Brandywine’s Duval regaining his confidence

Brandywine’s Brady Duval seems to be getting his confidence back, which is a good thing, as the Bobcats will need his talents down the stretch. (Leader file photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Brandywine’s Brady Duval seems to be getting his confidence back, which is a good thing, as the Bobcats will need his talents down the stretch. (Leader file photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

A bright spot emerged for the Brandywine boys basketball team in its 85-73 loss to Bridgman on Feb. 5.

Junior Brady Duval scored a career-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, coming off the bench for the Bobcats.

Confidence that had been shaken was back for the 5-foot-10 shooting guard.

“I’ve not been doing well lately,” Duval said. “(Against Bridgman) I was feeling it and most of my shots were going in. It was a good night.”

Brandywine boys basketball coach Nathan Knapp expects nights, like the one against Bridgman, more frequently from Duval.

Duval came in averaging almost seven points.

“Happy to see it (against Bridgman) because he’s been struggling lately,” Knapp said. “He hasn’t had the confidence lately. He’s a great shooter. He just had to let his shot ride. We’ve got him, Chandler (Plew) and Hunter (Slaughter) that can fill it up from the outside.”

Duval tried nothing new in his attempt to get back his shooting stroke.

“I just kept shooting in practice and my shot came back,” he said.

The basket really looked big to Duval in the third quarter against Bridgman. His two 3-pointers highlighted a 12-6 run by the Bobcats, which pulled the hosts within 50-48 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.

“That’s when I knew I was going to have a good night,” Duval said about his third quarter shooting.

Duval was able to rise to the occasion in a very emotional game against a BCS Athletic Conference Red Division rival. A loud gym, which saw eight ties in the first half, got even noisier after a technical was called on Brandywine’s Cole Searles in the second quarter.

“You just have to keep your focus and block everything out,” Duval said about the atmosphere. “I need to be a shooter and move the ball around and get the ball to an open teammate.”

Duval showed poise after the tough loss. Instead of dwelling on a bitter defeat, he looked at the game as a learning experience.

“We’ve got to come back strong and practice hard,” Duval said.

That kind of attitude has helped Brandywine post an 11-3 record this year. The Bobcats are two wins shy from equaling last year’s win total.

“We work together well and bond,” Duval said about why the team has been successful. I think we can make a run (in the state tournament). We’ve just got to keep improving.”

More 3-pointers from Duval would also help.

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