Bobcats win 39th straight home gamePublished 4:30am Saturday, December 22, 2012
Most basketball teams would struggle without their starting point guard.
That wasn’t the case Friday for the Brandywine girls basketball team.
Instead, the Bobcats played with poise and determination in a 58-55 win over a strong Hartford squad.
The win is the 39th straight at home for Brandywine, which improved to 7-0 on the season.
It took a team effort for the Bobcats to claim another home triumph because Brandywine wasn’t directed on the court by two-time first team All-Lakeland Confererence point guard Mackenzie Shelton. Shelton suffered a sprained ankle in practice on Wednesday and is out for at least three weeks.
Brandywine coach Josh Hood was proud of his team’s effort and execution against the 6-2 and defending district champion Indians.
“Our kids here at Brandywine are really resilient,” said Hood. “I was really impressed with our kids’ character going up against a veteran Hartford team. Facing some adversity, we really showed up in a big way.”
Heading the list of Bobcat standouts was Tammy Lee, who replaced Shelton at point guard. Lee finished with 18 points, seven assists, five steals and four rebounds.
“That was Tammy Lee’s best game in a Bobcat uniform,” Hood said. “She played a phenomenal game and is really starting to learn our system. She did a great job of dictating the tempo and finding the other girls. She was really a sparkplug tonight.”
A 9-0 Brandywine run late in the third quarter into the fourth pushed the Bobcats’ lead to 50-40 with 5:49 left in the game. The run began with a 3-pointer from freshman Michaela Hartline and was capped by a three-point play from Lee. Lee also hit two free throws during that stretch after a Hartford technical foul.
Hartline finished with seven points, all in the third quarter, while senior Rachael Ort and freshman Emily Erwin each totaled 10. Sophomore Brooke Smith grabbed five rebounds to go with her seven points. Senior Victoria Knight also pulled down five rebounds.
“I thought all three of our freshmen (Michaela Hartline, Makenna Hartline and Erwin) did well and the older kids led,” Hood said. “The thing that makes this year’s team different from year’s past is that there’s not one or two scorers. The ball movement is great.”
There were nervous moments in the final seconds for Brandywine. Leading 56-52, the Bobcats turned the ball over with :25 remaining. But Hartford was unable to take advantage of the miscue as Kara Weberg missed a 3-pointer and Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled with :06.8 left. Smith hit both free throws to seal the win for Brandywine. Hartford got a 3-pointer from Weberg as time expired. Weberg finished with 27 points and eight rebounds.
“The main concern for us was fouling and then stopping the clock,” Hood said. “We wanted to play position defense and let them shoot it and then secure the rebound. Our girls did a good job of getting into the gaps and then grabbing the rebound. It was a good job by our girls. (Smith) is the girl we want at the line. She’s clutch. She doesn’t play like a sophomore out there.”
Brandywine went into halftime with a 30-28 lead. There were six lead changes and three ties in the first half.
“We had foul trouble in the first half with two our of veteran players-Victoria Knight and Brooke Smith-and still found a way to have a halftime lead,” Hood said.
Defensively, the Bobcats forced the Indians into 29 turnovers.
“The pace was good and I think it wore them down a little bit,” Hood said.
Brianna Edmonds 2, Kaitelyn Smith 19, Julia Kling 5, Hannah Thornton 1, Kara Weberg 27, Olivia Knight 1, Marissa Galvan 0. TOTALS: 19 14-20 55
Rachael Ort 10, Tia Hullinger 4, Brooke Smith 7, Victoria Knight 1, Tammy Lee 18, Emily Erwin 10, Makenna Hartline 0, Michaela Hartline 7, Mikayla Kemp 1. TOTALS: 17 17-25 58
Hartford 15 28 40 55
Brandywine 19 30 45 58
3-point goals: Hartford 3 (Weberg 2, Kling), Brandywine 7 (Ort 2, Lee 2, Erwin 2, Mich. Hartline). Total fouls (fouled out): Hartford 19 (Edmonds), Brandywine 17 (none). Technicals: Hartford (Smith), Brandywine (6 players on court). Shooting: Hartford 19-of-49 for 39-percent, Brandywine 17-of-48 for 35-percent. Rebounding: Hartford 38 (Smith 9), Brandywine 25 (Brooke Smith, Victoria Knight 5 each). Turnovers: Hartford 29, Brandywine 19