Bobcats edge Shamrocks in overtime

Published 8:19 am Saturday, January 9, 2016

Vinny Peel scores the winning basket for Brandywine against Berrien Springs Friday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Vinny Peel scores the winning basket for Brandywine against Berrien Springs Friday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Brandywine’s long wait to have its first home boys basketball game of the 2015-16 season was rewarded Friday, as the Bobcats edged visiting Berrien Springs.

It wasn’t just any kind of victory, but a keep-them-on-the-edge-of-their-seats thriller.

The Bobcats (6-0 overall, 3-0 in the BCS) led by as many as 13 points in the first half and trailed by as many as three one minute into overtime before pulling out a 61-58 win against the Shamrocks (2-4, 1-2).

Playing “four-out” and “five-out” offenses, both teams attacked the basket all night.

It was a slashing layup by senior Chandler Plew with 1:19 to go tied the game at 56-all.

A steal and breakaway layup by junior Vinny Peel eight seconds later gave him a team-best 18 points and Brandywine a lead it would never surrender.

“It was a battle,” Bobcats coach Nathan Knapp said. “Berrien played us tough. They took over in the third quarter. They started attacking the glass and were more aggressive than we were.

“My kids were a little tentative. We’re a strong physical team. I don’t know why we backed down.”

After forcing another Berrien Springs turnover, the Bobcats bled more than 30 seconds off the clock then made three of four free throws in the final 25 seconds.

A layup by Shamrocks senior Montrell Pulian, who led all scorers with 19 points to go with 14 rebounds, cut the gap to 59-58 with 10 seconds left.

A pair of free throws by Brandywine junior Hunter Slaughter, who finished with 14 points, made it 61-58.

A 3-point shot by Berrien Springs sophomore Devan Nichols bounced off the rim and Bobcats senior Cole Searles collected the rebound just as time expired.

“The kids made big plays and got key stops when we needed to,” Knapp said. “We hit free throws when we needed to.”

Peel scored nine of his points in the second quarter as the Bobcats took a 32-21 lead to haltime.

The Shamrocks opened the third quarter on a 9-1 run. In the period, Bryce Evans tallied five of his 14. Nichols canned 13 for the visitors.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort,” Berrien Springs coach James Hafley said about his team coming up short. “We could have folded our tents when it was 11-0 and 16-3 early. It was a game of runs. They threw the first punch. We punched back. They kept punching. Not to be cliche, but it was a 12-round fight. They are undefeated for a reason.”




At Brandywine High School


Bryce Evans 14, Edavion Miller 0, Sam Spaulding 1, Devan Nichols 13, Douglas Clark 0, Montrell Pullian 19, Taryll Jones 6, Tyrese McIntyre 5. TOTALS: 20 15-29 58.


Cole Searles 2, Austin Knapp 7, Brady Duval 8, Hunter Slaughter 14, Marquise Davis 7, Vinny Peel 18, Chandler Plew 5, Scott Miller 0, Zach Grishaber 0, Dalton Knapp 0, Nate Kemp 0. TOTALS: 19 18-32 61.


Berrien Springs         9        21       36       49       58

Brandywine               16       32       37       49       61

3-point baskets: Berrien Springs 3 (Evans, Nichols, McIntyre), Brandywine 5 (Duval 2, Slaughter 2, Davis). Total fouls (fouled out): Berrien Springs 26 (Miller, Evans, McIntyre), Brandywine 24 (Duval. A. Knapp). Varsity records: Brandywine 6-0 (3-0 BCS), Berrien Springs 2-4 (1-2 BCS). JV:  Berrien Springs 50, Brandywine 21. Freshmen: Berrien Springs 30, Brandywine 28.