Brandywine boys edge Sharmrocks; Bobcat girls win fifth straight

Published 9:39 am Sunday, December 24, 2017

BERRIEN SPRINGS — Even though it was not the prettiest win, the Brandywine Bobcats managed to fend off host Berrien Springs Shamrocks 45-41 and moved to 4-1 on the young season.

Both teams combined for 44 turnovers in the BCS Red Division game, but it was the 55 field goal attempts for the Bobcats that turned out to be the difference.

From the beginning, Brandywine used a full court press, forcing the Shamrocks to nine turnovers in the opening quarter, opening up the contest to an early 7-2 lead.

Unable to continue to capitalize on the Shamrock turnovers, Brandywine’s shot selection started to dig it into a hole.

Berrien Springs went on an 8-0 run to end the first quarter.

“Our shot selection wasn’t the greatest,” Brandywine Coach Nathan Knapp said. “We haven’t shot well the past couple of games. The 26 percent shooting tonight didn’t help.”

Brandywine’s Bryce McLane gave the lead back to the Bobcats hitting his first of four 3-point baskets with 5:25 left in the first half.

However, Berrien Springs managed to reclaim the lead back and hold on to a very slim 19-18 advantage at the halftime.

Brandywine (2-1 BCS Red) struggled to make a shot until 4:31 left in the third quarter when Jordan Abrams sank a free throw. Soon after, junior Jaden Croom gave the Bobcats the lead at 22-21.

Although Berrien Springs kept it close and even tied the game multiple times, Brandywine never trailed the rest of the game.

“We kept letting them hang around,” Knapp said. “When you are on the road you have to hit the free throws.”

Croom added another basket with two seconds left in the third quarter to increase the Bobcats’ lead 30-27.

In the fourth quarter, Brandywine sophomore guard Jaelen Briggs scored the first points and increase the Bobcats’ advantage.

Trailing 34-27, the Shamrocks went on a 7-0 to tie the game up with 4:30 left. Brandywine then went on a run of their own, 7-0, and led 41-34 with 1:35 left.

“All of our guys can shoot lights out,” Knapp said. “But when you settle and not crowd the paint with the ball to Croom and (Toby) Latisaw it can be a long game. In the second half we started to move the ball better against the 3-2 zone.”

Attempting to claw their way back, Berrien Springs came up short when Croom was able to grab an offensive and score off an Abrams missed free throw.

Brandywine will be off the remainder of the year before returning to the court Jan. 5 to face Coloma in a non-conference contest.


Girls basketball

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Brandywine girls basketball team won its fifth consecutive game as it defeated host Berrien Springs 58-32 in a BCS Athletic Conference Red Division game Thursday night.

The Bobcats got off to a great start, scoring 24 points in the opening quarter, but only managed four points in the second to lead 28-17 at halftime.

Brandywine scored 11 points in the third and 19 points in the final eight minutes to pull away from the Shamrocks.

The Bobcats hit a trio of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Zikayyah Abdullah and Madison Bailey both scored 14 points to lead Brandywine, which is now 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Red Division.

Nicole Sachman finished with 10 points.

Brandywine is back in action Jan. 5 when it hosts Coloma in a non-conference contest.