Undefeated Brandywine routs Buchanan 45-17

BUCHANAN — The message that veteran Brandywine girls basketball coach Josh Hood delivered to his team in days leading up to the Bobcats’ showdown with Buchanan was simple.

He told his senior class that unless they wanted to win a BCS Athletic Conference Red Division title before they graduated, they had to beat Buchanan.

So it was not surprising that visiting Brandywine came into Thursday night‘s game with a bit of a chip on its shoulder. The Bobcats used that motivation to get a leg up on the Bucks in the conference standings with a 45-17 victory.

“Our girls came out with an attitude,” Hood said. “There’s been a lot of chatter about passing the reins off (to Buchanan), and I think our girls took that to heart a bit. Practices have not been great, but tonight we played like a team that was in the state quarterfinals last season.”

The previous week, Buchanan was the No. 3-ranked team in Division 2 according to the Associated Press. A 48-40 loss to Niles knocked the Bucks into the honorable mention portion of the rankings, but that did not take any of the luster of the game against the No. 10-ranked (Division 3) Bobcats.

Both teams had issues getting into any offensive rhythm in the first quarter as defense was the name of the game. That changed in the second quarter as the Bobcats started to find its form.

Leading 9-5 after eight minutes of play, Brandywine outscored Buchanan 13-4 in the second quarter to open up a 22-9 halftime advantage. It was just a preview of things to come.

The Bobcats (8-0, 4-0 BCS Red) scored 14 more points in the third quarter and 33 for the second half to turn the game into a rout.

“They’re an experienced team, and it showed,” Buchanan coach Gabe Miller said. “There were things we did okay on, but I think once we got into the halfcourt, their halfcourt trap gave us problems. We played a little fast; they did a good job of taking Faith out of the lane. Those are things we have to work on, and we’re looking forward to taking what we learned from this game and using it to improve.”

Senior Zakiyyah Abdullah and sister Malikiyyah Abdullah, a junior, led the offensive charge by combining for 28 of the Bobcats’ 45 points. Brandywine also got nine points from senior Kennedy Byrd.

Buchanan (6-2, 3-1 BCS Red) led by freshman center Faith Carson’s seven points. Claire Lietz added six.

The Bobcats return to the court Tuesday when they host New Buffalo (8-1) in a BCS non-divisional contest.

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