Bronaugh ousted in district semifinals
Nevada Daily Mail
APPLETON CITY ----
The fifth-seeded Bronaugh Wildcats boys basketball team led the top-seeded Blue Jays of Montrose for three and a half quarters before falling 54-45 in the semifinals of Wednesday night's Class 1 District 7 basketball tournament.
Bronaugh was undone by costly fourth quarter turnovers, in addition to connecting on only 11 percent of their free throws for the game (1 for 9), including a miss on the front end of a second-half one-and-one. When the dust settled, Montrose had outscored the Wildcats 19-8 in the final frame.
"We fell apart in the fourth quarter," Bronaugh head coach Mark Scarbrough said. "Just too many mental mistakes."
With the loss, Bronaugh finishes the season 9-17.
Bronaugh's full-court pressure defense was effective early creating several Montrose turnovers in the back-court leading to Wildcats layups.
Bronaugh grabbed a 28-22 lead with 2:08 remaining before halftime, courtesy of a Bryce Whitworth 5-foot jumper.
Over the next 60 seconds Montrose scored on back-to-back layups from Grady Gatzemeyer and Danny Engeman, slicing the Wildcats lead to 28-26.
Bronaugh sophomore Tyler Strunk gave the Wildcats a four point cushion after hitting a pull-up baseline jumper with only seconds remaining in the half. However, the Blue Jays answered with a quick bucket, trimming Bronaugh's lead to 30-28 at the intermission.
Strunk connected on six shots from the field, scoring a team-high 12 first half points. For Montrose, Jacob Engeman pumped in 14 points.
After a quick bucket by Montrose to open the half ---- tying the score 30-30, both teams went into an offensive funk. Finally, with 5:54 showing on the clock, Bronaugh's Gabe McIntire swished a triple from the top of the key, putting the Wildcats on top 33-30.
On Bronaugh's next possession, 6-foot-5 junior Cole Diggins took an entry pass from Strunk, and went up for the lay-in, giving the Wildcats a 35-30 cushion.
With a chance to increase their lead to seven midway through the quarter, McIntire misfired on a pair of free throws.
"You can't go 1 for 9 from the free throw line (for the night) and expect to win close games," Scarbrough said. "If you go up seven right there in that spot, you put lot of mental pressure on (Montrose). That could have been the difference in the game right there ---- something so small could have been so big."
With 3:14 on the clock, a Danny Engeman lay-in shrunk the Wildcats lead to three at 35-32. Back the other way, Diggins answered with a layup off the left block, upping the Wildcats lead to 37-32 with 1:55 remaining in the third quarter.
After breaking Bronaugh's full-court press, Danny Engeman drove the right-baseline and scored, making the score 37-34.
From there, Montrose went on a 6-0 run, which extended into the fourth quarter, capped by a Logan Swaters close-range jumper, handing the Blue Jays a 40-37 lead.
With 6:45 on the fourth quarter clock, McIntire toed the right-baseline, before pulling up and knocking down an 8-foot jump shot, trimming the Montrose lead to 40-39.
It appeared as though Bronaugh was retaking control of the game when McIntire drilled a corner 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 42-40 edge with 5:35 remaining in regulation. McIntire's trey was followed by a Montrose turnover in the back-court.
However, after passing the ball around the perimeter for 30 seconds during a critical possession, the Wildcats wound up throwing the ball away.
With 4:22 on the clock, McIntire connected on the front-end of a one-and-one, but missed the second, as the Wildcats took a 43-40 lead.
After a Bronaugh defensive stop on the other end, Jacob Engeman came up with a steal underneath his own basket. Engeman went up for the quick score, shaving the Wildcats lead to a single point midway through the quarter.
The Wildcats final points of the evening came with 3:52 on the clock, as Strunk drove straight down the middle of the lane, scoring from 4-feet out to hand Bronaugh a 45-42 lead.
With 2:50 remaining, the 6-foot-2 Hudson crossed his defender over on the right wing, blowing by him and dishing to Diggins, who was fouled on a layup attempt. However, Diggins was off-target on both free throws.
Montrose quickly capitalized on the free throw misses, as Swaters drove and dished to Jacob Engeman for an easy lay-in, reducing the Wildcats lead to 45-44 with 2:32 left in regulation.
After a defensive hold, Gatzemeyer's driving lay-up put Blue Jays back on top, as they led 46-45 with 2:07 left in the quarter.
Still trailing by a point with 1:44 left, a Bronaugh close-range miss resulted in a Montrose fast break layup by Danny Engeman, giving the Blue Jays a 48-45 with 1:39 to play.
"My hat goes off to Montrose," Scarbrough said. "They didn't fall apart. They pulled together and took advantage of our mistakes."
Including the Engeman layup, Montrose ended the game on a 12-0 blitz.
For Bronaugh, Strunk scored a team-high 14 points, but scored only two in the second half. McIntire finished with 10.
Bronaugh's top scoring threat, Hudson, finished with nine points while nursing a lingering elbow injury, which he re-aggravated against Montrose.
Rounding out the scoring for Bronaugh, Diggins dropped in eight, while Bryce Whitworth and Joe Mader chipped in with two apiece.
Montrose's duo of Jacob Engeman and Danny Engeman combined for 39 points, with Jacob going for 25, while hitting 5 of 7 free throws.
With just three seniors set to depart, Scarbrough said he's excited about the 2015-16 season.
"We're going to be really tough next year," Scarbrough said.
Scarbrough said he was impressed with the development of his squad as the season progressed, which he hopes will carry over into next fall.
"Everyone else (in the Golden Valley Vernon County Conference) is losing a lot of seniors," he said. "So it's kind of a perfect storm for us. I think that we put some fear into some other teams (this season), and think we will be somebody to be reckoned with next year."
Scarbrough said if all of his underclassmen return, and remain healthy throughout the offseason, he thinks Bronaugh has a good chance to win the GVVC regular season title.
"Usually I'm not this bold," he said. "But next year, I predict that we will be pretty good, potentially. Anything can happen, but on paper we look pretty good for next year."