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Eagles' zone too much for 'Cats

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GREENCASTLE — Brown County got all the little things done and as a reward will move on to the sectional semifinals with a 55-42 victory against South Vermillion

on Tuesday night in a Class 3A postseason tournament game.

“We really played hard,” Eagles coach Roger Fleetwood said. “We got every loose ball and a dozen offensive rebounds. I’m really proud of our effort and happy for the guys on this team. We’ve been pointing to the sectional since the start of the season.”

Brown County employed a zone defense for most of the game that made the Wildcats’ offense struggle.

“We wanted to make them shoot from outside but really had to keep them from getting inside,” Fleetwood said. “Our defense did that and they didn’t get many second chances. We just fought and fought and fought all night long.”

The Eagles offense didn’t get on track until the second quarter, when they opened a five-point lead at halftime.

Extending the lead in the third, Brown County was up 37-28 with three minutes left when South Vermillion found its touch.

An eight-point run closed the gap, and two quick baskets to start the fourth saw the Wildcats leading 40-39.

It was all Brown County from that point.

The Eagles responded with an 8-0 run of their own, followed by an 8-2 run to close out the game, moving Brown County into Friday’s semifinal match-up against Owen Valley. The win puts them at 6-15 for the season, but most importantly, 1-0 in the tournament.

“We didn’t make any changes when they got ahead,” Fleetwood said. “Our guys just had to be mentally tough. I’ve been on these guys all season about that very thing, and they didn’t fold at all.”

The toughest Eagle was Luke Huls, who came off the bench to lead his squad with a season-high 21 points, all coming in the last three quarters. The junior hit all three of his shots in the fourth quarter.

“Luke’s a streak shooter.” Fleetwood noted. “It was great for him to come up so big in a big game.”

Also in double figures for the Eagles were Steven Norman with 13 and Tony Goral, who had 11 points to go with his eight rebounds and eight assists.

“He (Goral) came to win tonight,” Fleetwood said of his senior guard, who also hit two end-of-quarter shots.

The leading rebounder for Brown County was Dillion Boknecht with 11, as the Eagles won the battle on the boards 38-26. They were 22-of-46 shooting from the field and 2 for 5 from 3-point range, 9 for 12 from the stripe and had 15 turnovers.

The Wildcats, who finish their season 4-18, were led in scoring by Kaden Lawson with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Branz had 12 points.

South Vermillion was 17 for 50 from the field, 2 for 16 from long range and 6 for 10 from the line. They had 11 turnovers.

The Eagles lost a last-second, 48-46 home contest to Owen Valley in the regular season.

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