said. “She was in a world of her own tonight, I thought. People probably don’t realize she’s only 5-7 or 5-8. But there isn’t a post player in the area I would take over her. She seems possessed.”
“I let the beast out, that’s what coach always says,” Pellow said. “We played great as a team. We worked hard all week at practice. This feels awesome. I feel like a lot has been released off our chests about this game.”
Senior teammate Carlie Newman added 21 points. Mackenzie Shelton and Brooke Smith both netted seven.
D’Amico led the Eddies with 19 points. Streb finished with 14 and Mariah Murphy 13.
Liv Hack 0 0-0 0; Maddi Holmes 0 0-0 0; Sarah D’Amico 5 5-5 19; Ashley Streb 3 7-13 14; Mariah Murphy 7 0-0 13; Brooke Portwood 1 0-0 2; Alexis Blake 2 0-0 4; Katelynn Rogers 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 12-18 54
Carlie Newman 9 0-0 21; Rachael Ort 1 0-0 3; Mackenzie Shelton 3 0-0 7; Tia Hullinger 1 0-0 3; Victoria Knight 0 0-0 0; Brooke Smith 2 2-2 7; Madison Pellow 10 2-4 22. TOTALS: 26 4-6 63
Edwardsburg 10 21 32 54
Brandywine 11 35 48 63
3-point baskets: Edwardsburg 5 (D’Amico 4, Murphy), Brandywine 7 (Newman 3, Ort, Shelton, Hullinger, Smith). Total fouls (fouled out): Edwardsburg 14 (none), Brandywine 18 (none). Varsity records: Edwardsburg 13-6, 9-2 Lakeland; Brandywine 18-1, 11-0 Lakeland