Bobcats win third straight

Published 11:21 pm Friday, March 4, 2011

The Brandywine girls’ basketball team won its third straight district title Friday night with a 44-23 victory over Bridgman. (Daily Star photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

NEW BUFFALO — Brandywine stung the Bridgman Bees in basketball Friday to capture its third straight Division 3 girls’ district championship with a swarming 44-23 victory.

It took the Bobcats two minutes before finding the bottom of the net as senior Lauren Leonard broke up the scoreless duel, but before another minute ticked off the clock both sophomore Mackenzie Shelton and  junior Carlie Newman found success with the former shooting from behind the arc. The score was 7-0 when Bridgman called time out with 5:18 left in the first quarter.

Brandywine (21-1) relied on its defense the rest of the stanza as Bridgman (8-14) committed 10 turnovers without notching a point when the buzzer blew after eight minutes and the Bobcats led by eight points.

“We focus primarily on good defense in practice, which helps when you don’t shoot well,” noted Brandywine coach Josh Hood. “It is a dream as a player to not be yelled at when shooting 3s and that is what happened, because they were guarding the paint.”

The Bobcats shot 23 times for the extra point in the first half alone with three by Shelton and a pair by senior Morgan Smallwood being the only points producing missiles.   The Bobcats held a 22-7 lead at intermission with Smallwood and junior Madison Pellow grabbing six and five of the missed shots.

Bridgman shot only a dozen times with 16 miscues on offense in the first half.

“We have confidence in our girls to rebound and the chemistry on this team is great, because all they want is to win instead of who scores,” explained Hood. “The big girls at halftime were telling the shooters to keep on firing because they were open.”

Shelton took the advice to heart and opened the second half with a trey on her first shot and ended the third stanza with a duplicated effort as the Bobcats held a commanding 37-13 advantage.

Shelton landed six torpedos altogether for a career-high 18 points to lead the victors and was the only hoopster to reach double figures.

Brandywine grabbed a total of 36 rebounds compared to 23 for Bridgman with Pellow leading the way with eight caroms, while classmates Kelsey Prestley and Smallwood grabbing seven apiece. Each team played the reserves for some much needed future experience in the upcoming years in the tournament.

“Even though (Mackenzie) Shelton is only a sophomore, she has a lot of experience and is a veteran at basketball,” stated Hood. “After having a phenomenal game on Wednesday in the first half, (Carlie) Newman is as happy as anyone with the win even though she struggled in this game.”

The regional is Tuesday at Watervliet with Brandywine playing the winner of the Constantine District.


Lisa Bowman 2 1-5 5; Lindsey Lowery 1 2-4 4; Mackenzie Rathgeb 2 0-0 4; Alyssa Krynicky 1 1-2 3; Taylor Tuszynski 0 2-4 2; Niki Strefling 1 0-0 2; Alyse Newman 1 0-0 2; Brandi Kading 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 8 7-17 23


Mackenzie Shelton 6 0-1 18; Morgan Smallwood 2 0-0 6; Lauren Leonard 2 1-4 5; Kelsey Prestly 1 3-8 5; Madison Pellow 0 4-6 4; Carlie Newman 1 1-2 3; Mikayla Kemp 1 0-0 2; Hannah Horst 0 1-4 1. TOTALS: 13 10-25 44

Bridgman 0 7 13 23

Brandywine 8 22 37 44

3-point baskets: Bridgman 0, Brandywine 8 (Shelton 6, Smallwood 2). Total fouls: Bridgman 19, Brandywine 18. Fouled out: Strefling (BRIG). Varsity records: Bridgman 8-14, Bradywine 21-1