BROWNSTOWN 77, CHARLESTOWN 41
The Pirates were also big underdogs in their matchup with the Braves, and like Silver Creek, no one had told them.
Charlestown (6-16) hung tough throughout most of the first half and trailed just 13-11 at the end of the first quarter. While the Braves started to create separation in the second period, a layup by Tanner Wesp had the Pirates within 25-20 with five minutes to go in the first half.
But it would be nearly eight minutes before Charlestown would score again.
In the meantime, the Braves ran off 13 straight points, turning a small advantage into a 38-20 chasm. Brownstown upped its ball pressure coming out of the intermission, getting five steals in the first four minutes of the second half, nearly all of which became points on the other end.
“It’s what happens with a young team,” said Charlestown coach Sean Smith. “Brownstown is very good and absolutely playing its best basketball. We didn’t come out and lie down or anything, but we haven’t been very successful against that kind of pressure.”
The Pirates showed some fight on back-to-back baskets from senior Darren Taylor that made it 41-25, but quickly gave up a 7-0 run that extended the Brownstown lead to 23. It was 53-32 early in the fourth period when the Braves’ Cole Borden delivered a rare trifecta — three consecutive 3s that turned what would have been a respectable margin into a total rout.
It was the final game for two Pirate seniors in Taylor and Christian Jackson, who emerged from the Charlestown bench to a big ovation and a basket in the final minute. Still, with the entire starting five returning, it’s tough to imagine the Pirates not being greatly improved next season.
“That’s a decision every player has to make,” Smith said. “Teams that win championships invest their time and if we do that, we could have a much better season.”
Wesp and Hunter Crace had eight points each to lead Charlestown, while Taylor chipped in seven.