Brandywine advances to regional finals
CONSTANTINE — No stranger to the pressure of big games, Brandywine was able to stave off Homer in the Class C regional semifinals at Constantine Tuesday night.
Playing in its sixth regional in the last seven years, the Bobcats (22-2) were able to overcome a lack of outside shooting in the second half to beat the Trojans 46-36 to advance to Thursday’s championship game against undefeated and No. 9-ranked Gobles.
The Tigers edged Schoolcraft in the first semifinal Tuesday, 37-34.
Brandywine’s outside shooting was solid in the first half, as the Bobcats hit six 3-pointers to build a 20-8 lead at the break.
But when the threes did not fall in the second half, Homer made a run at the Bobcats.
The Trojans outscored Brandywine 18-14 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 34-26 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The Bobcats made an adjustment and starting going inside against Homer.
Twins Makenne and Michaela Hartline did much of the damage inside as the two combined for 28 of the Bobcats’ 46 points.
“We did a good job of finding Makenna,” Brandywine coach Josh Hood said. “In the past we would have kept firing threes and if they didn’t go in, we’d be going home. Tonight we did a good job in the second half of getting the ball inside.”
Free throws turned out to be the difference as both teams finished with 14 baskets, although Brandywine did have three more triples than the Trojans.
The Bobcats hit 12-of-23 charity stripe tosses compared to 5-of-16 for the Trojans, who finish the year at 20-4.
Brandywine made 6-of-9 free throws in the final 1:34 of the contest.
“We put our schedule together to face adversity,” Hood said. “We’ve done that a lot. When you throw all those games with Lakeshore, St. Joseph, Marian, South Bend Adams and Southfield, it preps you for today. You look at the quarterfinal game against Laingsburg last year and we were up three with two minutes to go. But when the going got tough, we folded. I was proud of the girls tonight. We weren’t playing great and we’re making shots. We had more air balls tonight than we’ve had all season. But at the end of the day tonight, we found a way to get it done.”
Breanna McCone led Homer with 11 points. She was the lone Trojan to reach double figures in the defensive battle.
The Bobcats and Tigers will play for the right to advance to the quarterfinals Tuesday at Portage Northern Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
BRANDYWINE 46, HOMER 36
Courtney Willson 6, Megan George 9, Brianna Mohn 2, Michaela Deigert 6, Breanna McCone 11, Jill Sitkiewicz 0, Alivia Mangus 2, Casey Passmore 0. TOTALS: 14 5-16 36.
Makenna Hartline 16, Michaela Hartline 12, Alyssa Bolen 5, Jaleesa Garner 4, Emily Erwin 9, Makena Bowen 0, Mia Stella 0, Libby Moody 0, Rachael Szilagyi 0. TOTALS: 14 12-23 46.
Homer 7 8 26 36
Brandywine 17 20 34 46
3-point baskets: Homer 3 (McCone 3), Brandywine 6 (Erwin 3, Michaela Hartline 2, Bolen 1). Total fouls (fouled out): Homer 21 (Mohn), Brandywine 19 (Bolen). Field goal shooting: Homer 14-of-48 (29 percent), Brandywine 14-of-41 (34 percent). Rebounding: Homer 46 (George 11), Brandywine 32 (Makenna Hartline 9). Turnovers: Homer 24, Brandywine 14. Varsity records: Brandywine 22-2, Homer 20-4.
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