Bobcats overcome early deficit, clawed by Panthers, 58-46

Brethren’s Jake Riggs (24) goes up for two of his 13 points in the Bobcats’ 58-46 loss to Baldwin Thursday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Jake Riggs (24) goes up for two of his 13 points in the Bobcats’ 58-46 loss to Baldwin Thursday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — Brethren boys basketball battled from a double-digit deficit on Thursday night, only to see the game slip away down the stretch against Baldwin.

The Panthers were able pull away from the Bobcats in the fourth quarter to win 58-46, to keep their conference title hopes alive and give Brethren a serious blow to its hopes.

Baldwin started the game fast with a 15-0 run in the opening four minutes. In those first four minutes the Panthers were able to work inside-out on the Bobcat zone and make two three-point shots to pull ahead. Panther guard Scotty Anscomb had 8 if his 27 points in the opening quarter.

“Our eyes looked like we were lost at first. I don’t know what we were expecting,” Brethren coach J.J. Randall said.

“I think we worked the ball inside-out against the zone. It always looks good when your outside shots fall,” Baldwin coach Scott Pedigo said.

After going down 15, Randall pulled his starting five and the team began to settle down. The Bobcats starting finding gaps in the Baldwin zone, and started going down low to Logan Tighe towards the end of the first. Tighe scored five points in the final minute of the first quarter to only trail 19-7.

“The guys are in the right spots, but sometimes it looked like we were going up just to throw the ball at the hoop,” Randall said.

Brethren went back to attacking the zone, and foul trouble starting hurting the Panthers to start the second with seniors Amondo Jennings and Blake Dockery each picking up two fouls. They each sat out a majority of the quarter.

Tighe kept banging down low, and Jake Riggs and Nick Kemler started getting involved too. A Kemler three cut the deficit to three at 28-25 with a minute left in the half. Baldwin led 30-25 at the break.

Riggs started fast for Brethren in the second half with four points in the first minute to only trail by one at 30-29, and he tied the game a minute later at 30 after splitting a pair of free throws. The Bobcats would never overcome the entire 15-point deficit though, as Baldwin was able to fight off the momentum.

Anscomb had two tough layups in transition to pull his team up 35-31, and baskets from Dockery and Andre Hobbs helped the team stretch the lead back out at 41-32 with 3:22 in the third.

“We held on to it as long as we could. They tied it at one point, but Scott (Anscomb) stepped up and took kind of a different role than he usually has for us,” Pedigo said.

The Bobcats had one more run in them, with Tighe, Riggs and Kemler each having baskets to make it 43-39 going into the fourth.

“We saw in the second quarter and half that when we executed our offense it could work every single time,” Randall said.

Anscomb put the game away early in the fourth with eight points in the first two minutes to pull back ahead by double digits at 51-40. The teams would battle down the stretch, but the Panthers stayed in the league race with the 58-46 win.

“I think we’re catching our legs. I think it helps that we’re getting healthier. I think we’re all coming together and doing the right things,” Pedigo said.

Brethren was led by Tighe’s 15 points and 9 rebounds, Riggs’ 13 points and 6 rebounds, and Kemler’s 9 points and 4 rebounds.

To go along with Anscomb’s 27, Hobbs had 7, and Dockery and Jennings each added 6.

Brethren (1-3, 1-2) will be back on Tuesday at Fife Lake Forest Area (2-1).

Baldwin (2-2, 2-1) will be back on Thursday, January 4 at home against Mason County Eastern (0-3, 0-3).

Brethren won the junior varsity game 53-38.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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