Brandywine advances to semifinals
Published 12:22 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011
BRIDGMAN — Brandywine 6-foot-3 senior Jacob Frazier played like a mountain Bobcat Monday in the Class C district opener against a youthful New Buffalo Bison squad, who started no seniors.
Frazier knocked out the Bison with a 28 point and 14-rebound performance to go with a couple assists and blocks in a 53-45 triumph.
“It is very exciting to finally win a district tournament game,” proclaimed Frazier, who has started since his freshman year. “We need to play like the first three quarters and how to beat the press though.”
The first quarter provided the margin of victory as the twin towers towered over New Buffalo as Frazier and 6-5 junior Alex Erwin ruled the missed shots. Neither team found the bottom of the net until midway through the opening stanza, but the Bobcats held a 11-2 lead after a late flourish behind the tall duo and junior Austin Searles.
A spin move underneath the basket gave Frazier clearance for a dunk with 5:05 showing on the clock and scoreboard advantage being 15-2 for the Bobcats.
“We can’t dig ourselves this big of a hole, since points for us was a challenge this year,” commented New Buffalo coach Darrin Fatter. “The first half wasn’t pretty and our nerves had a lot to do with it, but we don’t face size like that in the Red Arrow.”
At intermission Brandywine led 21-11 with Frazier scoring eight points with seven rebounds and Erwin collected four markers with six caroms. The Bobcats were perfect on four free throws and committed on a quartet of turnovers after being mistake free in the first quarter.
“Our design was to get the ball to (Jacob) Frazier to either drive, dish or shoot since he has worked hard on being unselfish and has a come a long way,” noted Brandywine coach Scott Smith, who is filling in for Nathan Knapp.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter as the offense picked up for both teams and the Bobcats held a 33-25 lead with eight minutes to play.
The play of the game came two minutes into the final stanza when Frazier circled around Bison defenders for another slam to give Brandywine what seemed like a comfortable 39-25 cushion.
New Buffalo sophomores Kyle and Kevin Levine, plus junior Jordan Stover made things interesting as the scrappy and youthful Bison narrowed the deficit to 49-45 with just under a minute to play. Free throws were a bonus for Brandywine though and five different Bobcats made at least one charity toss down the stretch to claim victory.
“We have a good sophomore class that has improved and made some nice strides for next year, but Frazier didn’t miss and had a great game,” concluded Fatter.
Erwin finished in double figures in rebounds with 10 for the victors as non-starter Stover finished with 13 points to pace New Buffalo, with Kevin and Kyle Levine adding 11 and eight points, respectively.
“I will definitely push these guys to work harder knowing that this is my last chance to play basketball, which I love playing,” expressed Frazier. “Coach Smith is a fun coach to play for and works us real hard.”
Brandywine will next play Wednesday in Bridgman against Benton Harbor Dream Academy at 6 p.m.
“We can’t overlook our game Wednesday before playing Bridgman, but we will practice hard on beating pressure tomorrow in practice,” stated Smith.
Jacob Frazier 12 4-7 28; Alex Erwin 2 3-4 7; Michael Shelton 1 4-6 6; Austin Searles 2 0-0 5; Mykal Toxopeus 1 1-4 3; Jason Andrews 0 2-2 2; Michael Schoenleber 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 19 14-23 53
NEW BUFFALO 45
Jordan Stover 5 3-6 13; Kevin Levine 3 4-6 11; Kyle Levine 4 0-0 8; Kendall Artz 3 0-0 7; Manuel Cantu 1 0-0 2; Devon Huitsing 1 0-1 2; Jim Mullen 1 0-2 2. TOTALS: 18 7-15 45
Brandywine 11 21 33 53
New Buffalo 2 11 25 45
3-pt baskets: Brandywine 1 (Searles), New Buffalo 2 (Kevin Levine, Artz). Total fouls: Brandywine 14, New Buffalo 20. Fouled out: Kyle Levine (NB). Varsity record: Brandywine 8-13, New Buffalo 8-12