Bobcats advance to finals; Rangers eliminated

Brandywine coach Josh Hood talks to his team during a time out Wednesday night. (Leader photo/RYAN HAINES)

Brandywine coach Josh Hood talks to his team during a time out Wednesday night. (Leader photo/RYAN HAINES)

NEW BUFFALO — Two area teams squared off on opposite sides of the Class C District in New Buffalo Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, Cassopolis was unable to overcome a big second quarter by the Watervliet Panthers as they fells short 41-38.

Brandywine was able to handle the host New Buffalo 73-42 in the nightcap.

Cassopolis had a big game from sophomore Santaja Gibson. The transfer from Three Rivers had one of her best game as a Ranger, tallying 22 points and 20 rebounds. Fellow forward and junior Ky’ana Buck had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Cassopolis and Watervliet both had their struggles in this game as the turnover total was 62 and both teams were a combined 15-of-45 from the free throw line.

Cassopolis had 32 turnovers of those turnovers and went 5-of-22 at the line.

“It’s difficult to win a game like this,” Cassopolis Coach Nat Pittman said. “When you can’t make your free throws and you turn the ball over as much as we did, it’s hard to advance.”

Cassopolis, however, has a bright future ahead of them. The program only consists of four juniors and no seniors. The team dressed three sophomore and four freshman for the game against Watervliet.

The second game of the night saw a different result from an area team.

The 13th-ranked Brandywine Bobcats got their 20 win of the season and will face Watervliet in the finals at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in New Buffalo.

After resting four starters in the Monday night opening victory over Benton Harbor Dream Academy, the Bobcats got what they need from the starters that haven’t played a game in 12 days.

Emily Erwin, Makenna Hartline and Michaela Hartline scored 17, 15, and 11 points respectively. Erwin draining five 3-pointers along the way as she inched closer to the state record of 105.

After leading at halftime 35-13, Brandywine coach Josh Hood wanted more from his team to start the second half.

“Our motto now is to survive and advance,” Hood said. “Not many teams have the chance to play for a district championship now and that is what our programs prides itself in.”

The Bobcats came out on fire in the third quarter, using a 21-4 run to open up the lead to 56-17.

Hood rested his starters in the fourth quarter, which the Bison outscored the Bobcats 15-12.



At New Buffalo

First game



Katie Schultz 16, Logan Mizwicki 5, Kara Liles 4, Alexis Kieft 0, Hannah Armstrong 6, Mikayla Lee 0, Casie Gohr 7, Ariana Rowe 0, Karlee Liles 0, Zoey Smith 3. TOTALS: 14 9-22 41.


Santaja Gibson 22, Madison Brooks 3, Ky’ana Buck 8, Telayah Coats 0, Tierra Johnson 2, Eryn Forrest 0, Sophie Fiala 0, Kiersten Hartsell 3, Terryn Williams 0. TOTALS: 16 5-21 38.


Watervliet      9          23       30       41

Cassopolis      8          17       28       38

3-point baskets: Cassopolis 1 (Hartsell); Watervliet 4 (Schultz 3, Smith 1).

Rebounds: Cassopolis 43 (Johnson 7, Buck 10, Gibson 20, Brooks 1, Hartsell 1, Coats 2, Fiala 2); Watervliet 28 (Gohr 3, Armstrong 3, Karlee Liles 1, Schultz 12, Rowe 1, Keift 6, Kara Liles 2). Assists: Cassopolis 4 (Johnson 2, Buck 1, Hartsell 1); Watervliet 9 (Schultz 3, Kieft 3, Kara Liles 1, Mizwicki 1, Smith 1). Turnovers: Cassopolis 32; Watervliet 30. Total fouls (fouled out): Cassopolis 18, Watervliet 20.  Varsity records: Cassopolis 5-17, Watervliet 10-11.


Second Game



Sophia Giannetti 7, Marissa Bardusk 4, Alyssa Mulligan 14, Mariah Artz  0, Anna Bardusk 14, Lauren Aroney 3, Olivia Haskins 0. TOTALS: 16 8-12 42.


Makenna Hartline 15, Michaela Hartline 11, Alyssa Bolen 0, Jaleesa Garner 6, Emily Erwin 17, Mia Stella 2, Libby Moody 9, Makena Bowen 7, Rachael Szilagyi 2, Cassie Luczkowski 4, Chelsie Luczkowski 0, Alexis Garcia 0. TOTALS: 24 13-18 73.


New Buffalo               4          13       27       42

Brandywine               17       35       61       73

3-point baskets: Brandywine 12 (Erwin 5, Moody 3, Makenna Hartline 1, Michaela Hartline 1, Bowen, Cassie Luczkowski, New Buffalo 2 (Aroney 1, Anna Bardusk 1). Rebounds: Brandywine 35 (Makenna Hartline 9, Garner 2, Stella 3, Michaela Hartline 5, Bowen 4, Erwin 2, Szilagyi 4, Bolen 1, Moody 3, Cassie Luczkowski 1); New Buffalo 41 (Anna Bardusk 3, Giannetti 9, Marissa Bardusk 12, Artz 2, Haskins 3, Mulligan 8). Assists: Brandywine 18 (Makenna Hartline 1, Garner 4, Stella 2, Michaela Hartline 1, Erwin 2, Szilagyi 1, Bolen 4, Moody 1, Cassie Luczkowski 1); New Buffalo 8 (Anna Bardusk 2, Giannetti 1, Keller 1, Marissa Bardusk 1, Artz 2, Mulligan 1). Steals: Brandywine 20 (Makenna Hartline 1, Garner 2, Stella 1, Michaela Hartline 5, Erwin 3, Szilagyi 2, Bolen 4, Cassie Luczkowksi 1, Chelsie Luczkowski 1), New Buffalo 6 (Anna Bardusk 1, Giannetti 1, Marissa Bardusk 2, Haskins 1, Mulligan 1). Blocks: Brandywine 1 (Michaela Hartline); New Buffalo 7 (Marissa Bardusk 2, Mulligan 5). Turnovers: Brandywine 10; New Buffalo 31. Total fouls (fouled out): Brandywine 17; New Buffalo 18. Varsity records: Brandywine 20-2.


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