Alex Erwin scored 13 points Wednesday night as Brandywine rallied to defeat New Buffalo and advance to the Class C District title game. (Daily Star Photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Archived Story

Bobcats rally to beat Bison

Published 11:30pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WATERVLIET — A fourth quarter rally lifted the Brandywine boys basketball team into the Class C District finals Friday night.

The Bobcats (12-9) came back from a 39-36 deficit at the end of the third quarter to defeat New Buffalo 56-46 Wednesday night.

While the Bobcats trailed most of the night, senior Austin Searles and junior Michael Shelton stepped up over the last 2:30 of the game to rally the ’Cats to victory.

Trailing by three points entering the final period, the Bobcats quickly tied the game at 39 when Shelton drained a long-range bomb from the top of the key. Brandywine would fall back down 43-39 before its rally began.

A 3-point basket by Searles and a free throw by Shelton and once again the game was all square, 43-43 with 5:25 remaining. That is when the Bobcats took over the game.

Clinging to a one-point lead, 45-44 with 2:20 remaining, Searles drained his second three of the quarter extending the lead to four, 48-44. Exactly one minute later and the score still the same, Searles drained another bomb, this one from the baseline giving the ‘Cats the 51-44 advantage, and all the momentum they would need to finish off the Bison.

Shelton would calmly sink five of six free throws in a 30 second span to put the game completely out of reach.

Early on it appeared the Bison were ready to play as they jumped on the Bobcats early as they knocked in three of their own long range bombs in the first quarter building a 13-8 lead after one period of play. A 3-point basket by Searles to go with five points from Alex Erwin was all the Bobcats could manage in the first stanza.

The second period was all Brandywine for the first seven minutes as the Bobcats outscored New Buffalo 12-3 in that span, building a 20-16 lead. But the Bison managed to score seven over the last 60 seconds to take the lead into the intermission, 23-21.

The Bison outscored the Brandywine in the third period 16-15, increasing their lead to 39-36 entering the final stanza, and setting up the comeback for the Bobcats.

“It was a sluggish start, but the kids mentally found a way to win it,” said Brandywine coach Nathan Knapp. “Shelton played well tonight, he stepped up. But that is the thing about our kids. Every night it is somebody different, but Michael took care of the ball and made some clutch free throws down the stretch.”

Searles scored a game-high 17 points, while Erwin added 12 points and Shelton 12.

Manny Cantu led the Bison with 10 points.

BRANDYWINE 56

Michael Shelton 3 5-7 12; Courtlan Gordon 1 0-0 3; Austin Searles 6 0-0 17; Michael Schoenleber 0 1-2 1; Brad Kline 1 0-1 3; Mykal Toxopeus 0 1-2 1; Alex Erwin 5 3-6 13; Evan Hartman 2 2-2 4

NEW BUFFALO 46

Cosmo Briatta 2 0-1 6, Manny Cantu 4 1-1 10, Kevin Levine 4 0-0 9, Devon Huitsing 2 1-2 5, Kendall Artz 2 4-4 8, Jim Mullen 1 0-1 2, Kyle Levine 2 2-5 6

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