No. 2-ranked Brandywine tops MendonPublished 11:37pm Thursday, January 17, 2013
Brandywine displayed poise under pressure in its girls basketball showdown Thursday against Mendon.
The second-ranked (Class C) Bobcats rallied in the fourth quarter and beat the seventh-ranked (Class D) Hornets, 51-47, in non-conference action.
It’s the fifth win by Brandywine over Mendon over the last three years.
“For a young team, we’re amazing,” said Brandywine coach Josh Hood, whose team improved to 10-0. “We’ve had three close games this year that have been tight in the fourth quarter and we’ve found a way to win. That’s what’s special about these kids. They have no conscience and they don’t even worry about the score. They just always believe that they’re going to win.”
Brandywine trailed 42-37 with 5:02 left in the game and were still down to Mendon, 46-42 with 2:12 left in the game. The Hornets made their first five shots in the fourth quarter.
For the remainder of the game, the Bobcats outplayed the Hornets.
Emily Erwin’s 3-pointer for Brandywine tied the game at 46 with 1:29 left in the game.
Mendon then regained the lead at 47-46 after getting 1-of-2 free throws from Alexis Russell with 1:22 remaining in the game. That would be the Hornets last lead of the game as Mendon went 1-for-5 from the free throw line over the final 1:50.
Tammy Lee’s 3-pointer gave Brandywine a 49-47 with :43 left in the game.
“We had our shooters in there and we wanted to space it,” Hood said about his team’s offense strategy down the stretch. “We were looking for penetration and a kick out. Our girls are always unselfish. They don’t care who scores. In the past, everybody knew the ball would go to Carlie (Newman) or Madison (Pellow). This year, we have five people capable of scoring (beyond the 3-point arc).”
After Lee’s basket, Mendon’s Brooke Howard missed a shot in the paint and Erwin grabbed the rebound for Brandywine.
The Hornets had to then foul three times to get the Bobcats in the bonus. Erwin went to the line after getting fouled with 8.8 seconds remaining. She coolly drained two free throws to give Brandywine a 51-47 lead. Howard missed a shot just inside the 3-point arc as time expired.
Erwin finished with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Brandywine totaled 10 3-pointers in the game.
“Emily Erwin just has ice in her veins for a freshman,” Hood said. “She had a great bounce on that free throw when we were up two.”
Brooke Smith scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bobcats. The much taller Hornets finished with only a 25-24 rebound advantage.
“I thought in the second half (rebounding) was going to be the difference,” Hood said. “Our girls did a really nice job of blocking out. We were a lot smaller all over the place, but we found bodies and that was really important for us in the second half. (Smith) created some second chance opportunities for us, which was huge.”
Brandywine welcomed the return of starting point guard Mackenzie Shelton, who finished with nine points, five rebounds and two steals. Shelton, who missed several games because of an ankle injury, hit two straight 3-pointers in the first quarter, which tied the game at 11.
“I thought (Shelton) did a phenomenal job for being out for a month,” Hood said.
Brooke Howard scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Mendon, which fell to 11-1.
“We gave up four to five layups to Howard in the second half and that just bewildered me because we told our girls at practice that anytime she touched the ball everyone was suppose to be around her,” Hood said.
Brooke Howard 19, Alexis Russell 9, Shelby Harrison 0, Jenna Griffith 3, Grace Leighton 10, Cierra Furlong 6, Danielle Parsons 0. TOTALS: 19 7-13 47
Rachael Ort 6, Victoria Knight 4, Brooke Smith 15, Tammy Lee 6, Mackenzie Shelton 9, Emily Erwin 11, Michaela Hartline 0, Tia Hullinger 0, Makenna Hartline 0. TOTALS: 15 11-12 51
Mendon 13 20 35 47
Brandywine 11 25 35 51
3-point goals: Mendon 2 (Howard, Griffith), Brandywine 10 (Erwin 3, Ort 2, Lee 2, Shelton 2, Smith). Total fouls (fouled out): Mendon 12 (none), Brandywine 15 (none). Technical: Mendon (bench). Shooting: Mendon 19-of-37 for 51-percent, Brandywine 15-of-50 for 30-percent. Rebounding: Mendon 25 (Howard 9), Brandywine 24 (Smith 10). Turnovers: Mendon 15, Brandywine 8