With all eyes on Luke Brown and Northwestern’s Tayson Parker, the Bruins came out on a shooting rampage in the first quarter hitting their first 5 attempts on their way to hitting 11 of 13 in the opening quarter. The Bruins stunned a near capacity crowd by taking a 16-point lead after one, 28-12.
Tayson Parker finally got hot and had two monster slam dunks to rally the Tigers to within 10 at the halftime, 40-30. He had 17 at the time. Luke Brown had 23 at the half.
The Tigers put more pressure on Brown in the third quarter by using a combination of players to prevent him from getting the ball and shots off. That worked effectively as the Tigers continued to cut the Bruin lead to two, 52-50 after three quarters. Things were looking bleak at the time for the Bruins especially after the tough loss to Andrea on Saturday.
A steal and thundering slam dunk by Parker, who finished with a game-high 34 points, tied the game at 52. It was the first time the game was tied all night. But the Bruins rose to the occasion. The Tigers had a chance to take the lead but failed to do so. Cam Elam then hit a huge three from the right corner to put the Bruins up 55-52. Brown grabbed the rebound after a missed three by Parker and raced up the court before being fouled. He hit both free throws to put the Bruins up five, 57-52.
After another stop, Brandon Stroble hit a three and Brown again got a rebound on another Tiger miss and the Bruins worked to get Elam three to put the Bruins up 11 with 3:40 to go. The Tigers would claw back to within seven points, but the Bruins hit their free throws down the stretch, including 4 of 4 by Max Wors who had missed 2 earlier, to hang on for the 75-65 win.
The Bruins hit 25 of 40 shots from the floor for 62.5% and just missing the record of 68.5% set against Wapahani during the ’90-91 season. But the 14 made three-pointers again tied a program record that had been done twice prior including at Alexandria on December 14. The Bruins hit 60.9% of their three pointers which was just shy of the 65% hit against Peru during the ’91-92 season.
Brown hit 10 of 14 shots from the field including 7 of 10 from behind the arc on his way to 31 points. He added 5 rebounds, 8 assists and a steal.
The bigger story may have been the shooting of Brandon Stroble, Cam Elam and Dalton Willmann. Combined, they hit 15 of 21 shots for 71.4%. Stroble was 7 of 11 and didn’t miss a single shot inside the arc. Elam hit 4 of 6 from the floor of which all 6 shots came from behind the arc. Willmann was 4 for 4 on the night, all from 2-point range. Stroble finished with 19 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists. Elam scored 13 points and added 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Willmann scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. He added an assist. Max Wors hit his 4 free throws for all his points. He added an assist. Steffen Hoover added 2 rebounds.
The Bruins improved to 13-5 with the win. Northwestern dropped to 14-4. It was the 500th career victory for the program dating back to win number one over Adams Central in January of 1970.
An update on Brown and Stroble: Brown now has scored 595 points this year. He is averaging 33.1 points per game. The total is the second most in a season. He only trails his sophomore year total of 805. He also now has 145 assists which passes Jerry Nicely for second is a season. He only trails his sophomore year record of 155. At his current pace of 8.1 assists per game, he should break his own record against Southern Wells on February 21.
Stroble has now scored 266 points this year and has 935 career points. He trails Phil Payne (’74-76) by just 24 points and Phil Jones (’82-85) by 34 points. At his current pace of 14.8 points per game, he should move past Jones into 7th all-time on the scoring list also against Southern Wells on February 21.
More interesting to note is that at their current pace, Brown and Stroble are on pace to do something that has likely never happened in Indiana High School Basketball History. Brown could reach 2000 points for his career the exact same game that Stroble reaches 1000 points for his career….in 6 games. The 6th game would be the first game of the sectional. Stay tuned!
The JV boys, despite not handling the ball well throughout much of the game, defeated Northwestern 56-41 to improve to 13-2. Landon Grimes scored 18 points. Dawson Hundley scored 14 points. Dane Baker added 9. It should be noted that the 6’4″ Grimes, who is the leading scorer and rebounder for the JV, will gain varsity eligibility beginning the Muncie Burris game on Thursday, February 27.
The Bruins travel to Oak Hill for three games on Friday. The frosh tip off at 5pm. The Athletic office has just one reserved seat left to sell. There may be a few online upper level tickets available. You can find them at this URL: https://ticketracker.com/store/selecteventtickets/148101