Deshaun Thomas, Fort Wayne Luers
Terone Johnson, Indianapolis North Central
Travis Carroll, Danville
Branden Dawson, Gary Wallace
Donnie Hale, New Albany 6-10 Sr.
HUNTINGBURG — Stunned.
That was the feeling all around Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium late Saturday night after Class 2A No. 13 Forest Park pulled off an upset over No. 1 Brownstown Central, winning 44-42 in the championship game of the Southridge Regional.
Everyone was shocked, from the Brownstown players who walked off the court after receiving the runner-up ball to the Braves fans and parents watching from the stands to the Forest Park players and fans celebrating on the court.
It was a sad ending to a phenomenal season for the Braves, as they put together the school’s first undefeated regular season at 21-0 and entered Saturday’s title game at 25-0 after defeating Tri-West Hendricks 43-39 in the first round that morning.
The Rangers doused South Knox 61-36 on Saturday afternoon before earning their first regional crown since 2006, which was the year they won their last state title.
The Braves’ early third-quarter, six-point lead dashed away with three 3-pointers by Kyle Wilgus in a span of 1:37. Brownstown then took a 36-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter on Evan Eggersman’s trey at the buzzer.
At 2:26 of the fourth, Nathan Bromm’s shot from long range put the Rangers up 41-39. Brownstown tied the game on Michael Leitzman’s free throws at 1:46, but Forest Park made two 11 seconds later.
The Braves had a costly turnover on a tipped pass at 1:06, and then the Rangers missed a one-and-one attempt. Taylor Wischmeier was fouled on the Braves’ next possession and made 1 of 2, and on the miss, the rebound went off of a Forest Park player.
On the ensuing possession, however, Brownstown was called for a charge along the perimeter. Trent Theising then hit a free throw for a 44-42 score at 10.4 seconds, and the Braves raced down the court and tried to get a good look, but the 3-pointer fell short.
“Bromm hit that huge 3 in the fourth quarter, and we missed layups, we missed free throws, we turned the ball over a couple crucial times and they made one more play,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “We were only one play away.”
In both games on Saturday, Brownstown had uncharacteristic turnovers.
“We just really struggled at times offensively, but a lot of that was missed layups and missed free throws,” Benter said, as the Braves missed four at the line in the fourth quarter. “A lot of credit goes to (Forest Park). They defended us well, they made it tough on our guards, they were physical with Taylor inside, they were really helping sagging off onto him and they made big plays.”
The Braves had a 12-8 lead in the final minute of the first quarter before Jake Meyer scored five straight to put Forest Park ahead.
Brownstown turned it up in the second quarter, gaining five-point leads on Wischmeier’s three-point play at 2:37 and Cody Allman’s basket inside at 1:59 and forcing the Rangers into five turnovers, and the Braves led 25-21 at halftime.
The Rangers outscored the Braves 11-6 by 2:59 of the third quarter for a 32-31 lead, but Brownstown ended with five straight.
In the fourth, however, the Braves were 1-for-8 from the field to the Rangers’ 5-for-8, and four turnovers didn’t help.
“We turned the ball over too much in both games today,” Benter said. “I don’t know how many times we got the basketball in scoring position late in the game and we just couldn’t convert. We just make a couple of those layups and we’re cutting down nets right now, and we just didn’t get it done.”
It was a disappointing loss after the Braves battled past a hard-nosed Tri-West Hendricks squad in the morning.
That game saw 10 lead changes and seven ties, with Brownstown claiming the biggest lead at 35-30. In the Forest Park game, there were 10 lead changes and five ties, and Brownstown built up a 27-21 difference.
Brownstown had 11 first-half turnovers, but managed a 14-13 lead on Wischmeier’s offensive tip-in with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After Spencer Allman knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game at 3:03 of the second quarter, Tri-West’s Caleb McVicker added two free throws and Randall Lowe nailed a 3 at 6 seconds off of a turnover for a 22-20 advantage at the break.
Brownstown outscored Tri-West 13-8 in the third quarter, but following Wischmeier’s two-handed dunk at 7:37 of the fourth, Andrew Keck and Lowe scored to even the game. Wischmeier later put his team up 40-36, but Lowe made it interesting with a 3 at 1:18.
A missed Brownstown free throw was rebounded by Tri-West, but Lowe missed a floater from the left baseline. Wischmeier then went 1 of 2 from the line, and the Bruins chose to go for the game-winner, but Lowe missed and the Bruins grabbed the offensive board and fired it out to Lowe, who missed again.
Leitzman was fouled with 6.6 seconds remaining in the game, and he calmly sank both, and Lowe’s final attempt was off.
Wischmeier had double-doubles in both games, recording 17 points and 12 rebounds against Tri-West and 14 points and 10 rebounds in the title game. Spencer Allman added 16 points in the Braves’ win, but he only scored six against the Rangers.
Wischmeier and Allman were named to the all-tourney team.
In the second game, Ryan Shoemaker followed Wischmeier with eight points, and he had four assists and three steals.
Leading Tri-West were Lowe with 16 points and Keck with 11, and Forest Park had Meyer, Bromm, Wilgus and Grant Welp all with nine points. Wilgus was named the regional’s most valuable player.
Forest Park (19-7) advances to play Park Tudor (14-10) in Saturday’s semistate at Seymour.
Benter said walking into the locker room after the loss was difficult.
“Obviously, basketball is just a sport (and there are) a lot worse things in life than losing this game,” Benter said. “But these guys, you walk in that locker room and you can tell how much this game and this team meant to each of them. It’s a really difficult locker room to be in, and that shows how much they care about each other and what kind of team this was.”
Benter said this team, which included five seniors, is one he will remember.
“This group, as much as any group I’ve coached, will go down as a group that is so much fun to coach because of the way they got along and how hard they worked every day and how much they paid attention to detail,” he said. “Those are all life lessons that will help them later, and I have no doubt that these seniors are going to be really successful as they move on, and once they realize what they’ve accomplished, 25-1 has never been done in Brownstown history.”
The loss denied the Braves a return trip to the state finals, as they were runners-up in 2009.
“We obviously thought we had a team that could contend for a state championship, but there’s probably five to 10 teams throughout the state that feel that way and not all of them are still playing, so I’m really proud of our guys,” Benter said. “They made big plays to come out this morning, but we were just a play short tonight.”
Class 2A Southridge Regional
Tri-West 13 9 8 9—39
Brownstown 14 6 13 10—43
Brownstown Central: Spencer Allman 5-14 3-4 16, Ryan Shoemaker 0-1 0-0 0, Michael Leitzman 1-4 5-6 7, Cody Allman 0-3 2-2 2, Taylor Wischmeier 7-13 1-3 17, Jalen Snodgrass 0-1 1-2 1, Kelley Wagner 0-0 0-0 0, Evan Eggersman 0-1 0-0 0, totals 13-37 12-17 43
Tri-West Hendricks (17-6): Caleb McVicker 1-3 2-2 4, Randall Lowe 5-21 2-4 16, Tyler Waite 1-10 4-8 6, Andrew Keck 5-7 0-1 11, Joseph Pierle 0-4 0-2 0, Earl Chastain 1-1 0-0 2, Austin Hendershot 0-0 0-0 0, Joshua Pierle 0-0 0-0 0, Matthew Moore 0-0 0-0 0, totals 13-46 8-17 39
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (S. Allman 3, Wischmeier 2), Tri-West Hendricks (Lowe 4, Keck)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 32 (Wischmeier 12, S. Allman 5), Tri-West Hendricks 32 (Waite 7, Keck 5)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 15, Tri-West Hendricks 10
Fouls: Brownstown Central 16, Tri-West Hendricks 16
Brownstown 12 13 11 6—42
Forest Park 13 8 11 12—44
Brownstown Central (25-1): S. Allman 1-4 3-4 6, Shoemaker 4-7 0-0 8, Leitzman 0-4 2-4 2, C. Allman 2-4 1-1 5, Wischmeier 5-9 3-5 14, Snodgrass 1-4 0-0 2, Eggersman 1-4 2-4 5, Wagner 0-1 0-0 0, totals 14-37 11-18 42
Forest Park (19-7): Grant Welp 1-6 7-7 9, Nathan Bromm 3-8 2-4 9, Kyle Wilgus 3-4 0-1 9, Colin Welp 1-3 1-2 3, Caleb Williams 1-2 0-2 2, Jake Meyer 4-4 0-0 9, Trent Theising 0-1 1-2 1, Lynk Kordes 1-2 0-0 2, Matt Messmer 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Hulsman 0-0 0-0 0, totals 14-30 11-18 44
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (S. Allman, Wischmeier, Eggersman), Forest Park (Wilgus 3, Meyer, Bromm)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 26 (Wischmeier 10, Shoemaker 3, Eggersman 3), Forest Park 18 (C. Welp 4, Bromm 2, Williams 2)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 13, Forest Park 13
It was rough looking up at the scoreboard after Saturday’s championship game of the Southridge Regional at Huntingburg.
The designated home team, Forest Park, had 44 and the guest team, Brownstown Central, had 42.
I then watched as the Forest Park fans rushed the court and joined in on the celebration with the players.
I couldn’t believe it.
After following the Braves all the way to the Class 2A state finals last year and seeing Brownstown make history with the school’s first undefeated season (21-0) and then winning the sectional at Paoli this winter, I had a good feeling they would march right back to Conseco Fieldhouse.
They battled past a tough Tri-West Hendricks team in the first game of the regional and won 43-39. But in that game, the Braves didn’t seem like the same team I had seen all year. They had several early uncharacteristic turnovers, and they were lucky late in the game that Tri-West missed seven free throws and several 3-point attempts.
After that game, I found out last year’s 2A champion, Fort Wayne Luers, had lost its regional semifinal game. That made me think the field was wide open for any team, including Brownstown, and I thought the Braves had a good chance of getting back to the semistate and then on to the state finals.
Forest Park, however, wasn’t going to let that happen.
The Rangers made it a close game all the way. The Braves had a couple of five-point leads in the second half, but three big 3-pointers by the Rangers in a short span in the third quarter was an unwelcomed punch. Then, they had another trey in the fourth quarter for a two-point lead.
The Braves tied the game on free throws and had several opportunities to regain the lead in the final two minutes, but it just didn’t happen. A missed one-and-one by the Rangers opened the door for the Braves to take the lead, and they were within one point on Taylor Wischmeier going 1-for-2 at the line and then the Braves getting a lucky bounce with the miss going off of a Forest Park player.
But then came one of the hardest calls of the game. A charge along the perimeter went against the Braves.
I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t see it, but I think I got so caught up in the moment of Brownstown getting the ball back and having a chance to take the lead and possibly winning the game. I looked up and I heard a whistle, and the ball was going Forest Park’s way.
Forest Park was fouled and made 1 of 2, and Brownstown had 11 seconds to get down the court and get a good look, but the shot was off the mark.
I just sat there for what seemed like an hour in total disbelief. I kept thinking back to last year at Huntingburg when the Braves pulled out a three-point win in the first game over Bloomfield and then held off Forest Park in the finals. That was an exciting time, and on Saturday, it just didn’t seem right that the Rangers were cutting down the nets and celebrating.
After talking with Braves coach Dave Benter, I climbed the stairs to the top of Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium and looked down and noticed the Brownstown players coming out of the locker room. It was rough watching them cry on the shoulders of parents, family members, fans and friends. It was especially emotional for the five seniors, Wischmeier, Ryan Shoemaker, Michael Leitzman, Cody Allman and Kelley Wagner, as it was the final game of their high school career.
But at the same time, they have so much to be proud of.
A 25-1 season is not easy to accomplish. As the Braves won game after game, I was impressed. I didn’t know that there hadn’t been an undefeated regular season at Brownstown. I knew last year’s team was pretty solid, but this year’s team really clicked.
The Braves were 21-0 in the regular season, including winning the Mid-Southern Conference title, and they won 16 of those games by double digits.
Going into regional, I kept thinking back to the Braves defeating the Rangers 61-39 in the semifinals of the Graber Post Buildings Classic over the holiday break. That big of a win was surprising to me then, and when I saw Forest Park was in the regional again, I was wondering if a win would come by that easily again.
But Saturday’s final game was proof that it’s hard to beat a team twice and you never know what can happen when it comes to the postseason in high school basketball. Coach Benter had told me that he heard Forest Park played its best game of the season in the sectional finals, and apparently that carried into regional.
In talking with Benter after the game and also talking with the seniors for a preview story for the regional, it was apparent that this was a really solid group of Brownstown players. It wasn’t just about how they played basketball. It was about how they got along and cared about each other.
Isn’t that what’s really important? I think so. Yeah, it’s nice to win games and try to score and rebound and set records. But I think it’s equally important to find a way to gel as a team. It’s not all about one person, it’s about the team, and that’s what you got with the Braves.
You could just see it on the court, and you could even tell by talking with the players and coach. That could be rare to come by, but not at Brownstown.
Sure, it’s difficult for the Brownstown players to accept Saturday’s loss. I know they felt there was a target on their backs, going in as the No. 1 team in 2A and being undefeated. I’m sure they had a good feeling they were going back to the state finals, and I’m sure they wish they would have made just one more shot or made a few more free throws. But those are things you can’t change. It just didn’t happen when it needed to.
BROWNSTOWN — Remarkable.
Those are just some of the words used on Tuesday night to describe the Brownstown Central boys basketball team’s 2009-10 season.
The Braves followed up a trip to the Class 2A state finals by going 21-0 through this winter’s season, which included winning the Graber Post Buildings Classic and the Mid-Southern Conference (9-0). They then defeated three opponents to win sectional for the second consecutive year, and they won the regional opener before suffering a heartbreaking, two-point loss in the finals to end at 25-1.
Through it all this year and the previous three years, Taylor Wischmeier displayed how he had improved and developed as a player. During Tuesday’s awards program, the 6-foot-8 senior was chosen by his teammates as this year’s most valuable player.
“Having the season that Taylor had this year, that’s to his credit,” head coach Dave Benter said.
Wischmeier knew he had to be a leader this season, and that’s what he did. Early on, his presence on the court made a big impact, and that ended up carrying all the way through.
Along the way, Wischme ier was named MVP of the Graber Post holiday tournament, he was the first player under Benter to be a McDonald’s All-American nominee and he was named to the all-regional tourney team.
Perhaps one of his biggest accomplishments came on Feb. 6, when he eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in a homecoming victory against Paoli.
Wischmeier led the team in scoring this season with 558 points, and he leaves Brownstown Central as No. 6 on the all-time list with 1,223, just four points shy of David Waskom from 1987-90. He also is No. 4 for most points in a season, and he averaged 21.5 per game.
He also won the rebounding award, pulling down 254 this season with an average of 9.8 per game, and he is third on the school’s list in rebounds for a season and career (577).
Finally, Wischmeier will play in the Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association East/West All-Star Game and the Post Your Talents East/West All-Star Class Games, and he has been invited to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Top 60 Senior Boys Workout.
Other statistical awards went to Ryan Shoemaker for assists (171), Jalen Snodgrass for highest field goal percentage (51.4) and Spencer Allman for highest free throw percentage (77.8).
Also, the team chose Shoemaker for the outstanding defense award and Michael Leitzman for the Jonathon Brewer Mental Attitude Award.
Shoemaker amassed 313 career assists, good for second in Brownstown’s record books, and he’s third in season assists. On top of it all, Shoemaker finished the season as one of the top-five assist leaders with 6.6 per game.
“He is one of the ultimate winners,” Benter said of Shoemaker, who was a three-sport athlete. “He’s going to fight you to win, and those are the type of guys that are going to be successful in life.”
Shoemaker and Wischmeier also received all-Mid-Southern Conference recognition, and Spencer Allman earned honorable mention. Allman also was named to the Graber Post all-tourney team and the all-regional tourney team.
Through the last three years, seniors Wischmeier, Shoemaker, Leitzman, Cody Allman and Kelley Wagner were part of teams that finished 58-17 and won more than 19 games per year.
Benter described Leitzman as “the ultimate teammate,” “one of the most unselfish kids I’ve met” and “one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met.” He noted how other coaches began to take notice of Allman and that Wagner had “matured a lot” as a player.
Benter said Wischmeier had verbally committed over the weekend to continue his basketball career at the University of Southern Indiana.
Looking back on the start of this season, Benter said he had a good feeling about this group of players.
“I thought we had a chance to have a pretty special season,” he said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be what it was.”
He said the Braves had a “unique ability” to play fast or slow, played solid defense in the half court, controlled the tempo of most games and kept the turnovers per game low.
“You’ve got to be able to bring that every night,” he said, adding that there aren’t very many teams, including the high school, college and professional levels, that can do that. “These guys were special, in that every night, they brought it. I don’t know if I’ll ever coach a team that will ever do that again.”
Benter also earned several accolades this season. He was the MSC Coach of the Year, he earned the Bob King Coach of the Year Award for District III through the IBCA and this summer he will coach the Indiana Junior All-Star team.
Also during Tuesday’s program, freshman coach Carey Lambring introduced his team, which finished 10-1, and junior varsity coach Kevin Gwin recognized his 17-1 squad.
For the JV awards, Wade Toppe earned the free throw percentage award (87.5) and Evan Eggersman was named most improved.
Angie Johnson, Melissa Forrest and Becky Perry also honored the cheerleading squad, and Jamie Gastineau won the mental attitude award for the third straight year.
Those coaches took time to not only recognize their teams’ efforts, but also the varsity team’s success.
Lambring described the varsity team’s accomplishments as “remarkable,” while Johnson said, “You can’t ask for anything better than to cheer for a perfect season.”
April 9, 2010
Russell Byrd, Fort Wayne Blackhawk
Erik Fromm, Bloomington South
Cody Zeller, Washington
Nic Moore, Warsaw
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Indianapolis North Central
HIGH HONORABLE MENTION: Jesse Berry, Lafayette Jeff; Christopher Bond, Bowman Academy; Jeremiah Davis, Muncie Central; Rapheal Davis, Fort Wayne South; Justin Gant, Terre Haute North; A.J. Hammons, Carmel; Michael Harris, East Chicago Central; Jack Isenbarger, Zionsville; Logan Irwin, Whitko; John Michael Jarvis, Terre Haute South; Jonny Marlin, Center Grove; Shane Merryman, Fort Wayne Carroll; Greg Miller, North Miami; Jalen Packer, Princeton; Mitchell Patton, South Knox; Troy Porter, Frankfort; Tyrae Robinson, Bowman Academy; Andrew Rudakas, Wheeler; Rhett Smith, Berry; Latroy Taylor, Gary Wallace; Marquis Teague, Pike; Chris Welker, Zionsville; Taylor Wischmeier, Brownstown.
HONORABLE MENTION: A.J. Adams, Jeffersonville; Julian Boatner, Bloomington North; Michael Chandler, Lawrence North; Rontray Chavis, Princeton; Ethan Davis, Tipton; Brandon Demmings, Indianapolis Washington; Collin Hartman, Indianapolis Cathedral; P.J. Hubert, Mount Vernon (Fortville); Ethan Jacobs, Tipton; Brad Karp, Valparaiso; DeJuan Marrero, Bowman Academy; Billy Newton, Shakamak; Ron Patterson, Indianapolis Broad Ripple; Jordan Rapp, Guerin Catholic; Austin Richie, Lowell; Terry Smith, Peru; Ryan Taylor, Lawrence North; Matt Trimnell, Seymour.
First Team Boys
Hale averaged 18 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots per game as the central figure in New Albany's fourth consecutive Hoosier Hills Conference championship.
Second Team Boys
Dunaway averaged 18.2 points per game as Corydon (19-6) won a Class3-A sectional before falling to eventual state champion Washington in the regional.
Cody Banet, Floyd Central; Brandon Codey, Floyd Central; Devin Freels, New Washington; Ben Raichel, Austin; Jonathan Smith, Orleans; Cody Jackson, Silver Creek; Alex Pritchett, Bedford North Lawrence; Garett Ross, Corydon; Logan Laswell, Paoli.
First Team Girls
McIntosh averaged 22.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while leading the Eagles (26-2) to the Class 2-A state championship.
Second Team Girls
Gholson provided immediate offense off the bench for the Red Devils, averaging 11.2 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Shelby Miller, South Central; Amanda Moore, Seymour; Camry Hinton, Floyd Central; Jenna Keinsley, Corydon; Morgan Rookstool, Floyd Central; Michelle Goodin, Austin; Brooke Valentine, Jeffersonville
BROWNSTOWN — As a freshman at Brownstown Central High School, Taylor Wischmeier didn’t get much playing time for the Braves basketball team.
“I sat the bench on JV and got in three games,” he said.
That was the moment he decided to make a change.
“A spot opened up on varsity and coach (Dave) Benter said he needed a shooter and I could come in and fill that role for the team,” Wischmeier said, “and that’s what I did my sophomore year.”
Over his final two seasons with the Braves, Wischmeier, standing at 6-foot-8, proved he could be an inside and outside player. He adjusted to different roles, and during his senior season, he eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in his career and helped lead his team to a 21-0 regular season—the first time that’s happened at BCHS—a year after making it to the state finals.
“I think playing all those positions has really helped me because my game is multi-dimensional,” he said. “I’m not just strictly an inside player or an outside player. I can do both.”
That’s apparently what the coaches at the University of Southern Indiana saw, too.
Wischmeier narrowed down his college offers to the Evansville school, and in the fall, he will be playing for the Screaming Eagles men’s basketball team. On Friday at the high school, Wischmeier signed his national letter of intent, surrounded by Benter, his parents, Brian and Julie Wischmeier, and sister, Amanda Wischmeier.
Benter said Wischmeier earned this opportunity with his “understanding of the game and playing it the right way.”
“That’s the first thing I think is important to any team atmosphere,” Benter said. “But from a basketball standpoint, there’s so many things he can do. It’s hard to pinpoint his best attribute because he does so many things well.”
Those attributes have grown over time.
Wischmeier started with the sport in kindergarten, and he played with fellow senior Ryan Shoemaker since second grade. They joined Michael Leitzman and Cody Allman, two other seniors, in AAU along the way.
“I guess there really wasn’t a time I didn’t like basketball,” Wischmeier said. “I don’t remember a time it wasn’t a factor in my life.”
One thing Brian noted is that his son wasn’t always “the big guy.” Going into his eighth-grade year, Taylor was only 5-foot-8. But by his senior year, he had grown a foot.
“He’s worked for his athletic ability,” Brian said. “He wasn’t born with it. He’s a pretty sharp student and that came pretty natural, but he had to work for his athletic ability.”
As Julie continued seeing her son grow, she said, “We definitely knew that the potential was there. We always knew he loved basketball because Brian put a basketball in his hands pretty much when he could hold one.”
Continuing with AAU between his sophomore and junior years, Brian said Taylor “had some games where he performed very, very well against high-level competition. At that point, then you thought maybe there might be a chance (he could someday play college basketball). Four years ago, we didn’t even know if he could play varsity ball for Brownstown.”
But during his junior season, the Braves won sectional, and then regional and semistate before losing to Fort Wayne Luers in the Class 2A state finals. Wischmeier was a part of that, and he helped lead the team to a second straight sectional title this past winter, but the Braves lost a heartbreaker in the regional finals, ending the season at 25-1.
Opportunity becomes reality
The upside for Taylor is that basketball doesn’t end, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to keep playing the game.
“I’ve wanted to play college basketball probably my whole life,” he said. “It’s great that I get the opportunity to, and some of these other guys (on the high school team) don’t get the chance, but they’ve worked just as hard and they deserve everything. I wish I could play with this group of seniors forever. It’s been great the last four years.”
That, Julie said, was evident just by watching them play.
“They are all such good friends,” she said. “You can tell by watching them. They all get along so well, and that’s why they play so good together. It makes it more enjoyable as a parent to watch that because you know they all get along so well.”
But there comes a time when the high school career ends, and Taylor is ready to leap into the next step. He said USI had the right fit.
“That was just the place I felt the most comfortable at, with the team and the coach and just the program,” he said. “Everything fit with what I wanted, and I could really see myself playing with them.”
Brian said USI is “a very elite Division II program,” and he said Taylor will have to step up and prove himself worthy of playing.
“The coach seems to have some fairly high hopes for him helping them out,” Brian said. “I hope he realizes he’s got a lot of work to do between now and then if he’s going to help them out. It will take everything he’s got to be able to contribute.”
Benter said Taylor needs to realize that he’s starting over as a freshman.
“You’re not the big man on campus anymore, you’re starting from scratch,” Benter said. “The pace that these guys play at and the strength is so much different. He needs to be patient and keep the same work ethic. I think he’s focused and mature and has goals of what he wants to accomplish, from a basketball standpoint and from an academic and eventually professional standpoint.”
Benter said Taylor has improved “probably more than any kid I’ve coached.”
“What that’s telling me is his best basketball days are still ahead of him, and I think USI believes that also,” Benter said. “He was awfully good for us the last couple years. Once he gets stronger and gets acclimated to the pace and strength of the game at that level, he is so skilled and intelligent that I think he’s going to really be successful there.”
As a coach, Benter said it’s great to see a player succeed.
“It’s not a job to Taylor. It’s a game that he really loves,” Benter said. “He’ll be a guy 10 years from now that is still playing basketball or is still around the game. That’s because of how much he loves playing and being around it.”
Besides playing basketball at USI, Taylor will be working toward a secondary education degree with an emphasis on math. He is interested in being a teacher and coach someday.
That’s a good route to follow because he’s made an impact on a lot of younger kids at Brownstown, Julie said. She recalled many times where kids would come up to Taylor after games and shake his hand or give him a high-five or they would send him notes.
The most popular request? Dunking.
“I don’t know how many little kids have told me that this year,” Taylor said. “It feels great they look up to me. To know I’ve done something that impresses them and that they would want to be like me, that makes me feel special.”
Taylor said those kids can accomplish what he has if they work hard and stay determined. That’s what he did to get to this point.
PAOLI — There weren’t any two-handed slams by Taylor Wischmeier like there was in Friday’s sectional semifinal game.
And there wasn’t a last-second shot by Ryan Shoemaker like there was in last year’s championship game.
But in Saturday night’s Class 2A Sectional 47 title game at Paoli, Brownstown Central had a solid team effort on both sides of the ball.
It wasn’t anything fancy or out of the ordinary. It was just the Braves doing what they had to do to repeat as sectional champs.
The No. 1 Braves got a good jump on the No. 18 Eastern (Pekin) Musketeers and held off any kind of charge for a 56-31 win.
Playing Providence on Friday and then Eastern was like day and night, as the Musketeers play at a faster pace. But the Braves found a way to contain that.
“They are a team that’s capable of putting up a lot of points on the board in a hurry,” Braves coach Dave Benter said of Eastern. “We had to be real careful at first not to let them get away from us a few times and get off to a big early lead.”
After Michael Doebler’s three-point play at 6:54 of the first quarter put Eastern up 3-2, Brownstown answered with an 8-0 run, and the Braves remained tough the rest of the way.
Following Doebler’s play, Benter said, “We were awfully good the next several minutes defensively where we really made it difficult for them to get good shots, and that’s really the difference in the game. We did not shoot the ball well (17-for-41), but we took care of the ball, we rebounded, we defended awfully well.”
The Braves finished the game with six turnovers to the Musketeers’ 10 and had a 31-26 rebounding advantage.
The Musketeers suffered some droughts throughout, and the biggest one came in the second quarter. At 7:33, Todd Albertson scored inside, but his team’s only other made field goal of the period was Paul Hensley’s 3-pointer at 37 seconds.
Eastern was 4-for-21 from the field in the first half, while Brownstown was 8-for-25 and led 25-10 at halftime.
The Braves’ first-half lead reached double figures on Shoemaker’s feed to Wischmeier at 6:11 of the second quarter, and the margin ballooned to 25-7 on Brett McCory’s free throws at 1:47.
“We went on that run in the second quarter to get some more separation, and that was critical,” Benter said. “You don’t want to let a team like that hang around five or six or seven points because of their capability of going on runs, because of their offensive explosiveness. Our guys really did a nice job of really making sure that they got no uncontested shots.”
Cody Allman opened the second half with a basket underneath before Eastern scored five straight to get within 12 at 5:01. Wischmeier scored the Braves’ final six points, and they led 33-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Musketeers missed five of their six 3-point attempts in the final period, dashing away any sort of comeback. Meanwhile, the Braves were 6-for-7 from the field and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the quarter.
Spencer Allman, Cody Allman, Wischmeier and Kelley Wagner put up points in the fourth, and then Jake Olson created the largest deficit of the game, 56-29, at 16 seconds with a lay-in on an assist from Trey DeHart.
Wischmeier led all scorers with 22 points and all rebounders with nine, and he had four of the team’s five blocks. He was followed by nine points each from Spencer and Cody Allman.
Doebler was Eastern’s high scorer with eight points.
Senior guards Shoemaker and Michael Leitzman said after the game that it felt good to repeat as sectional champs.
“There are so many good teams in our sectional,” Leitzman said. “It’s a tough obstacle to overcome to win a sectional, so we’re real fortunate to win it back-to-back years. It’s a really good feeling.”
And just how did they get that done?
“I thought our defense was key tonight,” Leitzman said. “We did a good job of containing the basketball and getting out to their shooters. I also thought Taylor did a really good job of protecting the basket and getting in the lane.”
Shoemaker, who had seven of the Braves’ 13 assists, said, “Just from the tip-off, we controlled the tempo right at the beginning of the game.”
Of adjusting to different types of teams, Shoemaker said, “That’s kind of what you’ve got to have in the tournament. You’ve got to play a different team each night, and that really helps us play different styles of ball.”
With shooting being off, Benter was glad his team found other ways to win.
“That’s really encouraging in the tournament,” Benter said. “This could have been a special season even if we would have gotten beat tonight, the way these guys have come together and played so well. But unfortunately, a lot of people will look at teams and measure them if they win a sectional or not, so there was a lot of pressure on these guys to get through this weekend and they’ve done that, so now we can relax, we can go have fun next weekend and hopefully we’ll come out and play well.”
Even though he didn’t get to take a game-winning shot on Saturday, Shoemaker said the win was what mattered.
“We’ll definitely still take it,” he said. “It was really special, junior, senior year, getting sectional both years. It just goes to show that all the work you put in all through high school, even through the feeder system there with the younger kids, it does pay off and it is worth it to come here and play basketball, and I’ve had some good memories here.”
And the Braves hope to make more memories as they travel to Huntingburg on Saturday to play Tri-West (17-5) in the 10 a.m. game of the Southridge Regional. Tri-West defeated Speedway 65-51 on Saturday in the South Putnam Sectional.
The second game, at noon, will feature Forest Park (17-7) and South Knox (13-10).
Class 2A Sectional 47 at Paoli
Brownstown 14 11 8 23—56
Eastern 5 5 9 12—31
Brownstown Central (24-0): Spencer Allman 2-7 5-5 9, Ryan Shoemaker 1-4 0-0 2, Michael Leitzman 1-5 2-3 4, Cody Allman 4-5 1-2 9, Taylor Wischmeier 7-13 6-6 22, Jalen Snodgrass 1-3 0-0 2, Brett McCory 0-0 2-2 2, Kelley Wagner 0-0 2-2 2, Evan Eggersman 0-3 2-4 2, Jake Olson 1-1 0-0 2, Trey DeHart 0-0 0-0 0, Wade Toppe 0-0 0-0 0, totals 17-41 20-24 56
Eastern (Pekin) (16-7): Paul Hensley 2-10 1-4 7, Trey Albertson 3-8 0-0 6, Spencer Gilstrap 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Doebler 3-8 1-1 8, Todd Albertson 2-5 2-2 6, Keaton Shofner 0-1 2-2 2, Cody Hurst 1-5 0-0 2, George Hoskins 0-4 0-0 0, Devin Collier 0-2 0-2 0, Tyler Duncan 0-0 0-0 0, Philip Boudreaux 0-0 0-0 0, Curtis Howard 0-0 0-0 0, totals 11-43 6-11 31
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (Wischmeier 2), Eastern (Hensley 2, Doebler)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 31 (Wischmeier 9, Shoemaker 3, C. Allman 3), Eastern 26 (Gilstrap 7, Todd Albertson 6)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 6, Eastern 10
BROWNSTOWN — The hoopla from winning sectional on Saturday has been pushed aside.
Yeah, it was exciting for members of the Brownstown Central boys basketball team to repeat as sectional champions, but since Tuesday, their focus has shifted to the next step.
This Saturday, the 24-0 Class 2A No. 1 Braves will take on 17-5 Tri-West Hendricks in the first game of the Southridge Regional at Huntingburg. That game begins at 10:30 a.m., and it’s followed by No. 13 Forest Park (17-7) taking on South Knox (13-10).
The five Brownstown seniors have been a big part of the team’s success this year, and to make their way to the state finals again this year, they know it’s going to take just as solid of an effort.
They have played together for a long time, and they hope that plays to their advantage.
“At the school, it’s like everyone knows each other, but us growing up playing basketball all the time, you just get so close, not just us seniors, everybody on the team is like that,” Kelley Wagner said. “No one is individual, no one tries to stand out or anything, so it’s really good to know that we have people that are this close and care about each other more than they do about themselves.”
Last winter, coach Dave Benter thought the team gelled at the right time, and the seniors think it’s the same way this year.
“We’ve played together for so long, I think that’s how we all click together,” Cody Allman said. “We know what everybody likes to do on the court and we know what each of us is going to do, and we take advantage of those abilities.”
Michael Leitzman said the five seniors have been playing together all four years of high school, and through elementary and middle school, they played in AAU or summer teams together. Up until high school, Ryan Shoemaker and Taylor Wischmeier attended Lutheran Central School in Brownstown.
“I’ve played on his basketball team since kindergarten,” Shoemaker said of Wischmeier. “The other guys in AAU and summer leagues, me and Taylor really gelled in with those guys, too. When you play with a group of guys like that for so long, it becomes second nature of what they are going to do, and you think along the same lines as they are. Everybody has their own style of game, but it all comes together really well.”
Leitzman said this year, however, it’s not just about the seniors.
“It’s important to have good leadership by our seniors, and then the juniors, sophomores and freshmen have been playing really good for us, too,” he said. “It’s always good when you have balance because not every game, everybody’s going to be able to play good, so when you have a bad game, you know you have good players around you that are going to step up and play.”
The seniors agreed the mood in practice this week has been on cue.
“Our team chemistry right now is so good,” Allman said. “Nobody argues, nobody’s selfish with the ball. The team is really what it probably needs to be right now. Everybody’s trying hard and giving it their best every night in practice.”
After sectional, Shoemaker said Benter told the team to enjoy it for a few days, but the gears would shift quickly.
“He said we’ve got to kind of change our mindset now,” Shoemaker said. “We’re happy we won the sectional, but the next goal is to get the regional.”
As far as practices go, from sectional to regional, Shoemaker said, “It’s a little bit different knowing that you’re that much farther in the tournament, but it’s kind of got the same feeling. You just realize the stakes are a little bit higher now and that you’re going to have to play good to win.”
Wischmeier feels the team is ready to go.
“We’re going to come out, play our game, do what we do,” he said. “We’ve just got to adjust to what (Tri-West) is doing. Tri-West is going to pressure us, so we’re going to have to take care of the ball, get good shots, get stops on defense.”
The good thing, too, is that all five have been beyond sectional before.
“From being there last year, we know what these big games are like,” Wischmeier said. “It’s different if you’re a team coming in for the first time, you just come out not ready to play and scared. We came out ready to play during sectional, and we’ve got to keep that up.”
Wagner is banking on the experience, too.
“It’s fun going out there and executing everything together,” Wagner said. “If we lose, we lose together. We don’t put our heads on one person. When we win, we don’t say ‘this person carried us,’ so it’s always nice to know that it’s a team, it’s never just I or me.”
The Braves had an undefeated regular season and won the Mid-Southern Conference title, and they are happy to keep marching on.
After beginning the season 4-4, including a season-opening loss to Class 3A No. 1 Danville, the Tri-West Hendricks Bruins finished by winning 13 of 14 games.
Brownstown didn’t play Tri-West this season, but in a holiday tournament, the Braves beat South Knox 50-28 in the first round and Forest Park 61-39 in the semifinals.
The Bruins have senior Randall Lowe and junior Tyler Waite averaging 15.5 points per game, along with seniors Joe Pierle (8.8 ppg) and Andrew Keck (8.3 ppg).
“Tri-West is really not like any other team we’ve played this year,” Benter said. “They’ve got a really, really good point guard (Lowe) surrounded by a really good shooter (Waite), and then they’ve got some length and size in their other three positions.”
Benter was very happy with his team’s defensive effort at sectional, and that will have to carry on.
“They’re going to play us defensively probably a little bit different than we’ve been played,” Benter said of the Bruins. “They’ve got a good half-court trap, they press a little bit.”
And offensively, he said, “They are a team that can be explosive and go on big runs. They are really good in transition, they offensive rebound well, so they put the ball on the floor and attack the basket really well.”
Controlling the tempo, Benter said, will be important.
“We want to make sure that we’re intelligent the way we play, and I thought we played really intelligent last Friday and Saturday,” he said. “From an athletic standpoint, (the Bruins) are as athletic or more athletic than us and they’ve got good size…so we just need to be really solid fundamentally, take care of the ball and defend really well.”
Benter likes what his team has accomplished thus far, and he feels he has the right nucleus to keep on going.
“To me, I usually look at my kids more than just wins or losses,” he said. “This group, they are very unselfish, they show up every day in practice to work, they are very competitive.”
Having that core group at the top leading the team has been good, too.
If you go
What: Class 2A Southridge Regional
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Brownstown Central (24-0) vs. Tri-West Hendricks (17-5); 12:30 p.m., Forest Park (17-7) vs. South Knox (13-10); 8 p.m., championship
Where: Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium, 412 E. Fifth St., Huntingburg
Cost: $6 for one session or $9 for all sessions
PAOLI — There are some basketball games where patience pays off.
Going against Providence, a team known for slowing the ball down, Brownstown Central had to maintain its composure throughout Friday’s semifinal game of the Class 2A Sectional 47 at Paoli.
After Providence hung around in the first 16 minutes, cutting a 10-point deficit in half in the final three seconds of the first half, the No. 1 Braves remained tight when they needed to and pulled out a 51-33 victory.
Tonight, Brownstown (23-0) will face No. 18 Eastern (Pekin) (16-6), who defeated Paoli 53-51 in Friday’s other semifinal game.
Braves coach Dave Benter said patience “definitely” was a factor on Friday.
“There’s times where we’re better when we’re patient and moving the ball and getting good shots,” Benter said. “We want to push it when it’s there, but we’ve got to make sure we get good shots if it’s not there.”
The Pioneers were looking up early on, going on a 6-1 run to begin the game behind A.J. Schmidt’s three-point play and 3-pointer by the 6:23 mark.
The Braves quickly answered with Taylor Wischmeier’s two-handed slam off of a steal and an offensive putback, then Spencer Allman’s baseline drive to take a 7-6 lead and Allman going inside-out and assisting Jalen Snodgrass on a trey. The Braves led 10-8 after one period of play.
The game was tied twice in the first minute of the second quarter before the Braves scored 10 straight, capped off with Allman’s step-over 3 at the top of the key at 1:10.
Then, with three seconds remaining in the half, the Pioneers’ Zev Crawley had a putback, and as the Braves were bringing the ball up the floor, they were called for a charge. On the inbounds play, Schmidt nailed a 3 to get within 22-17 at halftime.
“Schmidt got off a little bit early from us,” Benter said, as the sophomore scored 11 of the Pioneers’ first-half points. “He’s such a good player. He scares me to death the next couple years. They’ve got other players with him, and I thought our other guys did a nice job top to bottom defensively.”
Providence was 0-for-5 from the floor in the first four minutes of the third quarter, but George Knott ended that with a putback at 3:32. Brownstown had a nine-point lead four times in the third, including holding a 32-23 advantage going into the fourth.
What had been a physical game the whole way through became even more apparent in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, when three Pioneers fouled out of the game. The Braves were in a double bonus at 6:01, and they hit 13 of 18 free throws in the fourth and 17 of 22 in the half to earn a repeat trip to the sectional championship game.
“You have got to play really disciplined offensively and defensively because (a team like Providence) will expose every weakness,” Benter said. “Our guys, I really thought, kept their composure throughout the whole game. I thought top to bottom, we had a lot of different guys contribute, and the difference was we defended them really well in the half court.”
The only downside, Benter said, was defensive rebounding. The Pioneers outrebounded the Braves 24-22, and Providence had a 10-4 advantage on the offensive side.
But thankfully, free-throw shooting was solid down the stretch.
“We had to do a better job defensive rebounding, we had to do a better job making our free throws in the second half," Benter said. “I’m not sure we did a better job defensive rebounding, but we did come out and make our free throws. We were down 6-1 to start the game, so things could have been a lot worse.”
Wischmeier took game honors with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Allman scored 11 points and Michael Leitzman nine.
Schmidt led the Pioneers with 20 points, but no other player scored above four points.
Facing the Musketeers tonight, Benter said his team will have to be sharp. Brownstown beat Eastern 67-52 on Feb. 19.
ORLEANS — “It was a very tough place tonight,” Brownstown Central boys basketball coach Dave Benter said on Friday night after his team improved to 21-0 with a hard-fought 47-38 win over Orleans at the Dog House.
“It seemed like we got a 10-point advantage, and every time I looked up, it was still 10 points and we just couldn’t stretch it out,” he said. “For the most part, we held off their runs and didn’t let them get any closer than six or seven in the second half.”
The Braves scored the first five points of the game as Spencer Allman had an assist from Taylor Wischmeier and Wischmeier knocked down a 3-pointer. The Bulldogs then went on a 5-0 run to tie the score, but the Braves’ half-court defense caused problems for the Bulldogs as they began to turn the ball over, leading to easy baskets.
Wischmeier hit one free throw with 4:45 left in the first quarter to give them a 6-5 lead and they never looked back. Jalen Snodgrass hit a 3-pointer and Wischmeier had a putback on an offensive board, a layup and hit two free throws to close out the quarter, and the Braves owned the 15-5 lead.
“We forced a few turnovers that led to some easy baskets,” Benter said. “Jalen came in and had seven points in the first half, and it’s great that we can bring guys in off the bench that can give us a lift offensively and defensively. Brett (McCory) hit a big 3-pointer in the second quarter.
“Overall, coming into this environment, you have to be pleased to come out, and I thought the boys handled the adversity well and played pretty intelligent.”
The Braves forced seven Orleans turnovers in the first quarter and 12 for the game.
In the second quarter, both teams played even for eight minutes, but the Braves opened their biggest lead of the first half at 26-15 when Snodgrass hit a layup. After a basket by the Bulldogs, Snodgrass then hit another layup off a steal.
The Braves finished the first half shooting 11-for-24 while the Bulldogs were 7-for-21.
“There were some positives as I thought we played well in stretches,” Benter said. “I also thought we struggled in stretches, but some of that was our free-throw shooting or some wide-open shots we missed. Also, some of that credit goes to Orleans as they are so aggressive on defense.
“They did a good job of not letting us stretch out our lead. We changed one thing at half with our press, and we had a stretch where we didn’t score, so we went back to our regular half-court man. For the most part, I thought we defended well.”
A lot of focus coming into the game was whether or not the Bulldogs would have a healthy Jonathan Smith, but the biggest battle of the night was between 6-8 Wischmeier and the Bulldogs’ 6-6 Cameron Carroll. Both players had a presence underneath the basket and led their respective teams in scoring.
Wischmeier finished with a game-high 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Carroll had 14 points and eight rebounds. Wischmeier also finished with four assists, five blocks and one steal. Cody Allman led the Braves with four steals.
“That was a battle between two big guys,” Benter said. “They had a real hard time guarding Taylor, and he really was active on the backboards. He had to play with a lot of energy on defense, and their big guy was pretty skilled inside. He (Taylor) had to play a lot of minutes, and I thought he was pretty unselfish and made some nice passes.”
With the Braves up 31-19 in the third quarter, they were whistled for a technical foul at the 5:22 mark and the Bulldogs hit 1-for-2 from the line. Several minutes later, Eli Mathers hit a 3-pointer to cut the Braves’ lead down to 33-27, but Wischmeier hit a basket to take a 35-27 lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, both teams combined to hit only 5-for-18 from the field, but the Braves were 10-for-16 from the foul line in the quarter, while the Bulldogs were 3-for-6. For the game, the Braves were 16 of 25 and the Bulldogs were 7 of 16.
Snodgrass scored 10 points for the Braves and Michael Leitzman had six points, all from the charity stripe.
Mathers had 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting from the floor for the Bulldogs.
Brownstown Central will play West Washington on Tuesday night in the first game of the Class 2A Sectional 47 at Paoli, while the Bulldogs (13-7) will tangle with Trinity Lutheran the same night in the Class A Sectional 61 at Springs Valley.
PAOLI — Spencer Allman kicked in high gear from long range and his teammates dished it in around the basket during the first half of Tuesday’s sectional game with West Washington.
Allman’s third 3-pointer of the first quarter put Brownstown Central up 16-4, and Taylor Wischmeier then capitalized on back-to-back baskets off of Senator turnovers to cap off a 10-0 run.
The Braves’ lead grew to 24 in the fourth quarter and hovered around 20 points a good part of the second half, and No. 1 Brownstown improved to 22-0 with a 69-57 win in the first round of the Class 2A Sectional 47 at Paoli.
“I thought our guys were really focused at the start of the game,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “We came out and played with a lot of energy.”
Sitting on top 21-9 after eight minutes of play, with all five starters scoring, the Braves continued to be a force offensively and defensively in the second quarter. The Senators struggled to handle the Braves’ pressure, committing five turnovers in the second period.
Brownstown clung to a double-digit lead through the second quarter, except for two 3-pointers made by Cody Huff off of the bench getting his team within nine. But both times, the Braves responded, and they led 40-21 at halftime.
Allman’s fourth 3-pointer of the game came off of his defensive rebound as the clock wound down, and he launched the ball from the top of the Senators’ key and it arched perfectly into the basket.
Besides letting Huff get three open looks from beyond the arc, Benter said his team’s defensive output in the first half was good.
“It really got them out of their rhythm,” he said. “I thought they had a hard time and really struggled taking care of the ball, and it led to some easy baskets for us also, so I was really pleased for the most part with the way we defended in the first half.”
The Braves led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter, following Allman’s fifth and final trey of the game on an assist from Cody Allman at 4:24. The teams each scored 16 points in the quarter, and it was 56-37 going into the fourth.
That’s when Brownstown built up a 24-point deficit on Michael Leitzman’s drive at 3:54.
The Senators’ Josh Green lit up in the quarter, scoring 12 of his game-high 25 points, allowing his team to get under the 20-point mark, but not the win.
“The second half was a different story,” Benter said, as West Washington outscored Brownstown 36-29. “I thought they outplayed us in the second half. I didn’t think our energy was where it needed to be, and they beat us to some loose balls, we allowed too much dribble penetration, and that’s a credit to West Washington for not laying down and quitting at halftime.”
The Braves still managed to put four players in double figures. Spencer Allman led with 21 points, followed by Wischmeier’s 16, Cody Allman’s 11 and Leitzman’s 10. Ryan Shoemaker only scored two points, but he had nine of the Braves’ 15 assists.
Huff was the only other Senator to reach double figures, scoring 11 points.
Benter expects Friday’s second-round game with Providence (13-7) to be different.
“It’s not going to be this high-scoring,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot slower-type game, a grind-it-out-type game. We’re going to have to shift gears and be ready to play that type of game.”
Another balanced scoring effort would be good, he said, as well as a tough defensive effort.
“We’ve got to have more than just Taylor inside,” Benter said. “It’s good to see Spencer come back and make some shots. That’s going to be really important throughout the tournament that he makes shots for us.
“We’ve got to do a better job defensively and not let them get into the lane so much, and then offensively we can’t waste possessions. We took a couple quick shots tonight and turned the ball over a couple times. Friday night, we can’t do that.”
Anybody who has followed the Brownstown boys basketball program in recent years knows the Braves have been extremely successful, including two trips to the state finals.
Taylor Wischmeier started on the team that played for the Class 2A state title last year, and he said he is looking for a long tournament run beginning tonight.
He attributes Brownstown’s success to talent and coaching.
“We’ve had very good players and an excellent coach,” he said. “Last year, we got lucky at the right time and got some good breaks and came into it really well after the Orleans game when we played bad. We came back and really played well, and we’ve got to do the same this year.”
Wischmeier is a three-year varsity starter.
“Last year and the year before that, I played a little more on the perimeter, and I got a few more outside shots,” he said. “This year, I’m the main post guy, so most of my offense is coming on the inside.”
He said he feels confident with his shooting either facing the basket or with his back to the basket.
“I’m comfortable shooting 3s or a face-up jumper, and I’m comfortable with my back to the basket with my post moves,” Wischmeier said. “It’s a lot nicer playing against man-to-man, playing straight up one-on-one.”
Opponents have played all types of defenses against the Braves.
“Teams have been focusing on me inside with Spencer (Allman) out,” he said. “They were sending two and three guys at me, but we’ve got other good (scorers). Cody (Allman) has had several good layups, Michael (Leitzman) has hit some shots and with Spencer back we’re in good shape.”
Wischmeier said he prefers to play man defense in the half-court, and he said he likes playing back on the press.
“I like to be able to protect the basket,” he said. “It lets our guards play a little more aggressive knowing that I’m back there, that I can block some shots.”
He says the Braves can’t afford to look ahead.
“We’ve got to be focused every game,” Wischmeier said. “We’ve got to come out ready to play because we’re going to get everybody’s best game. We’ve got to come out and play the way we are capable of playing.”
Wischmeier said he enjoys playing with the other seniors.
“We’ve been playing together since third grade,” he said. “We know what each other does well on the court. We know where people want the ball at, where they’re going to score. We’ve got great teamwork. Everything just clicks.”
Taylor Wischmeier file
NORTH VERNON — Brownstown Central’s tenacious defense in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game at Jennings County was enough to force the Panthers into eight turnovers.
The Panthers also were limited to four points in the period, while Cody Allman, Spencer Allman and Ryan Shoemaker combined for 13 points for the Braves.
Even though the second quarter wasn’t as solid defensively, the Braves still led 30-17 at halftime and in the second half hit some big shots to pull out win No. 20 59-39.
Just gaining separation in the first half was key.
“I thought in the first quarter, we defended well, and then in the second quarter we missed a blockout and twice in transition we didn’t get out on the shooters and gave them eight points,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “But we were able to get our separation in the first quarter, when I thought for the most part we defended pretty well and forced them into some turnovers.”
Despite three early stumbles in the second quarter, the Panthers were within six on Dustin Lawson’s 3-pointer at 3:40 and Matt Flora’s 3 at 2:23, but each time the Braves had an answer.
After struggling from the field in the first quarter, Taylor Wischmeier matched Lawson’s 3 at 3:22 off of a feed from Ryan Shoemaker, and Wischmeier added two free throws when the Panthers were within reach the second time. He scored 10 of his 13 points in the period.
In the final 30 seconds of the half, Kelley Wagner finished in the post off of an assist from Jalen Snodgrass, and seven seconds later, Jennings County’s bench was called for a technical, and Shoemaker made both free throws for a 30-17 lead that carried into halftime.
The teams combined for 11 turnovers and 8-for-23 shooting from the field in the third quarter, but the Braves built up a 20-point lead at 1:14 off of Wagner’s lay-in on transition, and they were ahead 43-25 entering the fourth.
In the final period, the Braves nailed four 3-pointers—two from Snodgrass and one each from Spencer Allman and Wagner—and they were up by 27 on Snodgrass’ trey at 1:55.
The Braves shot 42 percent from the field, compared to the Panthers’ 31 percent, and Benter would have liked his team to be a little more selective with shots. Much of that had to do with Jennings County having three players ranging in height from 6-foot-6 to 6-8.
“I thought offensively we were way too impatient,” he said. “We had probably seven to 10 shots throughout the game that we didn’t adjust to their height and their length very well, and a couple times, we just turned and thought we could shoot over top of them or drove in the lane and tried shooting over top of them.
“I just thought it’s uncharacteristic of this team of taking some bad shots, and I thought offensively we stood some, but (Jennings County) had something to do with that. They can get set in the half court defensively, and they caused us some problems because of their length.”
Spencer Allman led the Braves in scoring with 14 points, followed by Wischmeier’s 13 and Snodgrass’ 11. Wischmeier had 12 boards to complete a double-double.
No Panthers reached double figures, and Flora’s nine points was a team high. They finished the game with 21 turnovers.
The Braves improved to 20-0 and will close out the regular season on Friday at Orleans.
CORYDON — Three blocks by Taylor Wischmeier and four free throws by Spencer Allman in the fourth quarter saved Brownstown Central on Saturday night at Corydon Central.
In a game with only nine turnovers and a deficit that never went above six, it was the little things down the stretch that allowed the Braves to clinch the Mid-Southern Conference title, winning 50-46.
Both teams entered the game 8-0 in the conference, but in the end, Brownstown remained perfect on the season at 19-0 and Corydon had an eight-game winning streak snapped and fell to 14-4.
“We practice free throws quite a bit during practice,” Allman said. “The first two were a little nerve-racking, but after I stepped up and knocked the first two down, then I was a little bit more comfortable going up the second time.”
The Braves entered the fourth quarter up 39-35, but just 12 seconds into the period, the Panthers’ Garret Ross scored on a baseline jumper. The Braves’ Ryan Shoemaker then threw a cross-court pass to Brett McCory, who nailed his second 3-pointer of the game at 7:30, but Casey Saulman had an answer at the other end for a two-point game.
A few minutes passed until Wischmeier scored inside, and then the teams traded turnovers before the 6-foot-8 senior scored at 2:26 for a 46-40 lead.
Brandon Dunaway then made things interesting with a 2-point field goal at 2:18 and then getting fouled on a 3-point attempt at 1:42. He made his first two before missing the third, and the Braves milked the clock until they took a shot at 47 seconds and missed.
The Panthers then chose to go for the game-winner, but as Dylan Harl put up a shot in the post, Wischmeier swatted it away with 15 seconds remaining in the game, the Braves recovered the ball and Allman was immediately fouled.
He made two free throws at 14 seconds before Ross drove down and banked in a shot. Following a timeout, Allman was fouled again and he made two more free throws, and Harl’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off to the right.
Corydon entered the game averaging 70.5 points per game, and Braves coach Dave Benter said holding the Panthers to 46 points is a credit to his team’s defense.
“We held a really, really good offensive team to 46 points, and (Friday) night we held (Eastern) to 52, but they didn’t shoot the ball exceptionally well whereas tonight I thought we challenged shots a lot better and we stopped penetration better,” Benter said. “We rebounded the ball well and had guys make big plays both offensively and defensively. It was just a really well-played game tonight from both teams.”
Dunaway nailed two 3s and a free throw and Ross made three buckets for a 13-9 lead eight minutes in.
The Braves rallied from six points down and took their first lead of the game at 3:57 of the second quarter when Jalen Snodgrass connected on a reverse layup. The lead then changed hands five times until Snodgrass’ nice drive at 15 seconds for another lead change and a 23-22 advantage that carried into halftime.
The Panthers regained the lead at 6:29 of the third quarter on Dunaway’s three-point play, but Wischmeier sandwiched a 3-pointer in between two baskets by Spencer Allman for a 32-27 advantage, and the Braves never trailed again.
“Ryan got the ball to people when they were open, Michael (Leitzman) did a nice job getting the ball, Jalen got in the lane, Taylor did a nice job inside and Brett McCory came in and knocked down a big 3 to give us a little bit of separation,” Allman said. “It was an overall team effort.”
Allman and Wischmeier each scored 15 points and Snodgrass had a solid 10-point, five-rebound effort.
“Taylor, at times, wasn’t able to get anything going offensively because of the way they were collapsing on him, but that opened up things for some other guys,” Benter said. “Defensively, he was a huge presence, especially there late. They really tried attacking him one-on-one, and then he rotated over and helped protect the rim a couple of times late, too.”
Dunaway led all scorers with 24 and Ross had 12.
It was the Braves’ first time winning conference since clinching it from 2004-06.
“I think it puts a bigger target on our backs in the tournament,” Allman said of claiming the title, “but we’ve just got to keep focus, take it one possession at a time and one game at a time.”
The Braves have two games left in the regular season, at Jennings County on Tuesday and at Orleans on Friday, before sectional begins on March 2 at Paoli.
Brownstown 9 14 16 11—50
Corydon 13 9 13 11—46
Brownstown Central (19-0): Ryan Shoemaker 0-2 0-0 0, Jalen Snodgrass 5-6 0-1 10, Michael Leitzman 0-3 0-0 0, Cody Allman 2-3 0-0 4, Taylor Wischmeier 7-14 0-0 15, Spencer Allman 5-12 4-4 15, Brett McCory 2-5 0-0 6, Kelley Wagner 0-1 0-0 0, totals 21-46 4-5 50
Corydon Central (14-4): Dylan Harl 1-6 0-0 3, Garett Ross 6-13 0-4 12, Casey Saulman 1-3 0-0 3, Brandon Dunaway 7-177-10 24, Seth Rennirt 2-7 0-0 4, Tyler Shewmaker 0-1 0-0 0, Ryan Coffman 0-0 0-0 0, totals 17-47 7-14 46
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (McCory 2, S. Allman, Wischmeier), Corydon Central (Dunaway 3, Harl, Saulman)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 26 (Wischmeier 8, Snodgrass 5), Corydon Central 17 (Rennirt 5, Dunaway 5)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 5, Corydon Central 4
Fouls: Brownstown Central 12, Corydon Central 15
Brownstown 0 12 15 14—41
Corydon 12 9 4 11—36
PEKIN — Eastern’s quickness in the second quarter held Brownstown Central in check on Friday night.
The Musketeers stayed within five points until Michael Doebler grabbed a rebound off of a missed free throw by the Braves and raced down the court and made a layup, putting his team within 27-25 at halftime.
But in the other three periods, a different Braves player stepped up, allowing the No. 1 team in Class 2A to remain perfect overall (18-0) and in the Mid-Southern Conference (8-0) with a 67-52 victory.
In the first quarter, Taylor Wischmeier scored 10 of his team’s 18 points, while Cody Allman was a force in the third, scoring all eight of his points, and Brett McCory came off the bench and nailed his second and third 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and had eight points.
Braves coach Dave Benter said the second-quarter lapse was a matter of not adjusting defensively.
“They just played with a lot quicker pace than what we did,” he said. “A lot of that credit goes to them and how quick they played. I told coach (Scott) Newcomb after the game that I thought they competed harder than what we did. It was just a matter of them not making shots. It would have been a really close game if they would have made some shots.”
The Braves turned around a 2-for-12 second-quarter shooting performance by being more selective and going 14-for-22 in the second half.
Brownstown was up 12 points on Spencer Allman’s second 3 of the game at 3:20 of the third quarter and a jumper at 1:35, and the Braves led 49-35 on Jalen Snodgrass’ steal and lay-in on Eastern’s inbounds pass at 59 seconds.
Eastern’s shooting fell off in the second half, going 8-for-32, and the Musketeers only broke past a double-digit deficit once, off of Doebler’s 3 at the top of the key at 4:32, but McCory answered on the other end on an assist from Ryan Shoemaker.
“I thought we got really good shots there in the fourth quarter,” Benter said. “Brett stepped out and hit a couple shots, and Cody Allman was really active and he did a lot of really nice things for us.”
The Braves’ first-quarter lead never rose above five, and they had an 18-13 advantage after one.
They let Eastern hang around the rest of the half, but the Braves came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring the home team 22-13 and taking their first double-digit lead on Spencer Allman’s 3 at 3:20 of the third.
Wischmeier took game honors with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Michael Leitzman chipped in 12 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter and McCory contributed 11.
Paul Hensley and Todd Albertson carried the Musketeers, scoring 14 points and 13 points respectively.
Benter said two statistics in the game stood out, and those things will have to change if the Braves want to earn the MSC title tonight when they travel to Corydon Central (14-3 overall, 7-0 in MSC).
“(Eastern) got more offensive rebounds (7) than us (5), and… Eastern had eight steals to our four tonight, so that just showed that I thought our guys were real lackadaisical defensively at times,” Benter said. “We’re a team that for the most part this year has generated a lot of steals, and we were not able to do that.”
And Benter expects the Panthers to be just as solid as the Musketeers.
“They are real similar,” he said. “They play at a really quick pace, they shoot the ball really well, really get off the dribble, so we’re going to have to contain the basketball, we’re going to have to guard the 3-point shot a little better and then we’ll have to win the battle of loose balls.”
ROWNSTOWN — The surroundings were familiar for Clint Waskom on Saturday afternoon at Brownstown.
But instead of playing or coaching for the Brownstown Central Braves, Waskom was on the sideline as first-year head coach of the Crothersville Tigers. On top of that, it was against his former head coach, Dave Benter.
In this game, the Tigers succumbed to the undefeated, No. 1 team in Class 2A 66-39 as the Braves celebrated Senior Day.
“It was weird to be on the opposite sideline, but at the same time, it was great, and I’ve got just a ton of respect for this community and the coaches and the athletes here at Brownstown,” Waskom said.
“I could write a book about the great memories that I had being a part of this program as a basketball player here, playing four years varsity for (Benter), and as a coach here under his system for the five years I got to spend doing that.”
Defending the Braves’ 6-foot-8 Taylor Wischmeier caused problems for two of Crothersville’s trio of big men, Mathew Lucas and Corey Lewis, as they got in early foul trouble.
Meanwhile, Wischmeier was perfect from the floor in the first quarter and scored 10 of his team’s 17 points, while the Tigers turned the ball over six times and trailed 17-7 after one period.
Crothersville’s only field goal in the second was Zach Elliott’s layup in transition at 5:57, and Cameron Royalty made two free throws, but the Tigers had six more turnovers. Brownstown only had one the entire half, and the Braves ended the quarter on a 14-0 run to lead 36-11 at halftime.
“I haven’t coached too many halves where we only had one turnover, so any time you can have three or four or less in a half, that’s a really good job taking care of the basketball,” Benter said. “For the most part this year, we have taken care of the basketball, but the last couple games, we have gotten careless at times, so it was really good for us to come back and take care of it.”
Crothersville turned the tide in the third period and made an 11-4 run by the 3:30 mark. Lucas’ bucket inside at 7:02 began the spurt, and three other players scored.
“We go in down 25, and if we lay down and die right there and don’t come out with any heart or effort or intensity, we could easily let that team put us down 45, 50 points like some other teams have earlier in the year and give up,” Waskom said. “But my guys…they came out and fought, and that’s one of the things I’ve been trying to tell them is no matter what the score is, up, down or tied, you’ve got to fight buzzer to buzzer every game, and I feel in the second half we did do that a little bit.”
Out of a timeout, though, the Braves gained some ground and held a 49-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and their lead expanded to 31 twice in the final eight minutes.
Wischmeier topped all scorers with 23 points, and he and Brett McCory led the team with six rebounds apiece. Spencer Allman added 11 points and Jalen Snodgrass 10, both coming off of the bench. Wischmeier, Allman and Snodgrass each had two 3s, while McCory and Michael Leitzman each had one.
Elliott was the only Tiger in double figures, scoring 10 points, while Lewis had eight points and Lucas had seven points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Seniors Wischmeier, Leitzman, Cody Allman, Ryan Shoemaker and Kelley Wagner began their careers at the freshman level, playing under Waskom, and Benter said they’ve worked hard to get to this point.
“It’s not like these guys have been prima donnas and have been given everything,” he said. “I told our younger guys, you’ve only got a few more weeks to learn from these guys, to watch them. These guys have proven they can play, but there’s a way to carry yourself on the court and there’s a way not to carry yourself on and off the court, and I think Brownstown would be real proud of the way these guys carry themselves on and off the court.”
While coaching against one of your former players is “never a fun situation,” Benter said Waskom has the Tigers headed in the right direction.
“They’ve got some young guys who are going to be good players if they’ll just keep working and keep the same attitude that they have,” Benter said. “They are going to be a team that a lot of teams probably don’t want to play the next couple years.”
Both teams face conference opponents this week, as Crothersville (3-14) plays host to Henryville on Tuesday and Lanesville on Friday and Brownstown (17-0) travels to Eastern (Pekin) on Friday and Corydon Central on Saturday.
Crothersville 7 4 15 13—39
Brownstown 17 19 13 17—66
Brownstown Central (17-0): Ryan Shoemaker 0-4 0-2 0, Michael Leitzman 3-10 0-0 7, Cody Allman 2-7 2-4 6, Taylor Wischmeier 8-14 5-5 23, Kelley Wagner 2-6 0-0 4, Spencer Allman 4-8 1-2 11, Jalen Snodgrass 4-4 0-0 10, Brett McCory 1-4 0-0 3, Jake Olson 0-3 2-2 2, Wade Toppe 0-1 0-0 0, Kyle Wischmeier 0-1 0-0 0, Trey DeHart 0-0 0-0 0, Scott Baker 0-0 0-0 0, totals 24-62 10-15 66
Crothersville (3-14): Chase Ackeret 1-4 0-0 2, Anthony Martin 1-4 0-0 2, Zach Elliott 4-9 0-1 10, Ryan Gabbard 1-2 2-2 4, Corey Lewis 2-6 4-4 8, Mathew Lucas 3-10 1-2 7, Cameron Royalty 1-7 2-2 4, Richie Whipple 0-2 2-2 2, Logan Oakes 0-1 0-0 0, Chris Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Joe Sawyer 0-0 0-0 0, Bradley Gabbard 0-0 0-0 0, totals 13-45 11-13 39
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (S. Allman 2, Snodgrass 2, Wischmeier 2, Leitzman, McCory), Crothersville (Elliott 2)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 32 (Wischmeier 6, McCory 6, C. Allman 5, Leitzman 5), Crothersville 29 (Lucas 9, R. Gabbard 6, Lewis 5)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 6, Crothersville 17
Fouls: Brownstown Central 16, Crothersville 17
Crothersville 4 6 15 15—40
Brownstown 14 10 14 7—45
CLARKSVILLE — There is nothing better than team effort.
On Monday at Clarksville, the Brownstown Central Braves applied early pressure that shook up the Generals, and they turned that into points, leading 24-11 after one period of play and improving to 7-0 in the Mid-Southern Conference with a commanding 79-41 win.
Three starters and two players off of the bench scored in the first period, and the points were distributed nicely throughout, ending with four in double figures.
“Our press is almost effective every game,” said Braves senior Cody Allman, who scored 12 points in the game. “It’s good to come out and press like that because we like to take advantage of them because we’ve got a pretty good set lineup for press.”
Also, the presence of Brownstown’s 6-foot-8 Taylor Wischmeier prevented Clarksville from penetrating the lane and forced them into outside shots. He was solid from the floor with a game-high 25 points and 14 rebounds and four blocks.
“He protects the rim so well,” Braves coach Dave Benter said of Wischmeier. “We forced them into shooting jumpers, and that’s what we hope to do, and we were able to do that. Then, I thought he did a really nice job inside protecting the paint, and offensively, he put a lot of pressure on them inside.”
Wischmeier’s eight-point, six-rebound effort in the first period got the Braves started offensively, while Spencer Allman had a 3-pointer and scored off of a steal, Brett McCory nailed a 3 off of a General turnover and Cody Allman added four points.
Clarksville, meanwhile, was held to 5-for-14 shooting from the floor and had five turnovers in trailing by 13 after eight minutes of play.
Play got a little out of whack in the second quarter, with the teams combining for eight turnovers. The Generals were within 10 on scores by Cory Brown and Billy Edelen, but Clarksville only made three field goals in the period.
Ryan Shoemaker, who finished the game with 11 assists, found Michael Leitzman all alone under the basket with 51 seconds remaining in the half for a 39-18 score that held through to the break.
“We got in the passing lanes and got a couple easy baskets out of it and got us in the flow of things offensively,” Benter said of the press in the first half. “I thought it led us to some easy baskets. In the second quarter, (Clarksville) did a nice job of adjusting and they hurt us a little bit in the first three or four minutes, and I thought we were really sloppy offensively with the basketball. Then, the last three or four minutes, I thought we regrouped.”
The Braves’ lead reached 25 points in the third quarter on baskets by Wischmeier at 4:23 and 1:49, and there was a 27-point difference in the final 1:15 when he had an offensive put-back and Jalen Snodgrass made two free throws. Snodgrass scored all nine of his points in the quarter, and the Braves led 59-34 entering the fourth.
In the final period, the Generals’ shooting fell to 3-for-17 and the Braves outscored the home team 20-7. Five Braves scored in the fourth, and Jake Olson banked in a 3-pointer at 1:29 for the final scoring of the night.
Following Wischmeier’s 25 points, Cody and Spencer Allman and McCory each finished with 12 points.
“I thought Ryan and Taylor played fantastic games,” Benter said. “(Cody) was really active offensively and defensively, and he makes so many hustle plays for us and does a lot of little things, and he played with a great effort. Then, I thought Michael and Jalen came out in the second half and played better, and I thought Spencer got better and then I thought McCory probably had his best game as a varsity player tonight.”
Edelen was the only General in double figures, scoring 10 points, and Aidan McEwen had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Monday’s game was originally scheduled for Friday, but was postponed because of the weather. Cody Allman thought, however, that the team came out ready to go.
“Coach wondered about us coming into tonight’s game with it being canceled, and he said he didn’t know how we’d perform, but we came out and I thought we performed pretty well,” Allman said. “With four people in double figures, nobody’s selfish on the team, and that’s the best part about it.”
Now, the Braves (16-0) will turn their focus to Thursday night’s home game with Crothersville.
BROWNSTOWN — Taylor Wischmeier reached a milestone on Saturday night, and in doing so helped the Brownstown Central boys basketball team keep its perfect season going.
Wischmeier’s fourth basket of the night, at 6:53 of the second period, raised his career point total to 1,001 points, becoming the 12th Brownstown player to reach 1,000 points.
Wischmeier and Michael Leitzman scored 23 points each to spark the Braves to a 71-46 win over Paoli on Brownstown’s winter homecoming.
Wischmeier was the first to admit that he couldn’t score that many points without the help of his teammates.
“It’s a big accomplishment individually, but team is much more important,” the 6-foot-8 senior said. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my guards, Ryan (Shoemaker) and Michael (Leitzman), to be able to get the ball and create space. Spencer (Allman) really helped tonight to stretch the court out and to give me some room to work inside.”
Wischmeier’s big basket came on a feed from Shoemaker.
Coach Dave Benter complimented Wischmeier for reaching 1,000 points.
“There are 12 guys in the history of Brownstown to have reached that milestone, and there has been a lot of basketball played at Brownstown,” Benter said. “I’m really proud of him. He’s put a lot of time in. He’s turned himself into a really good player the last four years, so that is really a huge accomplishment.”
Leitzman’s point total was a career high and it marked the seventh straight game he has scored in double figures.
“Michael played a really good game,” Benter said. “He was really aggressive. He can really score and create offense for us when he’s aggressive. He’s been pretty aggressive in a lot of games this year.”
Leitzman had an excellent night shooting, going 7-for-10 from the floor and 7-for-8 at the free-throw line. He also had three rebounds and four steals.
Leitzman opened the scoring with a 3-pointer from the left wing and the Braves were in the driver’s seat to stay.
After Paoli’s Logan Laswell dropped in a layup one minute into the game, the Braves scored 13 straight points, and they increased their lead to 21-8 at the end of the period. Wischmeier scored the first four points during that run.
Leitzman was hot throughout the period with 13 points. He converted a three-point play and followed up with a rebound basket to raise the score to 14-2, then hit his second 3-pointer of the night, plus two free throws, in the final 20 seconds of the period. He was 5-for-5 from the floor in the period.
Wischmeier scored Brownstown’s first two baskets of the second period and Allman hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 28-10 at 5:15.
Allman, who finished with 13 points, played in his first game since Jan. 15 as he missed four games because of having mononucleosis.
“We were trying to ease him back into it,” Benter said. “He’s got to get his legs back under him, but it was good to have him back.”
Wischmeier scored eight and Allman five points in the second period to help the Braves to a 36-19 lead at the half.
After Laswell opened the third-quarter scoring with a layup, Wischmeier scored a pair of layups and Shoemaker made a shot to boost the Braves’ lead to 42-21.
The Braves held a 46-27 lead when Leitzman became a one-man offensive force with two free throws, a jump shot, a layup and two more free throws for eight straight points and a 54-27 lead. Wischmeier also had eight points in the third period.
Allman had the hot hand for Brownstown in the fourth period with six points.
Benter was not happy with the way his team handled the ball as it committed 18 turnovers, including five each in the first and second periods.
“We really didn’t take care of the ball at all,” he said. “That was our big negative area tonight. Other than our turnovers, I felt like we played OK. We can’t come out and have 18 turnovers.
“Paoli did a nice job putting pressure on us and getting after us with the full-court and the half-court some. Early in the third period, they played us straight man and jumped out of their man a little bit, and we just got sloppy with the basketball at times. We’ve got to take better care of the ball.”
Shoemaker’s task was guarding Laswell, who finished with 26 points to lead the 9-7 Rams.
“Ryan had some turnovers, but other than that he really played a nice game,” Benter said. “He had eight assists and eight steals. For the most part, he made Logan work for his points.”
Tonight, Brownstown will take its 15-0 record and No. 1 ranking in Class 2A to Clarksville for a Mid-Southern Conference game that was postponed on Friday because of the weather.
Paoli 8 11 9 18—46
Brownstown 21 15 20 15—71
Brownstown Central (15-0): Michael Leitzman 7-10 7-8 23, Ryan Shoemaker 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor Wischmeier 9-14 5-7 23, Cody Allman 0-3 1-4 1, Jalen Snodgrass 2-5 0-1 4, Spencer Allman 5-7 2-2 13, Matt McCory 1-1 0-0 3, Trey DeHart 1-1 0-0 2, Jake Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Wade Toppe 0-1 0-0 0, Scott Baker 0-1 0-0 0, totals 26-46 15-22 71
Paoli (9-7): Logan Laswell 10-19 6-8 26, Tate Smith 0-5 0-0 0, Thomas Springer 4-8 0-0 11, Trent Manship 1-6 4-4 7, Cody Raymer 0-2 0-0 0, Clay Brunette 0-2 0-0 0, Griffen Brown 1-4 0-0 2, Aaron Key 0-0 0-0 0, totals 16-46 10-12 46
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (Leitzman 2, S. Allman, McCory), Paoli (Springer 3, Manship)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 25 (Wischmeier 9, Shoemaker 3, Leitzman 3, C. Allman 3), Paoli 19 (Laswell 7, Smith 5)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 18, Paoli 19
Fouls: Brownstown Central 15, Paoli 15
Paoli 8 3 6 8—25
Brownstown 8 22 18 8—56
Brownstown Central (11-0): Evan Eggersman 21, Olson 12, Toppe 6, Kyle Wischmeier 6, Skylar Thompson 4, DeHart 3, Ellis Gallion 2, Baker 2
CAMPBELLSBURG — After his team blew a 10-point lead in the first period and was outplayed over the final five minutes of the second period of Tuesday’s basketball game at West Washington, coach Dave Benter said he told his Brownstown Central team at the break that it needed to be pick up its intensity in the second half.
“I told them we made it to the half without anybody getting three fouls,” Benter said. “I thought we really established some defensive energy early in the game, and then we picked up some fouls. I thought we got outhustled the last five minutes of the half.
“I told them we needed to re-establish that kind of energy. We had two or three guys I didn’t think were being aggressive enough offensively and physical enough and active enough. I challenged them and told them it was going to take more than two or three guys offensively.”
The Braves overcame a 22-21 halftime deficit by scoring the first nine points of the third period and outscoring the Senators 23-6 overall in the quarter to pull away to a 57-44 win.
Taylor Wischmeier, who scored six points in the first period but none in the second, got hot in the third with 10 points to lead the Brownstown attack. Wischmeier opened the second-half scoring with a basket inside to put the visitors on top to stay.
Cody Allman followed with a layup, Wischmeier scored off an offensive rebound, Michael Leitzman converted a three-point play and Wischmeier followed with three more layups for a 36-22 lead at 2:45.
The Senators had four turnovers and missed their first four shots of the third period before Josh Green scored at 2:22.
Brownstown’s Ryan Shoemaker then hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, Brett McCory added a 3-pointer from the left wing and Jalen Snodgrass hit a 10-foot jumper in the final 30 seconds of the period to set the score at 44-28 going into the final period.
“I thought our movement was better in the second half,” Benter said. “(Wischmeier) has to be more active inside than what he was in the first half. He’s got to demand the basketball and get in situations where he’s open and pin the middle guy or seal one of the wings. I thought he was much more active in the second half inside and looked to get the ball in scoring positions.
“Our guards did an outstanding job all night of getting him the basketball when he was open. Ryan, Michael and Cody played outstanding games. I didn’t think Jalen, Brett and Taylor were near aggressive enough in the first half, and I thought those three came out in the second half and really played well.”
Snodgrass, McCory and Wischmeier combined for six points in the first half and 26 in the second half.
The Braves shot 8-for-18 in the first half, and then made 9-for-13 in the third period.
“I thought we had some guys come out (more aggressive) in the second half, and our ball movement was really good,” Benter said. “We turned some defense into offense. We did a lot of nice things in the third quarter.”
Brownstown’s man-to-man defense forced the Senators into 10 turnovers in the first period and 18 for the game.
The Braves, however, were a little too aggressive on defense at times as the Senators shot 9-for-11 at the line in the first half. West Washington made 15 of 19 free throws overall to 8 of 15 for Brownstown.
Wischmeier topped the Braves with 18 points and seven rebounds and Leitzman added 10 points.
Clayton Sullivan topped the Senators with 19 points, including 10-for-11 at the line, while Green added 10 points.
The Senators (8-7) outrebounded the Braves 10-4 in the first half and 20-14 for the game.
“That’s just effort,” Benter said. “We’ve got to play with more effort and energy. That’s a perfect stat that shows effort, and I thought we were much better in the second half.”
CHARLESTOWN — Coach Dave Benter was hoping his Brownstown Central boys basketball team could build up an early lead on Friday night at Charlestown so he could rest the regulars for what is expected to be a stiffer test tonight at Corydon.
The Braves did a good job of executing that game plan as they scored the first seven points of the game, led 16-2 after four minutes, 28-16 at the half and rolled to a 58-38 Mid-Southern Conference win.
“We got off to a really good start,” Benter said. “They came out in that box-and-one (against Taylor Wischmeier) and we had guys make shots. I thought our movement was really good and we got some easy buckets inside.”
Jalen Snodgrass got the ball rolling in the right direction for the Braves with a 3-point basket from the right corner. Michael Leitzman made his first shot and Snodgrass converted a rebound and it was 7-0 at 6:32 of the opening period.
After Kyle Hayes scored in the lane for the Pirates, Snodgrass added another 3-pointer from the corner and Leitzman added a 3-pointer later in the period to boost BC to a 16-6 lead after one.
Benter said he thought his team lost some of its focus at the start of the second period.
“After we got that lead, I thought we were pretty nonchalant the rest of the half and a little too relaxed,” he said. “It was a tight basketball game there on through halftime.”
Wischmeier moved around more in the second period as he made three free throws and a pair of baskets late in the half to help the Braves to the 12-point cushion at intermission.
Benter said he liked the way his team picked up its defensive intensity in the third period when the Pirates shot 1-for-9 from the floor. “We came out in the third quarter and established ourselves defensively and held them to two points in the third quarter,” he said.
After Wischmeier and Charlestown’s Joe Wilson traded baskets in the first three minutes of the third period, the Braves scored the final 11 points with Trey DeHart and Cody Allman combining for nine of those. DeHart drove along the baseline and scored and later hit a 3-pointer, while Allman made a layup and two free throws.
Brownstown held a 41-18 lead going into the fourth period, and Leitzman opened the scoring in that period with his second 3-pointer of the night and added five more points in the period as the Braves coasted to their sixth straight MSC win and spoiled Charlestown’s homecoming.
Benter said he liked the balanced scoring as Leitzman scored 15, Wischmeier 14 and Snodgrass and DeHart 10 each.
“They really tried to take Taylor away, and I thought our other guys showed we have other guys that can score,” he said. “I wanted my other guys to be aggressive when they attacked. Taylor struggled offensively, but to his credit, he had a huge presence on the defensive end protecting the rim and rebounding. He had 10 rebounds and four blocks. I thought Jalen, Michael, Ryan (Shoemaker), Trey and Cody all did a nice job of creating and making shots and attacking.”
The Braves shot 21-for-48 from the floor, while the Pirates were 14-for-46.
Wilson topped the Pirates with 13 points, while Tim Hall had nine rebounds.
Brownstown held a 35-22 advantage in rebounds.
“We were able to rest our guys at the end because (tonight’s) game is a huge game for us,” Benter said. “Besides the end of the first period and the second period, I was pretty pleased.”
Benter recalled in the Brown County game a week ago his team built up an 11-3 lead, but let most of that lead slip away. He says his team needs to do a better job of staying focused and continue to increase its lead.
The Braves, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 2A, are 13-0. Benter said he doesn’t feel like his team is affected by the ranking.
“All it does is bring out the other teams’ best game,” he said. “The No. 1 ranking means absolutely nothing right now. I think our guys understand that. They know they’ve got to bring their A game every night. They’ve got to be ready to play, and our guys were ready to play tonight.”
Charlestown is 7-6 overall and 2-3 in the MSC.
Corydon is 4-0 in the MSC. The Panthers defeated Paoli 58-51 on Friday night and are 10-3 overall.
Brownstown 16 12 13 17—58
Brownstown Central (13-0): Michael Leitzman 6-11 1-4 15, Ryan Shoemaker 1-3 0-1 2, Cody Allman 1-3 3-4 5, Taylor Wischmeier 5-15 4-6 14, Jalen Snodgrass 4-7 0-0 10, Trey DeHart 4-5 0-0 10, Brett McCory 0-4 2-2 2, Wade Toppe 0-0 0-1 0, Jake Olson 0-0 0-0 0, Scott Baker 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle Wischmeier 0-0 0-0 0, totals 21-48 10-18 58
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (Leitzman 2, Snodgrass 2, DeHart 2), Charlestown (Braun, Poteet, Odle, Williams)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 35 (T. Wischmeier 10, Shoemaker 5), Charlestown 22 (Hall 9, Coyne 4)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 12, Charlestown 17
Brownstown 8 11 13 13—45
Charlestown 11 8 10 13—42
BROWNSTOWN — Some high school basketball wins are harder to come by than others, and Austin made Brownstown Central work hard for a Mid-Southern Conference win on Tuesday night.
The game was tied at 17 with five minutes remaining in the second period when the Braves went on an 8-3 run to take a 25-20 lead at the half, then increased their lead to 14 points at the end of the third period and won 62-54 to stay unbeaten at 12-0.
A layup by Brett McCory increased Brownstown’s lead to 51-35 with 6:40 remaining before the Eagles went on a 9-0 run and used a basket by Zach Edwards to make it a 51-44 game with 4:17 left.
Austin’s Ben Raichel hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut Brownstown’s lead to 52-47 with three minutes remaining, but that was as close as the visitors could get.
The Braves, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, had a chance to boost their lead back to double digits but made only 9 of 17 free throws in the final period. Brownstown was 18-for-31 for the night.
Braves coach Dave Benter said he felt like his team played well in stretches.
“From the four-minute mark in the third quarter to about six minutes left in the game, I thought we had a stretch where we played really well,” Benter said. “I thought our guys were attacking. We got the ball inside, and we got some stops. But then I thought we got really comfortable. It was more at the offensive end. We missed our free throws and we quit attacking. I thought we got really passive at the offensive end by not getting the ball to Taylor (Wischmeier) and by our guard penetration. I thought we were really indecisive the last six minutes.
“Edwards and Raichel both got going there. They hit some tough shots. Some of that was our fault for letting them get back in the game, get their confidence and get going. They’ve got a really nice basketball team. They’ve got a lot of guys that can score. They are a very good passing team. They were physical with us, and we were fortunate to hold on.”
Edwards scored 11 points in the final period and topped the Eagles with 18, while Raichel scored six of his 16 points in the final period.
Brownstown held a 30-21 advantage in rebounds. Wischmeier had 10 boards for the Braves, while Brad Deaton topped the Eagles with nine.
“We missed some blockouts,” Benter said. “I thought they beat us to some loose balls, and then there were a couple of times they lulled us to sleep and got easy cuts to the basket and they hit a couple 3s. They’re probably the best 3-point shooting team we’ve faced this year so far. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes, especially the last six minutes.”
Wischmeier and Michael Leitzman hit 3-point shots to help the Braves take a 10-9 lead at the end of the first period.
Wischmeier made three baskets and Leitzman was 4-for-4 at the line in the second period to help the Braves to the 25-20 lead at the break.
Wischmeier had another strong game for the Braves with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Snodgrass shot 4-for-5 from the floor and scored 12 points and Leitzman added 10 points.
“We took care of the ball for the most part,” Wischmeier said. “We jumped out to a big lead. We’ve got to hit our free throws at the end.”
Brownstown had 10 turnovers and Austin had 19.
Brownstown was without Spencer Allman and Kelley Wagner, both out with mononucleosis. This was the second game Allman has missed and the first game Wagner has been out.
Both Benter and Wischmeier said not having those two players hurts Brownstown’s depth.
“Spencer comes in and hits big shots for us, and he’s a good defender,” Wischmeier said. “Kelley is a big guy off the bench, and not having him hurt us because we didn’t have any depth against their big guys. Austin played very hard. We’re getting everybody’s best game every night. We’ve got to come out ready to play. We’ve got to bring our best game every night.”
Benter said, “Obviously, we’d like to have those two back, but we were fortunate we didn’t have to sit anybody for long stretches. Jalen had to sit in the first half, but the guys we brought in I thought did a nice job. Injuries and illness are part of basketball, and that’s what I told the guys before the game that there are no excuses. I expect the new guys to step up.”
Brownstown shot 20-for-40 from the floor while Austin made 21 of 45.
The loss snapped a nine-game win string for the Eagles and left them 3-2 in the MSC and 11-3 overall.
The Braves, 5-0 in the MSC, travel to Charlestown on Friday and to Corydon on Saturday for a pair of conference games.
BROWNSTOWN — No Spencer Allman in the lineup. No problem.
That was the scenario the Brownstown Central boys basketball team had to deal with on Friday night in their home game with Brown County. Braves coach Dave Benter was hoping another player would step up with Allman, their second leading scorer, being out of the lineup because of an illness.
The Eagles were coming into this matchup with one thing on their minds and that was to defeat the Class 2A No. 1 Braves. As it turned out, the Braves had an answer in Michael Leitzman, and they dashed any hopes of the Eagles winning with a 58-39 win to remain unbeaten on the year.
“Obviously, Spencer is a real big part of what we do,” Benter said. “He is a kid with size that can shoot the ball and play on the perimeter. He can guard on the inside. I think he is our second leading rebounder.
“We really need him back, but I thought we had a lot of guys step up, and I thought the seven guys that played tonight played really well. Brown County has a nice team. They are big, athletic and physical and have a good guard in that (Bailey Howard) kid. I thought for the most part we defended him pretty well.”
In the beginning of the game, the Braves picked it up offensively, jumping out to a 9-0 lead with four different players scoring. Leitzman hit the first basket, Taylor Wischmeier followed with a 3-pointer, Kelley Wagner got an assist from Ryan Shoemaker and Jalen Snodgrass had a basket.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard when Caleb Wedan knocked down a 3-pointer. Wischmeier added his fifth point of the quarter to give the Braves an 11-3 lead, but the Eagles scored the final seven points of the quarter to cut the lead to 11-10 after the first quarter.
The Eagles had several chances to take the lead in the first quarter but squandered them away with two turnovers and four missed field goals.
The Eagles went on a 5-0 run to take a 17-16 lead with 2:37 remaining in the second quarter. But on the Braves’ next trip down the floor, Wischmeier hit a shot under the basket to put the Braves back on top and he added another basket for the 20-17 lead.
The Eagles knotted up the score at 20-all with a 3-pointer, but Cody Allman made one free throw to give the Braves a 21-20 halftime lead. There were two lead changes and two ties in the first half.
The Braves’ smallest lead the rest of the game was 25-24, but Leitzman hit another 3-pointer to push the advantage back up to four. With the Braves leading 30-28, Brett McCory drained a 3-pointer, Wischmeier hit two free throws and Shoemaker had a deuce to extend their lead to 37-28 after three quarters of play.
“In the second half, I thought we were more aggressive against their zone,” Benter said. “In that first half, we stood around, and in the second half, I thought our guards attacked the basket more. Our big guys were more active. It seemed like we got more loose balls in the second half and the long rebounds. We didn’t do that in the first half as much.”
The Braves pulled away in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Eagles 21-11. The Braves used the foul line to their advantage, going 11 of 13. The Eagles were 2 of 5 from the foul line in the quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Braves had trouble handling the ball, leading to a couple of turnovers, but the Eagles couldn’t take advantage of those mistakes.
“They went to that run and stop and we turned the ball over several times,” Benter said. “I told the guys with our experience that we shouldn’t be making those kinds of mistakes. I thought our guys adjusted and starting making some layups.”
Wischmeier finished with a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Braves. Leitzman added 12 and McCory had six.
The Braves finished the game 18-for-21 from the free-throw line, while the Eagles were 8-for-13. Also, the Braves outrebounded the Eagles 41-26. The Braves had 12 assists and six steals.
Howard led the Eagles with 11 points.
The Braves, who improved to 11-0, will play host to Austin on Tuesday night.
SELLERSBURG — For the second straight game, the Brownstown Central Braves kicked it in gear in the second half.
But this time around, it was a whole new ballgame with a twist.
On Friday night, playing at Silver Creek, it was a game between two teams undefeated in the Mid-Southern Conference.
The energy favored the Dragons for the first two and a half quarters. Then, the Braves began their comeback, and in the final minute, things got interesting and finally went Brownstown’s way.
Following Taylor Wischmeier’s free throws at 50 seconds to tie the game at 60, Ryan Shoemaker made the biggest play of the game by stealing the ball on the Braves’ press in the backcourt and dishing the ball to Michael Leitzman, who was fouled and went 1-for-2 from the line.
Silver Creek’s Cody Jackson missed a 3-point shot on the next possession, the ball went long and Shoemaker came up with the rebound and threw the ball out of a trap to Cody Allman, who made a layup for a 63-60 lead with 15 seconds to go.
Out of a timeout, Jackson missed another 3-pointer, Spencer Allman rebounded the ball and was fouled. He hit 1 of 2, sealing the 64-60 win.
“We were trying to press and get them to turn the ball over and try to get them to play quicker than what they do, and I thought I could pick it up,” said Shoemaker, who finished with six points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“The guys up front did a nice job of trapping (Silver Creek’s Grant Meyer) and I kind of read his eyes and I knew he was going to pass it over to the side, so I made a break on the ball and got a steal for us.”
Braves coach Dave Benter agreed that Shoemaker’s steal made a big difference.
“It was a huge, huge possession right there,” Benter said. “Our guys made some big baskets late and we got some big defensive rebounds late. But I really thought Silver Creek outplayed us probably 29 or 30 minutes of the game, and we’ve got to learn from that, that we can’t get frustrated, we’ve got to move the basketball, we’ve got to contain the basketball, we’ve got to rebound.”
Silver Creek certainly controlled the energy level from the get-go. The Braves’ 6-foot-8 Wischmeier picked up two quick fouls within the first 22 seconds of the game, sending him to the bench.
From there, the Dragons took over, scorching the nets with 18 points and holding the Braves to nine points on 4-for-13 shooting and 1-for-3 from the free-throw line.
Anthony Everage scored eight of the Dragons’ first-quarter points, and he began the second quarter with a baseline drive to increase his team’s lead. The Braves were within 23-17 at 3:49 when Jalen Snodgrass grabbed an offensive rebound and tossed the ball to Spencer Allman, who passed down low to Shoemaker for a layup.
The Dragons then outscored the Braves 8-3 for a 31-20 lead at halftime.
“We finally learned what it was like to play without Taylor, and that’s the first time he’s been in foul trouble all year,” Shoemaker said. “When he’s not in the game, we really try to get to the basket and make more offense. We’ve got to help generate points by scoring baskets or finding open people.”
The teams traded baskets early in the third period, and after Meyer’s transition basket for a 10-point lead, the Braves scored 10 straight for a tie game. It began with Spencer Allman’s baseline drive at 5:30 and ended nicely at 3:11 with Shoemaker’s assist to Wischmeier for a two-handed slam.
Out of a timeout, Michael Bradley scored to begin a 6-0 run by Silver Creek, and the Dragons led 43-37 going into the fourth.
The Braves made it a two-point game twice in a 22-second span, and then broke a tie and held onto the lead.
“We switched our defense a little bit,” Benter said of the second half. “I didn’t think we moved the basketball well enough in the first half. There were several times where we just kept it on one side of the court. I bet there were four or five times we had the basketball in the lane and guys stripped it or bumped us and we coughed it up. I thought our guys were a lot tougher in the second half, we got to the foul line, we made our free throws in the second half. I thought offensively we were much better in the second half.”
Wischmeier led the Braves (10-0, 4-0) with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Spencer Allman and Leitzman each scored 12 points.
Everage was the sole Dragon to reach double digits, carrying his team with 26 points. The Dragons fell to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the MSC.
On Friday, the Braves play host to Brown County.
“You’re not going to be able to just get 11 points in a couple possessions,” Benter said of being down at halftime. “We knew it would take all 16 minutes, and it did and we made some big plays. To our guys’ credit, they didn’t panic, defensively or offensively, but we gave up way too many layups and way too many open 3s and fouled too much, didn’t block out well. We made a lot of mistakes and are very fortunate to win this basketball game.”
Shoemaker added, “It’s really our first test with a really close game this year, and even though we didn’t play the best in the first half, I think we responded well late in the game, and it showed some character coming back and getting the win.”
BROWNSTOWN — It was another fine finish for the Class 2A No. 1 Brownstown Central Braves on Tuesday night.
But if you saw the first two quarters of the game, you would have questioned how the game would end.
The Braves, however, applied pressure and finally hit their inside shots in the second half for a 67-26 win over Southwestern (Hanover).
After a lopsided, uncharacteristic first half for Brownstown, the Braves went on runs of 9-0 and 7-0 in the third quarter and outscored the Rebels 29-4. The 29 points were more than the Braves had at halftime (20).
The Rebels were shut down in the final two quarters on the Braves’ man-to-man defense, and Brownstown opened the third quarter with back-to-back steals in the half court, and Spencer Allman and Taylor Wischmeier capitalized.
The Braves shot 13-for-20 in the third quarter and 19-for-31 in the half, compared to 9-for-32 in the first half.
“We’ve played a lot of good second-half games so far this year, and Coach said we are a better second-half team and we need to make corrections to be a good all-around team,” Braves sophomore Jalen Snodgrass said. “But we made a lot of adjustments at halftime and came out and executed all of the adjustments.”
It was all about patience and waiting for the perfect shot.
“In the second quarter, it got a lot better, we were more patient and played good defense,” Snodgrass said. “Our defense led to our offense. Our press really did damage to them in the second half. They couldn’t break our press, and we just kept stealing it and scoring points off of it.”
In the first quarter, the Braves missed their first eight shots from the floor before Kelley Wagner grabbed the offensive rebound and scored at 3:31 for a 2-2 score. The Rebels pushed their lead to 9-4 in the final minute on Austin Ames’ score, but Wischmeier scored on the inbounds play for a three-point game.
Following Caleb Jones’ 3-pointer to open the second quarter, the Rebels didn’t score again until two free throws at 1:31. Meanwhile, the Braves scored 10 consecutive points, kicked off with Cody Allman’s layup on a nice pass from Ryan Shoemaker from behind the arc and ending with Snodgrass’ third steal of the game at 2:15 for a 15-12 lead.
Spencer Allman had a three-point play and Wischmeier scored with less than a second left on the clock for a 20-14 lead at halftime.
“I thought we defended pretty well in the first half,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “I just thought in the first quarter we took some really bad shots. In the second quarter, we got good shots, we missed a lot of easy shots, and then in the second half, I thought we played as well as we have all year.
“It was just more of our guys moving the basketball. I told them for us to get easy baskets, we’re going to have to get some stops and force some turnovers and get some easy looks. We generated a lot of offense from forcing turnovers and defensive rebounding. We rebounded the ball exceptionally well tonight (38-16 advantage).”
The Braves opened the fourth quarter with Snodgrass lobbing the ball up to Wischmeier for a two-handed slam, and the lead grew to 43 twice in the final two minutes of the game on a 3-pointer by Trey DeHart and a layup by Wade Toppe.
Wischmeier led all scorers with 24 points, and he completed a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds. Michael Leitzman was the other Brave in double figures, scoring 11 points. Eleven Braves scored in the game.
Southwestern was led by Caleb Jones’ seven points, including the team’s only two 3-pointers.
As for how his team started the game, Benter said, “I hope our guys learned from that. We can’t come out and expect to score after one pass and take bad shots. We’ve got to get good shots and move the basketball quickly and be willing to pass the ball eight to 10 times if we have to on a certain possession.”
ELNORA — It may have been Spencer Allman’s only points of the game, but his 3-pointer at 4:04 of the fourth quarter made all the difference.
That finally gave the Brownstown Central Braves some breathing room in Wednesday’s championship game of the Graber Post Buildings Holiday Classic at North Daviess. That created a six-point advantage for the Braves, and they held on to defeat the host school 46-37.
It also was a chance for 6-foot-8 Taylor Wischmeier to show who was boss in the post. The Braves senior reached double figures for the third straight tournament game, scoring 30 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, and it was his second straight double-double.
For their efforts during the tournament, Wischmeier was named the most valuable player and Allman was named to the all-tourney team.
“It’s nice,” Wischmeier said of earning MVP, “but winning (the tournament) was a lot better. After the way we came down here and played the last two years (third and fourth place), we really wanted to win this.”
Eleven of Wischmeier’s 12 field goals were in the post, many times scoring off of teammates’ careful passes down low.
“They were basically playing behind me the whole game, so (his teammates) had a clear angle to get me the ball,” Wischmeier said. “But then they were dropping two and three guys on me and I’d either get a shot and be fouled or somebody would be open for me to get the ball to and they hit a shot. Overall, it was a good team effort to win this game, good defense, everything.”
Last winter, North Daviess defeated Brownstown 42-38 in the third-place game, and the Braves were familiar with the Cougars’ patient playing style. That’s what the Cougars did to win that game, and they tried it again on Wednesday, especially in the second half.
“We knew that’s how we were going to have to play, and we were just fortunate enough to get a couple of stops we needed and get some separation,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “Taylor did an outstanding job inside. Our guys, to their credit, did a great job of getting him the basketball in the scoring position. It’s not like they came down and force-fed it into him. They were really patient getting the ball inside to him.”
Wischmeier scored all of the Braves’ 12 points in the first quarter, and Brownstown had a one-point lead after one.
Jalen Snodgrass converted off of a steal 32 seconds into the second quarter and the teams traded baskets until Stetson Townsend’s three-point play tied the game at 16.
Brownstown then scored six unanswered points and caused North Daviess to turn the ball over twice. Kendall Wittmer hit two shots for the Cougars to get within two, Wischmeier scored on the other end and Nelson Graber hit a 3-pointer at 47 seconds for a 24-23 score.
Wischmeier added two free throws in the final second for a three-point lead at the break.
Wischmeier tallied eight of the Braves’ 10 points in the third quarter, but the Cougars regrouped and shot 5-for-8 from the floor and were within 36-34 entering the final period.
After two Braves free throws, Graber knocked down another 3 at 7:18 to get within one. Soon after, Ryan Shoemaker assisted Wischmeier inside, and halfway through the period, Allman hit his 3 and Wischmeier followed it up with a big block on defense.
Those were without question the plays of the game.
“That was huge,” Benter said. “That really hurt them right there because that gave us enough separation where we didn’t have to gamble anymore on defense. We could play straight man-to-man, and they really had a hard time scoring.”
Wischmeier added, “They were getting some momentum, they were coming back, we hit that shot and got those stops and got some momentum and we never let it up.”
A turnover by North Daviess at 1:32 also went in the Braves’ favor, and Brownstown contained the ball the rest of the way.
“(The Cougars) are good at what they do, and I thought our energy was good,” Benter said. “I started to think we lost our composure a little bit defensively and got frustrated late in the third, early in the fourth quarter, and we regrouped and played well the last few minutes of the game.”
Six Braves scored between two and four points.
Wittmer led the Cougars with 15 points.
The Braves improved to 8-0 and are off until Jan. 8, when they travel to West Washington.
“It’s getting to be a really good tournament, so it’s really good preparing us for later on,” Benter said. “From last year (at the tournament) to the end of the season, we made a ton of improvement, but we cannot be satisfied. We’re not even close to where we need to be, so we need to stay hungry and we need to make improvements from this point on.”
That was the scenario for the Class 2A No. 2 Brownstown Central Braves on Tuesday when they played 2A No. 6 Forest Park in the Graber Post Buildings Classic at North Daviess High School.
The two teams met in the finals of the Southridge Regional last winter, and the Braves pulled that game out 55-47.
On Tuesday, after trailing 16-14 after one quarter of play, the Braves began creating problems for the Rangers, and Brownstown keyed in on its transition game to take a 31-24 lead at halftime and sailed to a 61-39 win.
That puts the Braves in tonight’s championship game with North Daviess (7-2), which defeated Washington Catholic 47-40 on Tuesday.
“We knew that as good as they are defensively, we’re going to have to get some easy baskets, and we were able to do that,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “They’re explosive, too, so we knew that we had to defend for 32 minutes and couldn’t let up, and I thought our guys definitely did that.”
The Rangers kept it close in the first quarter by making two big 3-pointers, while the Braves zeroed in on their inside cuts, and the lead never went above four.
Forest Park began fumbling in the second quarter, turning the ball over eight times. Brownstown, meanwhile, had six players score.
Spencer Allman, who was 3-for-14 from the field in Monday’s game, opened the game 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line, and his consecutive field goals within the final 1:06 gave the Braves a 31-24 lead at halftime.
“What I was frustrated with in the first quarter was that our guys weren’t running the floor and being real sharp with ball movement, and then in the second quarter we started getting some shots and really running the floor and getting some easy baskets,” Benter said.
And it wasn’t just one player doing that. It was practically all of the Braves.
“It’s contagious,” Benter said. “One guy runs the floor and all of a sudden you’ve got other guys starting to run and get easy baskets. We were able to get a lot of easy baskets because of our defense and running the floor. I was really excited the way we defended the last three quarters.”
Forest Park made only one field goal in 14 attempts in the third quarter and two field goals on 14 attempts in the fourth.
Brownstown, on the other hand, was 13 of 22 in the second half.
Taylor Wischmeier scored inside on an assist from Ryan Shoemaker at 2:02 of the third and a minute later sank a 3-pointer on an assist from Jalen Snodgrass, and the Braves led 49-31 going into the final period.
Allman had three transition buckets in the fourth quarter, and his team led 60-36 on the third one at 4:32. The Braves held a 25-point lead on a Wischmeier free throw at 3:33 and held the Rangers to three points the rest of the way.
Wischmeier had a solid all-around game with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, five blocks and a couple of steals.
“Taylor had a fantastic game,” Benter said. “He had the post guys really frustrated, but I thought up and down, all of our guys that played really played awfully well the last three quarters. In the first quarter, a couple times we were late getting on their shooters, but after that, we really did a nice job of containing the ball and Taylor protected the rim.”
Allman led all scorers with 19 points.
Forest Park had only one player, Nathan Bromm, in double figures. He finished with 11 points.
From having the right energy level and balanced scoring to playing good half-court defense, Benter said his team was on target.
“We’ve got to have other guys, not necessarily scoring, but attacking and putting pressure on the defense and looking to either score or create, and they all did that tonight,” he said. “That’s why we had so much success because if we’re able to defend and be balanced like that, then that’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
North Daviess has won six straight going into tonight’s game.
“They are going to slow it down,” Benter said of the Cougars. “We’re going to have to maximize our offensive possessions, we’re going to have to defend, we’re going to have to take care of the basketball and our guys are going to have to understand that.”
Graber Post Buildings Classic at Elnora
Brownstown 14 17 18 12—61
Forest Park 16 8 7 8—39
Brownstown Central (7-0): Spencer Allman 8-12 2-2 19, Ryan Shoemaker 3-4 0-0 6, Michael Leitzman 2-3 1-2 5, Cody Allman 3-4 0-0 6, Taylor Wischmeier 7-13 2-4 17, Kelley Wagner 2-2 0-0 4, Jalen Snodgrass 2-4 0-0 4, Brett McCory 0-0 0-0 0, Wade Toppe 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Scott Baker 0-0 0-0 0, Trey DeHart 0-0 0-0 0, totals 27-44 5-8 61
Forest Park (6-2): Grant Welp 2-10 2-2 7, Zach Hulsman 1-6 1-1 3, Nathan Bromm 3-9 5-5 11, Kyle Wilgus 1-6 0-0 3, Colin Welp 1-4 1-2 3, Caleb Williams 2-7 0-0 4, Jake Meyer 0-2 0-0 0, Trent Theising 2-3 0-0 5, Jesse Begle 1-1 0-0 3, Lynk Kordes 0-1 0-0 0, totals 13-49 9-10 39
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (S. Allman, Wischmeier), Forest Park (G. Welp, Theising, Wilgus, Begle)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 24 (Wischmeier 10, Wagner 5), Forest Park 22 (Hulsman 5, Bromm 4)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 15, Forest Park 20
Fouls: Brownstown Central 13, Forest Park 10 (fouled out: G. Welp)
OTHER TOURNAMENT SCORES FROM TUESDAY:
Cloverdale 62, Springs Valley 54
Barr-Reeve 60, South Knox 44
North Daviess 47, Washington Catholic 40
3 p.m. -- Springs Valley vs. South Knox (seventh place)
4:30 p.m. -- Cloverdale vs. Barr-Reeve (fifth place)
6 p.m. -- Forest Park vs. Washington Catholic (third place)
ELNORA — Facing 6-foot-9 Mitchell Patton of South Knox didn’t bother Brownstown Central’s 6-foot-7 Taylor Wischmeier one bit.
Wischmeier scored a game-high 26 points, pulled down five rebounds and blocked five shots in the Braves’ 50-28 win on Monday in the first round of the Graber Post Buildings Classic at North Daviess High School.
The Braves led 21-18 at halftime, but outscored the Spartans 29-10 in the second half.
Brownstown’s next task won’t be as simple. Tonight, the Class 2A No. 2 Braves (6-0) will play No. 6 Forest Park (5-1), which knocked off Class A third-ranked Barr-Reeve (6-2) 58-56 in Monday’s nightcap.
Also on Monday, Washington Catholic defeated Cloverdale 58-56 in the opener and North Daviess topped Springs Valley 50-40 in the third game.
“It’s really good to come and face some really good teams here in this tournament,” Braves coach Dave Benter said after Monday’s win. “Barr-Reeve and Forest Park are quality teams, quality programs. We’re going to have to play extremely well offensively and defensively, and hopefully we’ll come out and play well.”
In last year’s tournament, the Braves won their first game and lost their final two. The losses were against teams that slowed down the tempo of the game, and that’s what South Knox did early in Monday’s game.
Wischmeier scored nine of his team’s 13 points in the first quarter, and the Braves led by four after one.
Wischmeier assisted Kelley Wagner down low for a 15-9 score in the second quarter before South Knox’s Levi Blubaum hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key at 6:22.
The Spartans stayed within four the entire period and trailed by three after 16 minutes of play.
“I thought we were really just kind of lethargic offensively,” Benter said of the first half. “Defensively, I’m not sure we played that poorly in the first half. I thought we took a couple quick shots offensively, and I didn’t think our ball movement was great. Another thing was I didn’t think we were scoring at all in transition.”
All of that changed in the second half.
Patton scored inside at 7:47, but he didn’t score again until a free throw at 2:21, and that was the Spartans’ only points of the third quarter. Meanwhile, Wischmeier scored 12 of the Braves’ 16 points, and he set a screen in the final seconds, allowing Jalen Snodgrass to drive in for a layup for a 37-21 lead.
Of the team coming out strong and outscoring South Knox 16-3 in the third, Benter said, “It was necessary because it’s not a team you want to let hang around, with the big guys and they’ve got some depth in guards. I thought we kind of took them out of what they wanted to do offensively, and then we were able to get some easy baskets out of it.”
In the fourth quarter, Brett McCory came off the bench and hit back-to-back 3s, with his second one giving the Braves their largest lead of the game, 50-25, at 1:35.
Patton scored nine of his team’s 10 points in the second half, when the Spartans shot a dismal 3-for-23. He led South Knox with 15 points and seven rebounds, and the team shot 22 percent (10-for-45) from the field.
“In the second half, I thought our guys really asserted themselves defensively,” Benter said. “Then, we were able to get out in transition. I just thought our ball movement was sharper, and I thought guys moved the basketball quicker and guys were attacking not so nonchalant.”
The Braves shot 38 percent (19-for-50), and behind Wischmeier’s 26 points was Spencer Allman with eight.
“I thought he struggled a little offensively in the second quarter,” Benter said of Wischmeier, “but I thought he really came out in the third quarter and really asserted himself. He protected the rim well.
“I thought our perimeter guys did a nice job of putting on ball pressure and taking (South Knox’s) vision away so they couldn’t get the ball in cleanly to (Patton). Our guards, in the second half, did a better job of attacking off the dribble and breaking their defense down a couple times. I thought our team defense was outstanding almost the whole night.”
BROWNSTOWN — For the second straight ballgame, the Brownstown Central boys basketball team had a slow start.
In the early stages of the Braves’ home game with Mitchell on Saturday night, the tempo was a little slow, but the Bluejackets held their own.
In second quarter, though, the Braves slowly pulled away, and they eventually won the game 69-36 to move to 5-0 on the year.
“We did start a little slow tonight, but they (Mitchell) had a lot to do with it,” Braves coach Dave Benter said.
“They took care of the basketball, guarded us at half court, they scored a little bit, but as the game moved on, I thought we turned them over a bit and turned that into some of our offense.
“We struggled to score in the first half in the half court. We have to get better scoring in the half court, and I don’t think we moved the ball quick enough. Our ball movement has to be a little bit sharper and crisper.”
The Bluejackets had the early 2-0 lead when Jimmy Bales scored on a layup. That, however, would be the only time they would lead as Spencer Allman put the Braves on top for good by connecting on a three-point play with 6:29 left in the first quarter, and Taylor Wischmeier sank two free throws for the 5-2 lead.
The Bluejackets then got within one point on two different occasions, but Wischmeier gave the Braves the 14-10 lead after the first quarter. Allman scored eight points and Wischmeier six.
“We did make silly mistakes, and we had stretches there where we had a hard time getting into the flow of the game offensively,” Benter said. “As the game went on, we got a few easy baskets from our defense that got us back into the flow. I thought our energy on defense got a little better.”
The Braves extended their lead to 17-12 in the second quarter when Wischmeier connected on a three-point play. The Bluejackets cut it to three, but the Braves scored four straight to increase their lead to 21-14.
The closest the Bluejackets got the rest of the game was 21-16, but the Braves scored the next 14 points. Mitchell’s Tyler Blackburn hit a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the second quarter to end the Braves’ scoring streak and close out the first half.
The Braves outscored the Bluejackets 21-9 in the quarter.
Wischmeier had 13 of his game-high 22 points in the first half and Allman added 12 of his 14 points.
The Braves’ defense stepped up in the third quarter, forcing the Bluejackets to turn the ball over seven times. The Braves scored the first six points of the third quarter to take a 41-19 lead.
The Braves had runs of 7-0 and 6-0 to take a 57-22 lead after three quarters of play.
“Mitchell went to the triangle-and-two in the third quarter,” Benter said. “We hadn’t seen that all year, and it was nice to see it. We ran it in practice, and I thought we did a nice job of handling it.”
Mitchell finished the game with 19 turnovers, while the Braves had 12. The Braves outrebounded the Bluejackets 30-17, and Allman had a team-high nine and Wischmeier collected six.
“We got some good contributions off the bench,” Benter said. “I thought Kelley Wagner, Brett McCory and Jalen Snodgrass gave us some good energy off the bench. We are going to need more than two guys scoring.”
Brandon Owens led the Bluejackets with 12 points and David Wintczak added 10.
“South Knox has a real quality team, and our bracket is absolutely loaded,” Benter said. “We have to be able to score in the half court, and we played a lot of different defenses tonight. We have to be able to guard teams straight up.”
Mitchell 10 9 8 9—36
Brownstown Central (5-0): Spencer Allman 5-9 3-4 14, Ryan Shoemaker 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor Wischmeier 7-11 8-10 22, Michael Leitzman 5-9 1-2 11, Cody Allman 0-1 0-0 0, Jalen Snodgrass 4-6 0-0 9, Kelley Wagner 2-4 0-0 4, Jake Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Brett McCory 2-3 0-0 4, Wade Toppe 2-2 0-0 5, Trey DeHart 0-1 0-0 0, totals 28-50 12-16 69
Mitchell (2-6): Braden Speer 0-2 0-1 0, Taylor Phillips 1-7 2-4 5, Brandon Owens 4-11 4-5 12, David Wintczak 5-6 0-0 10, Darron Tanksley 2-3 1-2 5, Jimmy Bales 1-3 0-2 2, totals 14-35 7-15 36
3-point goals: Brownstown Central (S. Allman, Toppe, Snodgrass), Mitchell (Phillips)
Rebounds: Brownstown Central 30 (S. Allman 9, Wischmeier 6), Mitchell 17 (Wintczak 4, Tanksley 4, Bales 4)
Turnovers: Brownstown Central 12, Mitchell 19
Mitchell 11 9 0 0—20
Brownstown 12 15 17 15—59
BROWNSTOWN — Coach Dave Benter says his Brownstown Central basketball team needs to be sharp from the start every time it takes the floor for a game.
When the Braves aren’t focused, that leads to mistakes that are not acceptable to Benter, and they enable the other team to hang around on the scoreboard.
Benter said his team lacked focus at the start of Friday’s Mid-Southern Conference game against North Harrison, resulting in the Cougars holding a 10-9 lead with 2:25 left in the first period.
The Braves went on a 7-0 run the remainder of the first period, then outscored the Cougars 15-7 in the second period and 33-21 in the second half for a 64-38 win.
“I was really disappointed with our mental approach, not just the first quarter, but throughout the night,” Benter said. “I thought they were the more aggressive team, the more physical team. It showed with the number of offensive rebounds they had.
“Their effort was better than ours at times, and that really disappoints me. We really struggled at times against Salem, but I thought we played hard that first night. I told our guys after the game that they cannot come out with the same mental approach that we had tonight. It is really disappointing to see our guys come out, especially with the experience we have, and play with that kind of effort. I thought North Harrison played hard and physical.
“I didn’t think we moved the ball real well in the first half. I thought our ball movement was a little better in the second half. We’ve got to come out from the start moving the ball, attacking for 32 minutes, taking good shots.”
In the final two minutes of the first period, Taylor Wischmeier hit a 12-foot jumper in front of the basket, Ryan Shoemaker followed with a layup and Spencer Allman drained his second 3-pointer of the night to put the Braves on top to stay.
Wischmeier dropped in a pair of layups in the first 50 seconds of the second period to give the Braves their first 10-point lead of the night.
After the Cougars closed to 20-17 on a basket by Alex Edwards at the 2:30 mark, the Braves came to life offensively with Michael Leitzman hitting a 12-foot jumper from the right wing, Jalen Snodgrass following with 2- and 3-point shots, Wischmeier adding another layup and Leitzman making two free throws to close the scoring for the half.
The Braves shot 13-for-29 from the floor in the first half and 22-for-47 on the night, while the Cougars were 6-for-23 at the half and 13-for-54 for the night.
Allman had a hot hand for the Braves in the third quarter as he scored back-to-back baskets, with the second being a 3-pointer at 6:12, that gave his team a 38-19 lead.
He also had two free throws and another 3-pointer in the period for 10 points and finished with 19. He also had seven rebounds.
“We worked the ball around the perimeter a lot,” Allman said. “Our guards, Michael and Ryan, penetrated a lot and kicked it out to Taylor, Jalen and me. It was just a total team effort tonight.
“We come out pretty slow in the first half. We moved the ball a lot better (in the second period). We were standing a lot in the first quarter. We started cutting a lot more.”
Wischmeier finished with 20 points and topped the Braves in rebounds with eight.
Lincoln Jones topped the Cougars with 13 points.
North Harrison outrebounded Brownstown 32-27.
“We’ve got guys that have been in big games that understand you can’t take possessions off, that you can’t get frustrated when things aren’t going well,” Benter said. “We got frustrated, and we didn’t play with a sense of urgency all the time.
“I thought our press hurt them at times. It sped them up a little bit, and we were able to force some turnovers. We didn’t hustle back and gave up a couple of easy baskets, but for the most part I thought our press was pretty effective.”
The Braves, ranked No. 4 in Class 2A this week, are 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the MSC and will be home to Mitchell tonight.
“Coming into the season, we were ranked,” Allman said. “It was just a matter of backing it up and showing we could play. Preseason rankings don’t really mean a whole lot. It’s what you accomplish on the floor. We’re going to have to come in a lot more focused (against Mitchell).”
BROWNSTOWN — It took the Brownstown Central basketball team a few trips up and down the floor to find its rhythm against Scottsburg on Friday night.
Once the Braves got into their offensive flow and turned up the pressure on their press, there was no stopping them.
The Braves outscored the Warriors 10-2 over the last 2:45 of the opening period to take the lead for good to roll to a 76-53 Mid-Southern Conference win.
“It all started defensively,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “I thought a lot of our offense in the first half and at the start of the third quarter we generated with our defense. I thought our press was real effective, and I thought our half-court man-to-man was real effective also. That was huge for us being able to get some easy baskets from that in transition.
“Once we settled down to their initial pressure and traps, I thought we did a really nice job moving the basketball with guys cutting to open areas and getting good shots.”
Scottsburg committed seven turnovers in the opening period, and the Braves turned several of those into easy baskets.
Michael Leitzman hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to get the Brownstown offense going at the 4:52 mark.
The Warriors held a 9-8 lead with three minutes left in the opening period before Leitzman scored his second 3-pointer and a layup and Ryan Shoemaker and Taylor Wischmeier drove in for layups. Wischmeier completed the 10-0 run with a free throw for a 15-5 lead.
Cody Allman hit a 3-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer for an 18-11 score at the end of the quarter.
“Once we got in the flow, where we started scoring better, we were able to press and extend our defense more, and that really helped,” Benter said. “I thought our guards did a really nice job taking the middle away from them and trapping at the right time. We’ve got Taylor in the back at 6-8 to protect the basket. Defensively, overall I was pleased with the way we defended.”
The Warriors closed the gap to 20-15 three minutes into the second period before the Braves went on an 8-0 run with Jalen Snodgrass, Leitzman and Wischmeier combining for the points and a 28-15 lead with 3:05 left in the half.
Wischmeier had three baskets inside in the period as the Braves held a 32-20 lead at the half.
Brownstown stayed hot offensively at the start of the third quarter as Cody Allman and Leitzman scored to increase the margin to 37-20 at the 6:52 mark.
Allman and Wischmeier both went 3-for-3 from the floor in the period with the team 7-for-9. Wischmeier also had four free throws for 10 points in the third period as the Braves held a 53-33 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Wischmeier added seven and Spencer Allman six points in the fourth quarter, and the Braves increased their lead to the final 23-point margin.
Wischmeier again topped the Braves with 26 points, while Leitzman scored a career-high 18 and Cody Allman scored 11.
Mason Gregory was high scorer for the Warriors with 10 points.
The Braves shot an excellent 27-for-48 from the floor, while Scottsburg shot 22-for-41.
The Braves had 23 assists with Shoemaker collecting 11, and he also had eight steals.
Leitzman said he thought the Braves did a good job of moving the ball.
“Spencer and Ryan did a good job of penetrating and getting to the gaps in that zone and kicking it out, and I had an open look off their passes,” Leitzman said. “The ball movement was real good. Early in the game, we had to adjust to their zone. They mixed their defenses up real well. We started getting some easy points in the press. That got us in a rhythm and we went on from that.”
The Braves are 2-0 in the MSC and 3-0 overall.
Leitzman said, “We lost a lot of key seniors. That senior group last year was real good. They really helped us out a lot. This year, we’ve really been focusing on our defense, and I think our defense has been real good these first three games, and that has led to our offense.”
Benter said, “The last two games, our patience and unselfishness have been absolutely huge for us. That’s got to continue. I thought a few times in the first half we missed guys that were posted inside and could have had layups. In the second half, we did a little bit better job of finding open guys.
“About the only negative was our free-throw shooting,” Benter said as his team was 19-for-30 from the line. “We had some really good free-throw shooters miss a lot of free throws, and that is what I talked to them about after the game. In the tournament last year, we were really solid from the free-throw line, and we’ve got to make our free throws.”
The Braves, fourth in The Associated Press Class 2A poll this week, will be home to North Harrison on Friday and to Mitchell on Saturday.
“Are they good? Absolutely,” Seymour boys basketball coach Scott Miller said after the county rivalry game with Brownstown Central on Friday night at Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
The Owls waited a whole year after losing in double overtime last season to face the Braves again. However, the Braves left no doubt on who was the better team this year as they claimed the 69-49 win over the Owls for their second straight win over their county counterparts.
The weather was a little cool outside, but the Braves warmed things up inside the gym, shooting 50.9 percent from the field, while the Owls shot a dismal 33.9 percent.
What helped the Braves get the win was the way they played in the first quarter. That’s when they shot 9-for-15 from the floor and scored the first five points of the game. Zach Toppe made it 5-3 with a 3-pointer, but Spencer Allman hit his first of three first-quarter 3-pointers.
The Owls’ Matt Trimnell knocked down a 3-pointer eight seconds later to cut the lead to 8-6. The Braves went on a 7-0 run, but Trimnell hit another 3-pointer to end their run. The Braves then scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 22-9 lead.
“First of all, I thought our guys were a lot more focused tonight,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “I didn’t think Tuesday night we were that focused coming out. Anytime you hit your shots, it gives you a lot more energy, and there are those nights where you shoot the basketball well.
“When the guys hit the first couple of shots, it gave them some confidence and got our offense going a little bit. I just thought our mental approach was so much better tonight. This is a new team and we have to create our own identity, and I think they came out and accomplished that tonight.”
Braves senior Taylor Wischmeier scored 10 first-quarter points on 5 of 7 shooting and Allman scored nine points, all from behind the 3-point line. Trimnell had six of the Owls’ nine points.
Besides the fans witnessing a county rivalry game, they also got to see Wischmeier and Trimnell put on a shooting clinic. Wischmeier finished the game 14 of 24 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line for 35 points and Trimnell was 13 of 28 from the floor and 2 of 2 from the charity stripe for 34 points.
The tempo slowed down for both teams in the second quarter, but the Braves didn’t let the Owls get any closer than nine points the rest of the game. Trimnell outscored the Braves 14-10 in the second quarter, but the Owls trailed 32-23 at the break.
“They (Braves) played very well,” Miller said. “Absolutely we got outplayed. They did a good job of shutting down a great deal of our offense, and the ball didn’t go in the hole for us tonight.
“This team is going to learn and play together and learn how to improve. It was a disappointing night, but we have a game (today) so we have to learn from our losses. This was a big game for them (Braves), and we didn’t match their intensity, but we will learn from this.”
Wischmeier got back on track in the third quarter for the Braves, scoring the first eight points for a 40-23 score. Toppe scored two points to end Wischmeier’s streak and it also ended Trimnell’s streak of 20 straight points for the Owls.
At the 4:56 mark of the quarter, Wischmeier collected his second two-handed slam. Allman then had a steal at midcourt and made a layup to give the Braves a 46-25 lead. The Braves took a 55-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We sure didn’t want Trimnell to go off like he did,” Benter said. “He is just an outstanding player and he is so hard to guard because he has such a quick release. He can shoot it from deep, but he is quick off the dribble. To his credit, I thought he hit two or three really tough shots in the first half.
“We thought they had three other guys who are capable of scoring, and we wanted to try and shut them down. I thought Wischmeier was fantastic tonight. Not only does he shoot the ball and rebound well, but he also spreads the floor. He can protect the rim on the defensive end, and that’s what I am so proud of him for by how much he has improved defensively from last year.”
The Owls struggled in the odd quarters as they were outscored 45-18 and shot 7 of 28. In the even quarters, the Owls outscored the Braves 31-24 and shot 12 of 28.
“Trimnell is an outstanding basketball player, and so is Wischmeier,” Miller said. “Those two guys put on a scoring clinic. Fortunately, Matt can create a shot and is an excellent shooter on the move or standing still. The problem tonight is we didn’t get any offense from anybody else.
“We had a bad night and that is all there is to it. We are not going to base our season on this night. We are going to stay positive, and I have said it before and will say it again, I love this basketball team. I love their chemistry and determination.”
Both teams handled the ball well, as each finished with only seven turnovers.
“Our turnovers were low tonight,” Benter said. “I thought our guards did a great job of getting us in our offense and being patient and making them work defensively. Taking care of the basketball is important. I thought all the eight guys that played major minutes played well. Our guys were really selective and got the ball to where it needed to go. From top to bottom, the guys saw the floor and weren’t selfish.”
The Braves won the battle of the boards 36-30. Wischmeier finished with 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive board, and five of Trimnell’s 11 rebounds were offensive.
Allman tallied 16 points and Michael Leitzman added eight for the Braves.
Jacob Carmichael had six and Toppe finished with five for the Owls.
The Owls (1-1) will travel to Franklin tonight, while the Braves (2-0) will play host to Scottsburg on Friday.
BROWNSTOWN — Whenever the Brownstown Central basketball team needed a basket in the fourth quarter against Salem on Tuesday night, Taylor Wischmeier or Michael Leitzman answered the call.
Both seniors scored twice from the field and combined for five free throws and 11 points in the final quarter to help the Braves take a 49-37 win in the Mid-Southern Conference opener for both teams.
Brownstown held a 34-29 lead going into the fourth period before Salem’s Nate Busick hit a pair of free throws with 6:20 remaining to close the difference to 34-31.
Wischmeier scored inside before Leitzman hit a free throw and scored a basket for a 39-31 advantage, and the closest the Lions came after that was four points.
Braves coach Dave Benter said he was glad to have won, but he felt like his team could have played much better at both ends of the floor.
Benter said his team played good man-to-man defense “at times.”
“They slowed it down and played at a really slow pace,” Benter said. “There were a lot of breakdowns defensively as a team. It seemed like we would have one or two guys really competing defensively. We were trying to pick up the pace defensively and it would seem like one of the other guys would lie down and let them move the basketball.”
Benter said it takes a team effort.
“If one guy is not playing the maximum amount of energy, then there is no need for the other four guys to because they’re going to have an outlet pass every single time,” he said. “Just our mental alertness, I thought, was really bad tonight. As a team, we weren’t mentally as sharp and alert. Salem’s guys were catching the basketball and we were eight feet off our man.
“Several times we didn’t contain the basketball. We didn’t pinch on penetration several times. It’s basic fundamentals defensively that we work on every single day that I did not think we got accomplished.”
Spencer Allman lit up Brownstown’s side of the scoreboard with a 3-pointer from the corner 30 seconds into the game, and his second trey gave the Braves a 6-2 lead with 6:45 left in the opening period.
The Lions roared back and moved on top 8-6 on a layup by Zach Bowling at the 4:40 mark.
Wischmeier hit a pair of shots around a basket by Cody Allman, but the Lions were on top 15-12 after one quarter.
Kelley Wagner tied the score at 14 on a 3-point play at 6:51 of the second period.
The Lions went ice cold at the beginning of the second period, missing their first five shots, turning the ball over three times and making only one free throw over that span.
Brownstown also struggled offensively in the period by shooting 3-for-11 from the floor. Wischmeier added a basket and a pair of free throws and Brett McCory hit a 3-pointer to help the Braves to a 22-18 lead at the half.
Leitzman opened the second-half scoring with a pair of free throws and a steal and layup at 7:01 for a 26-18 cushion.
Once again, the Lions roared back and closed the difference to 26-24 before Spencer Allman added another 3-pointer at 3:42. Wischmeier converted a 3-point play and Jalen Snodgrass added a basket to complete the scoring in the period.
Wischmeier topped all players with 18 points, Spencer Allman added 11 and Leitzman had 10. Busick topped the Lions with 12 points.
Salem held a 19-18 advantage in rebounds. Wischmeier had six to top Brownstown and Busick had six to lead Salem.
The Braves finished with 17-for-35 shooting from the floor to 14-for-30 for the Lions.
“We’re going to see a lot of zones,” Benter said. “Teams are going to try and take Taylor away, and we’ve got to have other players step up and make plays. I thought guys were way too passive at times. I didn’t think guys were near enough alert at times.
“You’ve got to have confidence in your ability to make plays. Obviously, not everybody is as talented as one nother, but you still have to understand your role, yet have confidence and be willing to make a play when the defense presents it to you, especially if they are really keying on one or two guys.
“Your first game a lot of times is sloppy, and we were really sloppy at times. We’re going to have to come out and play a lot better Friday night.”
Head coach: Dave Benter
2008-09 record: 20-7
Returning varsity players: Ryan Shoemaker, Michael Leitzman, Taylor Wischmeier, Spencer Allman, Cody Allman, Kelley Wagner, Jalen Snodgrass, Jake Olson
The run to the state finals by the Brownstown Central boys basketball team last winter is something many people will long remember.
But that means the expectations are high for this season’s team.
The Braves lost 6-6 postman Blaze Ayers to graduation in the spring, but they have a core group of players returning, including last season’s best free-throw shooter and rebounder in 6-7 Taylor Wischmeier and point guards Michael Leitzman and Ryan Shoemaker. All three are seniors.
Seniors Cody Allman and Kelley Wagner split their time between junior varsity and varsity last season, and Allman can shoot all over the floor and Wagner can get inside and lay it in or pull down the rebound.
Junior Spencer Allman also returns and provides a threat at the 3-point line, and junior Jake Olson and sophomore Jalen Snodgrass round out the returnees.
That makes eight players returning from last season’s Class 2A state runner-up team.
“I think experience and familiarity with our program is a huge strength,” coach Dave Benter said. “A lot of our primary guys have played in big games. We also have a couple of double-digit scorers returning.”
Benter would like to see his team be quick on both sides of the ball.
“Our lack of quickness is a concern, as that really bothered us against quick, athletic teams last year,” he said. “Also, we have big shoes to fill losing Blaze’s ability to guard and rebound and score. A consistent third scorer and rebounding are also concerns.”
The goals remain the same: winning conference and sectional and improving as the season progresses. The Braves were 7-2 in the Mid-Southern Conference last season.
Benter said the team’s offseason work included more than 20 games, along with practices, lifting and shooting.
“We will miss Blaze Ayers, but the pieces are here to be competitive and compete,” Benter said. “We are looking forward to getting started.”
The Braves will open Dec. 1 at home against MSC foe Salem.