Bobcats roll into district final
EAU CLAIRE — The Brandywine boys basketball team needed some tough love Wednesday from coach Nathan Knapp in its 78-55 Class C district semifinal win over Eau Claire.
Knapp called two timeouts when he wasn’t happy with his team’s play and the Bobcats responded with better execution.
Brandywine went on a 16-4 run to take a 32-14 lead after some words from Knapp late in the first quarter.
The Bobcats sealed a win after Knapp took another timeout with 6:27 left in the third quarter. A 19-0 run gave
Brandywine a commanding 55-27 lead with 1:47 left in the third. Hunter Slaughter hit two 3-pointers and Marquise Davis added one to start that spurt.
“We talked about the mental part of the game,” Knapp said. “We were in a trap game. We played so well against Cass (in the opening round of districts) the other night. You’ve got to put teams away when you have the chance. Every possession counts. You can’t squander the ball away.”
The trio of Vinny Peel, Slaughter and Austin Knapp led the Bobcats against the Beavers. Peel scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Slaughter added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, had four steals and pulled down three rebounds, while Knapp contributed 13 points, had seven rebounds and totaled two steals and two blocked shots.
“Every night it’s somebody different for us,” Nathan Knapp said.
Kyrek Alexander scored 16 points and Jomel Armstead added 14 for Eau Claire, which finishes at 8-13.
The Beavers turned the ball over 21 times and shot only 39-percent (22-of-56) from the field and 40-percent (6-of-15) from the free-throw line.
Cole Searles’ 3-pointer gave Brandywine the lead for good at 5-2 with 5:40 left in the first quarter.
Brandywine will take a 17-5 record into its district final game Friday against Bridgman (16-6). The game starts at 7 p.m. at Eau Claire High School.
The Bees beat New Buffalo, 70-55, in the other semifinal on Wednesday.
Brandywine and Bridgman split the two regular season games against each other with the Bobcats winning in overtime, 92-80, and the Bees winning, 85-73.
“They’re ready,” Knapp said about his players. “They want Bridgman in round three.”
BRANDYWINE 78, EAU CLAIRE 55
At Eau Claire
Marquise Davis 5, Vinny Peel 24, Cole Searles 5, Hunter Slaughter 18, Austin Knapp 13, Brady Duval 3, Nathan Kemp 1, Zach Grishaber 0, Dalton Knapp 0, Scott Miller 4, Antonio Moffitt 2, Jaden Croom 3, Kyle Barnett 0, Toby Latislaw 0, Marquelle Peterson 0. TOTALS: 29 13-15 78.
EAU CLAIRE 55
Robert Head 2, Daveon Dyson 2, Javion Thomas 2, Brett Whitehead 0, Kyrek Alexander 16, Jomel Armstead 14, Dorrian Thomas 12, Austin Dohm 7, Tavion Kelley 0, Daniel Jones 0, Jayeon Lee 0. TOTALS: 22 6-15 55.
Brandywine 18 36 58 78
Eau Claire 10 25 35 55
3-point baskets: Brandywine 7 (Slaughter 4, Davis, Searles, Duval), Eau Claire 5 (Dohm 2, Alexander 2, Armstead). Total fouls (fouled out): Brandywine 14 (none), Eau Claire 15 (Dohm). Shooting: Brandywine 29-of-62 for 47-percent, Eau Claire 22-of-56 for 39-percent. Rebounding: Brandywine 35 (Peel 16), Eau Claire 33 (Armstead 8). Turnovers: Brandywine 13, Eau Claire 21. Varsity records: Brandywine 17-5, Eau Claire 8-13.