Late bloomers: Brandywine uses big second half to win first district game
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN -- The Brandywine varsity basketball team has had its share of difficulty scoring this season.
Averaging a little more than 50 points per game, the Bobcats don't usually dominate their opponents with offense.
Tuesday night, however, the Bobcats erupted for 50 second-half points to dismiss Watervliet from the Class C District Tournament at Buchanan High School.
Brandywine trailed 29-24 at halftime but outscored the Panthers 50-28 for a 74-59 victory.
The Bobcats used a full-court press to cause six Watervliet turnovers in the third quarter. Brandywine outscored the Panthers 30-10 in that period.
Watervliet, which ends the season with a record of 12-9, committed 21 turnovers in the game.
Watervliet actually took a 57-56 lead at 6:05 in the fourth quarter before Alex Newman gave the Bobcats their final lead with a jump shot at 5:34. Gene McDonald followed that with his third 3-pointer and a jump shot by Andy Low at 2:26 gave Brandywine a six-point cushion.
The Panthers' final score of the game came with 2:10 left on the clock when Kyle Freed scored an inside basket. From that point, Brandywine made 9-of-11 free throw attempts and McDonald scored on a layup to close the game on an 11-0 run.
Watervliet raced out to a 13-2 lead to start the game while the Bobcats weren't using full-court pressure.
Toward the end of the period, however, Brandywine's defensive pressure picked up and the Bobcats trailed by just two, 18-16, heading into the second quarter.
The Panthers again took a big lead in the second quarter, outscoring Brandywine 10-0 to start the period.
Watervliet, however, committed six turnovers and Brandywine went on an 8-3 run to end the quarter.
Brandywine opened the third quarter determined to take the ball to the basket. Low, who went scoreless in the first quarter before scoring eight in the second quarter, eight more in the third quarter.
Low finished with 19 second-half points while Danny Rauch and Casey Udell each scored eight points after halftime.
Low led all scorers with 27 points. McDonald added 17 and Rauch finished with 10 for Brandywine.
Sidenbender was pleased and surprised at the same time with his team's effort in the second half, a rare occurrence this season.
Brandywine, now 8-13, will take on Eau Claire Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the tournament semifinals. Buchanan faces Bridgman in the semifinals tonight at 7 p.m. at Buchanan High School.