Bison end Brandywine’s title reignPublished 8:20am Saturday, March 1, 2014
THREE OAKS — All good things must come to an end.
Never has an old English adage ever delivered such a stinging and harsh reality to the realm of local high school sports.
With a 51-42 loss to the New Buffalo Bison at River Valley High School Friday night, the Brandywine Bobcat’s incredible streak of consecutive Class C District championships was ended at five.
Brandywine’s chances in the finals game was marred by an atrocious shooting night from the floor, as the Bobcats’ (20-2) were 5-of-29 in the second half and finished 14-of-60 from the field in the game.
“You can’t shoot like that in a big game, you know? That wasn’t expected. It’s a tough one to swallow right now,” Brandywine coach Josh Hood said.
A lot of the focus coming in for Brandywine was shutting down New Buffalo standout, Jade Madison. However, in their angst to stifle Madison’s output, the Bobcats left themselves susceptible to being beaten by New Buffalo’s supporting cast.
And did they ever deliver.
Trailing 22-18 with 1:30 remaining in the first half, the Bison (19-5) used a 7-0 run to take a 25-22 lead into the locker room at the break.
It was a lead New Buffalo would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest.
The Bison got 14 points out of Kristine Kucera and 9 points from Chloe Topolski to go along with Madison’s game-high 17.
“All of the credit goes to New Buffalo. We maybe were too fixated on Jade and it lead to a breakdown in our defensive rotations. They got the ball to their role players and those girls were able to knockdown the shots. All of the credit to them,” Hood said.
In what proved to be her final game in a Bobcat uniform, senior guard Tammy Lee led Brandywine’s offensive attack with 14 points. Makenna Hartline also scored 14 points for the Bobcats in the losing effort.
“If you look at the big picture here, we’ve had four-straight years of 20 win seasons,” Hood said. “That’s pretty impressive. And our future is still bright. We have a lot of kids returning and hopefully this experience right here will make them hungry.
“I guarantee they don’t like the feeling they’ve got right now, they’re going to work hard to fix it. We’ll be back.”
New Buffalo 51, Brandywine 42
NEW BUFFALO 51
Jade Madison 17, Kristine Kucera 14, Chloe Topolski 9, Brittany Pappa 5, Zoe Lauricella 4, Julie Ritter 2. TOTALS: 20 8-20 51
Tammy Lee 14, Makenna Hartline 14, Emily Erwin 6, Victoria Ebersol 4, Michaela Hartline 3, Jaleesa Garner 1, Tiarra Hullinger 0, Hannah Horst 0. TOTALS: 14 11-21 42
New Buffalo 11 25 37 51
Brandywine 12 22 32 42
3-point baskets: New Buffalo 3 (Kucera 1, Lauricella 1, Topolski 1), Brandywine 3 (Mak. Hartline 1, Lee 1, Mich. Hartline 1). Total fouls (fouled out): New Buffalo 22 (Madison, Lauricella), Brandywine 19 (none). Varsity records: Brandywine 20-1, New Buffalo 18-4