Bobcats open tournament play with big win

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brandywine’s Jaleesa Garner goes to the basket against her former team Monday night. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Brandywine’s Jaleesa Garner goes to the basket against her former team Monday night. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

The fourth-ranked (Class C) Brandywine girls basketball team opened up district play on Monday against a familiar opponent in Cassopolis.

The outcome was like the three regular season meetings between the two teams as the Bobcats rolled to a 56-23 win.

During the regular season, Brandywine posted 46-24, 65-15 and 56-38 wins over Cassopolis.

Tammy Lee led the Bobcats on Monday with 18 points. All of her points came off of 3-pointers.

“Tammy Lee is playing at a level right now that we haven’t seen here in a long time,” said Brandywine coach Josh Hood. “She’s distributing the basketball, scoring and applying defensive pressure. She’s been our catalyst. Tonight, we played off of her. She stepped up and was 6-for-6 or 6-for-7 shooting 3’s.”

Makenna Hartline added 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Bobcats, who owned a 44-26 rebounding advantage.

Brandywine won despite shooting only 27-percent (19-for-70) from the field.

“That was far from a thing of beauty,” Hood said. “But in March all that matters is surviving and advancing. Tonight, we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, which is going to happen at times, but our defense stepped up. In the big picture if you give up 20-something points you’re going to have a really good chance to win.”

Cassopolis turned the ball over 36 times, shot only 23-percent (9-for-39) from the field and missed 21 of 25 free throws.

Kortenei Suggs scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds for the Rangers.

“You can’t turn the ball over, you’ve got to hit lay-ups and you have to hit free throws,” said Cassopolis coach Nat Pittman. “You’re asking for trouble if you struggle in those three things.”

The five-time defending district champion Bobcats, who stand at 19-0, advance to play Bridgman in Class C district semifinal action Wednesday at 6 p.m. at River Valley High School. Brandywine beat the Bees, 56-13 and 61-19, during the regular season.


Brandywine 56, Cassopolis 23


Brittney Prestly 0, Kortenei Suggs 9, Jayne Butts 3, Nakiela Sinclair 0, Logan Lawson 3, Ky’ana Buck 2, Rachelle Williams 0, Madeline Ruff 2, Kaylyn Forrest 4. TOTALS: 9 4-25 23


Makenna Hartline 11, Victoria Ebersol 0, Michaela Hartline 5, Emily Erwin 5, Tammy Lee 18, Tia Hullinger 4, Alyssa Bolen 0, Jaleesa Garner 6, Rachel Szilagyi 0, Maranda Smallmon 0, Makena Bowen 0, Hannah Horst 0, Mia Stella 5, Chelsea Luczkowski 0, team 2: TOTALS: 19 7-18 56.



Cassopolis                  7          10       14       23

Brandywine               18       33       52       56

3-point baskets: Cassopolis 1 (Suggs), Brandywine 9 (Lee 6, Michaela Hartline, Erwin, Stella). Total (fouled out): Cassopolis 19 (none), Brandywine 19 (none). Technical foul: Cassopolis. Shooting: Cassopolis 9-of-39 for 23-percent, Brandywine 19-of-70 for 27-percent. Rebounding: Cassopolis 26 (Suggs, Buck 5 each), Brandywine 44 (Makenna Hartline 14). Turnovers: Cassopolis 36, Brandywine 25. Varsity records: Cassopolis 6-13, Brandywine 19-0