Brandywine rolls in season opener

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

NILES — They may have had to wait an extra week for its season opener, but the host Brandywine Bobcats were successful against Bronson Tuesday night.

After having the original season opener against Lawton postponed due to the Blue Devils playing in the state football finals, the Bobcats waited and work on preparing for the Vikings.

That work paid dividends as Brandywine cruised to a 70-48 non-conference victory.

The Bobcats (1-0) raced out to an early lead, had to deal with some adversity in the middle two quarters before regrouping and finishing strong.

“I was a little harder on the kids,” said Brandywine Coach Nathan Knapp. “The past week, there have only been six or seven kids at practice due to quarantine. So, I was probably a little harsh, but I wanted to teach them that when you get up, you can’t let them get back in it. They [Bronson] can shoot, so if you let them get back in it you get in trouble.”

The message at halftime, with Brandywine leading 37-30 after having a 21-7 advantage after the first quarter, was not to let up.

Brandywine took the message to heart as it doubled its advantage to 54-40 by the end of the third quarter. The Bobcats held Bronson to just 18 second-half points. Brandywine scored 33 points in the second half.

Nate Orr led the Bobcats with 15 points, while Byron Linley scored 11 points and Michael Palmer added 10 points off the bench and Jamier Palmer finished with seven points. Brandywine also got six points from Carson Knapp and Jayden Spitler. Every player that dressed for the Bobcats scored at least one point.

Reagan Mayer had a game-high 22 points to lead the Vikings.

Knapp was happy with the way his team responded to the coaching.

“When I got on the kids, they kept working, and they worked harder,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we made some of the smartest decisions at times, but that is about being a young team. Overall, I am pleased.”

Brandywine is back in action Friday when it hosts Berrien Springs for its BCS Athletic Conference Red Division opener. The Bobcat girls basketball team will kick off the doubleheader at 6 p.m.