ROUNDUP: Bobcats win season opener, Vikings fall to Mattawan
NILES — Jaden Croom and Jordan Abrams combined for 39 points as Brandywine defeated visiting Berrien Springs 68-57 in its season-opening boys basketball contest Friday night.
Meanwhile, across town, Niles dropped its SMAC West Division opener to Mattawan 62-44 as the Vikings fell to 1-1 on the season.
The Bobcats trailed 16-13 after one quarter of play, but outscored the Shamrocks 55-41 over the final three quarters to put out the victory.
Brandywine grabbed a 35-32 halftime lead as it exploded for 22 points in the second quarter.
The lead remained three points (48-45) heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The Bobcats (1-0, 1-0 BCS Red Division) poured in 20 points in the fourth quarter while holding Berrien Springs to 12 points.
Abrams finished with a game-high 20 points, while Croom finished with 19 points. Brandywine also got 10 points from Shane Brown.
The Bobcats return to action Tuesday night as they travel to Saugatuck for a non-conference contest set to tip off at 7 p.m.
The Vikings opened the season with a victory over Buchanan last Tuesday night, but were without standout Robert Jordan, who got ejected from the contest.
Niles shuffled its roster for the contest, but visiting Mattawan was too much in the second half for the Vikings.
The Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 SMAC West) led 11-8 after one and 29-17 at halftime.
Mattawan outscored Niles 33-27 in the second half to pull away to the easy victory.
“I am proud of how we battled in the second half. At one point we cut a 20-point lead down to 12,” said first-year Niles coach Tyler Dendy. “Mattawan did a great job to take advantage of their size with very physical play on both ends of the court.”
Brayden Lake led the Vikings with 14 points, while Austin Huffman added 12 points.
Nolan Foster scored a game-high 15 points for Mattawan, which also got 14 points from Dexter Shouse and 11 points from Kelby Mabin.
The Vikings return to the court Tuesday night when they host Three Rivers in a non-conference contest set to begin at 7:15 p.m.