Win advances Mustangs To Thursday Night 37th District Championship Game vs Campbell County and Move On To Next Week's 10th Region Tournament at Holmes High School.
For the first time that the Mustangs have battled their opponents to within four points this season, we picked an opportune time to win our first one in our ninth attempt, 40-38 over the Scott Eagles.
It didn’t come easy, our game plan was to play a 3-2 zone, keep the Eagles, who shoot just 27% from beyond the arc out on the perimeter, and stay out of foul trouble.
But as is our norm, we bring out the best in our opponents, and the Eagles knocked down a pair of threes en-route to out-scoring us 15-6 after a quarter of play. A lesser coach than Scott Code, who drew on his 30 years of coaching experience to “stay with the scout,” and kept our guys in the zone through the second period, where we limited the Eagles to only 4 points as we knotted the score at 17-17 and trailed by a 19-17 chess game deficit at halftime.
The Eagles resumed their 3-point shooing barrage in the third period where they added three more from beyond the arc, with Brayden Howell hitting his second and third of the night, and with eight minutes remaining in one of our basketball seasons, Scott led 28-27.
Pressure free-throws by Anthony Kruse and Brandon Bezold allowed the Mustangs to take the lead at 33-32 and after seeing Scott tie the game at 34s, the Mustangs took the lead for good, but the win wouldn’t come without some anxious moments.
With 5.4 seconds remaining in the game, Scott Big Man Cameron Patterson went to the line to shoot two free-throws. After connecting on the first to make it a 40-38 Brossart lead, it appeared that David Govan rebounded Patterson’s missed second shot, but a held-ball was called and the Eagles took possession of the ball for an inbounds play from under their basket as visions of our previous eight near-miss losses flashed before our eyes.
The ball came in as the Eagles freed Brayden Howell open in the water cooler corner who launched the potential game-winner, as Mason Sepate lunged out to defend him. The shot was off of the mark, the Mustangs rebounded and time expired, sending the Eagles to baseball season, and the Mustangs to the Thursday night 37th District Championship Game and next week’s 10th Region Tournament.
Ironically, just as in Taylor Mill, neither team managed a two possession lead throughout the second half.
We were led in the scoring column by David Govan and Mason Sepate with 12 points each, and received an 8 point contribution from Anthony Kruse. While Brandon Bezold would only contribute two free-throws on the night, they were the two biggest freebies of his career. As a team we shot 50% combined from the field, 15 of 29 from 2 point range, and 1 of 3 from beyond the arc. We were 7 of 10 from the charity stripe, and Luke Schumacher and David Govan combined for 10 rebounds – five each.
The Scott Eagles were led by Brayden Howell, who netted 16 points, including three 3-pointers. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Tournament Team.