Updated: 12:55 a.m., Brown rallies BG boys to win over Bryan (2-27-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer   
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 23:56
BG's LaMonta' Stone (right) shoots over Bryan's Jordan Spiess. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
SWANTON — Bowling Green’s up-and-down season had a striking similarity to its Division II sectional semifinal game Wednesday night against Bryan.
The Bobcats trailed for most of the contest, but Vitto Brown led a late fourth-quarter charge to post a 59-54 victory over the Golden Bears at Swanton High School. PHOTO GALLERY
Brown scored 12 of BG’s final 18 points including 10 straight after the Bobcats were behind 52-41 with 5:14 to go.
BG closed the game on an 18-2 run sparked by Brown’s scoring spurt.
“I knew my team needed me to step up at that crucial moment in the game,” Brown said. “I knew if I attacked the basket and tried to draw some fouls then I would be able to knock down the free throws.”
Brown finished with a game-high 36 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. He was also 9-of-10 from the free-throw line, including 8-for-8 in the final 5:14.
Bryan held a 47-37 lead entering the fourth quarter before BG’s pressure defense began giving the Golden Bears trouble.
The Bobcats cut the lead to 52-41 and went on to force six turnovers in the final six minutes of the game, allowing Brown to take control.
“We knew the first half of the fourth quarter wasn’t cutting it,” said Brown of the BG defense. “They were continuing to have that eight- or nine-point lead and we knew we had to pick it up. It’s all about pride really.”
“We didn’t have a choice. We got our back against the wall,” BG head coach Von Graffin said of the strong final five minutes.
Graffin praised the defense of Evan Gardner and Mitchell Gardner in the waning moments of the game as the two put pressure on Bryan’s guards forcing the bulk of the fourth-quarter turnovers.
“We were able to extend our pressure and we got some things,” Graffin said. “We went smaller tonight and got a little quicker and I thought that was a key.”
But things were not as exciting for the Bobcats prior to the final minutes. In fact, BG was out-played and out-hustled by the Golden Bears for the majority of the game.
Bryan, on the heels of Austin Schimmoeller’s five first half 3-pointers, held a 35-27 lead at the half.
After Lamontá Stone cut the lead to 35-29 Schimmoeller’s catch-and-shoot triple from the wing extended Bryan’s lead back to 38-29.
Schimmoller finished with 22 points, while teammate Sean Culler added 13. The two combined for nine of Bryan’s 10 3-pointers in the game.
“Not at all,” said Brown when asked if his team expected Bryan to be as tough as they were. “(Shimmoeller) really showed up in that first half ... that caught us by surprise. They were also more aggressive than we expected.”
“I told the kids they’d play hard,” Graffin said. “(Bryan) did some nice things on the offensive end in the first half, allowing themselves to get some pretty good shots.”
Stone contributed to Brown’s offensive production with 10 points and seven rebounds, five on the offensive end.
Evan Gardner tallied nine points including one 3-pointer and gave BG its first lead of the second half on a layup with 1:55 to go, making it 53-52. His layup followed Brown’s 10-0 scoring streak.
BG (13-10) plays Napoleon (9-13) in a sectional final on Friday at 8 p.m. at Swanton. The Bobcats were 2-0 in Northern Lakes League play against the Wildcats this year, recording wins of 65-53 and 70-68.
“We certainly won’t overlook Napoleon,” Graffin said. “They’ve already played us tough twice."
“There are seniors at Bryan that want to play tomorrow and there are seniors at Bowling Green that want to play tomorrow and now there are seniors at Napoleon that want to play the next day. It’s a fun time of the year. We’ve got a group that’s capable of doing some things and we can be good and be bad both in the same night.”

Stone, 4-2—10; Donaldson, 0-0—0; Herringshaw, 0-0—0; E. Gardner, 3-1-0—9; M. Gardner, 1-0—2; Brown, 12-1-9—36; Dill, 1-0—2. TOTALS: 21-2-11—59.
Jones, 0-0—0; Shaffer, 0-0—0; Culler, 2-3-0—13; T. Martin, 2-0—4; Schimmoeller, 1-6-2—22; Minor, 0-1-0—3; Spiess, 2-2—6; A. Martin, 3-0—6; Hug, 0-0—0; Rupp, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 10-10-4—54.
BGHS 9 18 10 22 —59
BRYAN 13 22 12 7 —54
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:39

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