Bruins punch ticket to first boys state tournament
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
Photo by Daniela Corry
For the first time since opening its doors in 1982, Brentwood High School has a boys basketball team in the state tournament, beating Wilson Central 60-54 Monday night in the Class AAA sectionals.
“It felt great for about 10 seconds and then they dump water on me and it dampened the whole thing,” Bruin coach Dennis King said after changing into a dry shirt. “Who dumps water in a basketball gym? It didn’t feel good.”
King was ecstatic Thursday when he learned his squad would host Wilson Central, hoping for revenge after being eliminated by the Wildcats in the same round one year prior.
“Very few times in life you get an actual do-over in the exact same game,” he said. “Now we’re going to state when last year they did. It’s unbelievable.”
Leading by as much as 10 points in the second quarter, Wilson Central cut the margin to a single point five minutes into the third quarter following a Matthew Hall basket.
Hall scored several key baskets for Wilson Central in the fourth quarter, giving the Wildcat a 50-49 advantage for 20 seconds before Cody Shelton put Brentwood back on top. The junior forward evened the score 54-54 with 3:43 remaining before the Bruins took control.
Sophomore point guard James McPherson found junior Andy Schumpert on the right block who sealed off his defender and made a layup for the go-ahead points.
“Andy was not going to be denied tonight,” King said. “He had to guard the toughest kid on their team and he’s just got this steely demeanor about him that I could see the last three days in practice. Andy was on a mission.”
Schmupert opened the game blazing, scoring six points in the game’s first three minutes before earning his second foul on a reach-in at midcourt. Wilson Central cut the score to 19-17 by the end of the quarter with Schumpert on the bench, but once he returned the Bruins raced back to a 10-point lead.
Hall and Jacob Williams helped fuel the Wildcats’ third-quarter comeback as Wilson Central outscored Brentwood 17-9. Hall had a team-high 18 points with Williams close behind with 17.
“They are so hard to play,” King said of Wilson Central. “They are so cagey and so well coached in their zone. They made some adjustments at halftime and we had trouble finding shots in the second half.”
Schumpert had a game-high 21 points for Brentwood while McPherson added 10, six coming via two first-quarter 3-pointers.
The Class AAA boys BlueCross Basketball Championships begin March 13 in Murfreesboro. The pairings will be determined by a draw taking place March 9 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesoro.
Maybe by then King will solve the mystery of who gave him the Gatorade bath.
“They won’t tell me who it was,” he said. “I’m going to check the film.”
Posted on: 3/4/2013