Brandywine boys join girls team at No. 1 in state rankings

Published 11:51 am Friday, February 16, 2024

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NILES — It has been quite a winter for the Brandywine boys and girls basketball teams.

The Bobcat squads have both spent time atop the state rankings, either those from the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan or the Associated Press.

The Brandywine boys basketball team joined its female counterparts Tuesday when BCAM released its Week 9 ratings with the Bobcats sitting at No. 1. In January, the girls basketball team spent time at No. 1 in the AP rankings.

“Being ranked No. 1 and No. 5 is an honor and is a tribute to how hard these kids have been working,” Brandywine Coach Nathan Knapp said. “I know there are a lot of good teams in the state of Michigan and it’s a privilege but also puts a target on our backs. We only look at one game at a time and never look ahead. Me as a coach and a former Bobcat, it makes me proud and happy that both the boys and girls are doing an amazing job and representing our community in a positive way and bring an excitement back to our school.”

Brandywine will put that No. 1 ranking on the line tonight as they host No. 3 (Division 2) Benton Harbor with the Lakeland Conference title on the line. The undefeated Tigers lead the Bobcats by a game in the league standings.

Brandywine coaches Josh Hood and Knapp know that state rankings do not lead to success on the court, but they do appreciate seeing their teams’ hard work being recognized not only in southwest Michigan, but throughout the entire state.

“Our team is extremely excited to be recognized at the state level for playing a tough schedule and having some success,” Hood said. “We understand rankings have never meant championships in the post season, and will continue to work hard to put ourselves into position to play for hardware come March!”

The Brandywine girls team entered Thursday night’s game against Colon, which is ranked No. 2 (Division 4) in the Associated Press and No. 5 in the BCAM ratings, on the road with a 14-1 record. The Bobcats rolled to an easy 70-44 victory over the Magi.