Silver Creek came within inches of knocking off Class 3A #8 Brownstown Central for a second time this season but was denied its first sectional game win since 2009. The Braves (20-2) nipped the Dragons (13-8) 52-50 with a basket with one second left to avenge a regular season loss Wednesday night in the first round of the class 3A Salem Sectional.
“The whole game had a championship feel,” Creek head coach Brandon Hoffman said. “It was a series of knockout punches back and forth all night.”
Game two saw two-time defending sectional champion Corydon Central (12-10) take control early and never trail in a 59-46 victory over Charlestown (10-11). The Pirates shot just 22 percent in the first half, found themselves in an 18-point hole at intermission and never recovered.
“We struggled to score tonight,” Charlestown head coach Seasn Smith said. “You have to give Corydon a lot of credit. They play very physical defense. They didn’t let our main guys get going. We had some runners and opportunities around the basket that we just couldn’t get to fall.”
Brownstown 52, Silver Creek 50
The Dragons trailed 9-8 at the end of the first despite shooting just 3-of-11 in the opening eight minutes. The Braves quickly bolted ahead 15-8 with 7:27 left in the second period, but Silver Creek responded. Caleb Sprigler’s triple capped a 10-3 Dragons run that tied the game at 18-18 with 4:47 left until intermission.
Brownstown threw in three from long range in the second quarter and claimed a slim 28-27 lead at halftime.
“At halftime I thought we were in pretty good position,” Hoffman said. “We were only down one despite missing three free throws.”
Creek grabbed only its second lead of the game at 30-28 on a Grant Meyer bucket at 6:56 in the third. The Dragons pushed their lead to 36-32 midway though the third before the Braves answered with an 8-2 run to end the quarter with the lead, 40-38.
“We were up there, 36-32, and were just a few baskets from opening it up,” Hoffman said. “We missed a few layups and then they hit a few shots and then finished the quarter with that bucket at the buzzer. It was just back and forth all night.”
Brownstown extended its lead to 45-40 with 4:37 remaining before Creek made its final push. Caleb Sprigler, who tallied eight of his 17 in the fourth, tied the game at 50-50 with 23 second left. That set the scene for the game’s final play.
The Braves’ star guard, Jalen Snodgrass, drove and found big man Skylar Thompson underneath for the go-ahead basket with one second on the clock. After a Creek timeout, Meyer’s 35-foot shot at the buzzer rimmed off and the Dragons’ season came to an end.
“We did what we wanted to do there at the end,” Hoffman said. “We stopped Snodgrass and made him give up the ball. He just made a great pass finding Thompson. Great players make great plays.”