Brandywine gets revenge against Bronson

BRIDGMAN — What a difference a year makes.

The Brandywine girls basketball team avenged a loss to Bronson with a 36-33 win over the Vikings in the Class C regional semifinals at Bridgman Tuesday night.

The Bobcats (22-2) advance to play No. 5-ranked undefeated Schoolcraft (24-0) in the championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday. It will be the seventh regional title game for Brandywine in the last nine years.

In Brandywine’s regional semifinal loss to Bronson (17-7) at Homer last March, the Bobcats were just 4-of-48 from the field.

Brandywine improved on that mark in the opening 16 minutes of play as it shot 5-of-24 from the floor. The Bobcats finished the night shooting just 10-of-38 from the field for just 27 percent. Brandywine was only 12-of-25 from the foul line, but made enough down the stretch to hold on for the victory.

“This win was sweet redemption from last year,” said Brandywine coach Josh Hood. “It was a long ride home after scoring just 22 points against them a year ago.”

The Bobcats trailed the Vikings 21-17 at halftime. Hood said his team made a few adjustments, including turning up the pressure on its defense.

“We grew up a little bit and our press turned it around for us in the second half,” he said. “We got into our Black (press) a little bit. The message at halftime was we are not even into our pressure stuff. ‘Girls, what separates us from the rest of southwest Michigan? The Black pressure. That has been our calling card for nine years and that is what has got us a championship every season.’ The girls got a couple of steals and smelled blood in the water. They started smiling and didn’t worry about missed shots.”

That press turned a 28-19 Bronson lead with 3:33 to play in the third quarter into a 30-28 lead for the Bobcats heading into the final eight minutes of play.

Brandywine, which forced four Bronson turnovers during an 11-0 run, was sparked offensively by junior Nicole Sachman, who scored five consecutive points.

“She is a 5-foot-7 post player, but what she brings without size is her ability to penetrate,” Hood said. “We got some insulation and attacked the girl (guarding her) on the front foot. We got some great passes and finally got into our (offensive patterns).”

The veteran Brandywine coach said his team was fortunate to beat a good Bronson team and advance to the regional title game. Hood also said they are not going to back down from undefeated Schoolcraft.

“We’re glad to be playing Thursday,” he said. “But I made it real clear to the girls that nobody remembers the regional runner-up. We’re not going to just be content to show up. We’re going to come to play.”

Sachman finished the night with a game-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Malikiyyah Abdullah added nine points, while Megan Schmidt and Zakiyyah Abdullah both finished with four points. Schmidt also grabbed seven rebounds.

Bronson was led by Kiera Lasky’s 11 points. Ashton Wronikowski finished with nine.

Berrien County

Halloween activities coming to southwest Michigan

Buchanan

Districts grapple with school bus driver shortage

Cass County

Dowagiac man headed to prison on three counts of domestic violence

Cass County

Cass County’s 43rd Circuit Court awarded grant

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township seeks input on parks plan

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary hosts Army National Guard

Berrien County

Brandywine Middle/High School to go remote Oct. 23 to 30

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 152,862 cases, 7,129 deaths

Cass County

Cass District Library to host annual book sale

Cass County

Missing dog found shot, family grieving after five day search

Dowagiac

Honor Credit Union donates to annual Tree of Love campaign

Berrien County

Spectrum Health reinforces commitment to equity

News

Candidates for 78th district seat participate in community forum

Berrien County

Berrien County Trial Court receives continued funding

Business

Niles businesses collaborate to sweeten their offerings

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties report one new COVID-19 death each

Cass County

Overdose fatality linked to ‘purple heroin’ in Van Buren County

Buchanan

Three new projects on the horizon for Buchanan

Business

New yoga studio opens in downtown Niles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac clerk shares answers to voter FAQs

Buchanan

Expansion underway at Niles-Buchanan YMCA location

Berrien County

Third annual writers conference goes virtual Saturday

News

Fire contained at former National Standard building

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports three new COVID-19 deaths