Brandywine seniors play final home game
A day after locking up their seventh straight conference championship, the Brandywine girls basketball team took time to reflect on the accomplishments of its senior class Saturday night.
In all, the seven member senior class has helped extend Brandywine’s conference winning streak to 70 games and also helped extend the Bobcats’ string of consecutive home court victories to 79.
Makenna Hartline, Michaela Hartline, Emily Erwin, Jaleesa Garner, Alyssa Bolen, Rachael Szilagyi and Libby Moody have helped Brandywine post an 85-6 record over the past four years.
After honoring the seniors and their parents prior to the non-conference season finale against Decatur, Brandywine got down to the business of winning its 18th game of the season with a 67-20 win over the Raiders.
“The girls came out firing,” Brandywine coach Josh Hood said. “We basically played four games in a week and with all the other stuff going on, it was interesting to see what their mentality was going in.
“Our girls have done a really good job of focusing on one game at a time and taking care of business. I thought they did a great job of coming out and distributing the ball. For these seniors, to be a part of 79 wins in a row at home, 70 in a row in conference and have the success that we have had boils down to them. The work they have put in since they were in sixth grade. They have put a lot of time in.
“The beauty of it is that everybody thinks we are running this year-round crazy program. All of these girls are multi-sport athletes and they excel not only in sports, but in academics as well. They really optimize what a student-athlete is supposed to be.”
The Bobcats (18-2) were red-hot from the outside Saturday night, hitting 14 3-pointers, including six by Erwin, who broke her on single season record for triples.
Erwin, who also passed Rhonda Roundy for third place on the Brandywine all-time scoring list by scoring five quick points in the opening quarter, now has 65 3-pointers on the season.
Erwin finished with a game-high 22 points, which gives her 898 for her career. Roundy, who played for the Bobcats from 1982 through 1984, had 881 points.
Andrea Alexander (1986-89) and Carlie Newman (2009-12) are the next two on the list with 1,091 and 1,598 points respectively.
Twins Makenna and Michaela Hartline are also on the all-time scoring list.
Makenna Hartline stands fifth with 870 points, while Michaela Hartline is 10th with 629 points.
The pair combined for 15 points against the Raiders.
Brandywine took a 38-6 first quarter lead and began substituting liberally throughout the remainder of the contest.
The Bobcats led 47-10 at the half and quickly enforced the running clock in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
The Brandywine lead reached 62-17 heading into the final eight minutes of the regular season.
Garner and Moody both finished with eight points, while Bolen added six.
Decatur ws led by Kailyn Ebling and Bailey Green, both of whom had six points.
Brandywine now has a week to prepare for the Class C District opener Feb. 29 against Benton Harbor Dream Academy.
The winner advances to the semifinals against the winner of the Eau Claire-New Buffalo game March 2 at New Buffalo.