The Bruins drove three hours south to near Louisville to do battle with 4A, #18 New Albany. The Bruins and Bulldogs did not disappoint the nearly 1000 in attendance. Both teams exchanged leads and built 9-point leads at one time or another before the Bruins rallied for the 71-70 victory. With the win, the Bruins tie the ’19-20 team with the best start in a season at 6-0.
New Albany (4-3) wasted no time jumping to a 5-0 lead before Luke Brown his first of six 3s on the night to cut the lead to two. The Bruins would tie it minutes later when Brown hit his second three to knot the score at 8. Behind four 3s from Brown, the Bruins would take a 23-15 lead late in the quarter but a foul just before the buzzer lead to two Bulldog free throws cutting the lead to six after one, 23-17. Brown scored 17 of his game-high 33 points in the quarter.
New Albany would hit five 3s of their own, including one at the buzzer, to take a 40-38 lead at the half. It was the Bulldogs first lead of the game since leading 8-5 early. New Albany was able to climb back by limited Brown to just two points in the second thanks to some double teaming, but that left other Bruins in positions to score and keep the Bruins in it. Dawson Hundley had two big 3s in the quarter and Cam Elam added another.
The third looked like the quarter that the Bulldogs would pull away for good. They pushed the lead to 47-41, and later 54-45, before settling for a 7-point lead after three, 56-49. Landon Grimes, who was dominant on the board and unofficially had 13 rebounds, scored five in the quarter. Brown added another four.
Brown hit two free throws to cut the lead to five before New Albany hit a basket on which they were also fouled. The free throw was missed, but the put back by the Bulldogs again gave them a 60-51 lead and thinks looked bleak for the Bruins with just over seven minutes to play. Grimes hit a basket at 6:58 to cut the lead to seven and Luke Brown followed it with a three to cut the lead to four, 60-56. Again, the Bulldogs would respond with a two, but Brown hit one from way outside for his sixth 3-pointer of the game to cut the lead to three.
Then the game really got exciting. A Bulldog basket upped the lead to five before Grimes hit two straight buckets to cut the lead to one, 65-64. After Grimes’s first basket, the Bulldogs defensive specialist who was keeping Brown somewhat in check, Maddox Schmelz, fouled out.
The Bulldogs would again answer to go up three after two free throws. Jack Words scored with 2:02 to play to cut the lead back to one. After the Bulldogs hit one of two from the line, Grimes tied it and Luke Brown put the Bruins ahead 69-67 for the first time since leading 38-37 before the first half-ending three by the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs would take the lead with an old school bucket and free throw to make it 70-69 with 10.5 seconds to play. After a time out that all knew would lead to a Luke Brown shot to win it, Brown raced up the court and fired a bullet to Landon Grimes who had just enough on his man to grab the pass and hit a lay-up with 5 seconds to play. The Bulldogs raced back up the court and got a three up at the buzzer but it didn’t fall sending the exciting Bruins home with a huge win over a very good opponent!
Luke Brown led the Bruins with 33 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. It was the 50th time in his career that he scored 30 or more points in his 70-game career. He hit 11-17 shots for 65%. Landon Grimes scored 19 points and grabbed 13 boards. Jack Wors scored 8 points and added 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Dawson Hundley finished with 6 points and Cam Elam added 5. Max Wors didn’t scored but contributed 2 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Bruins hit 25 of 50 shots for 50% including 9 for 20 from behind the arc for 45%. They also hit 12 of 16 from the free throw line for a respectable 75%.
Brown climbed four slots on the all-time scoring list. He passed Johnell David (21st Century ’20), Logan Irwin (Whitko ’12), Mekhi Lairy (Evansville Bosse ’18) and Anthony Winchester (Austin ’02) to climb to 17th all-time. He now has 2260 points in his career. He also unofficially moved into the 6th spot all-time in free throws made with 515. With his six 3s, he also unofficially moved into the 7th spot all-time with 255 career 3s.
It was the first ever meeting between the two teams.
The JV Bruins were outmatched and dropped their game 53-18 to New Albany. Ethan Morris led the Bruins with 7. Carson Smith scored 5 points. Randy Winger scored 4 points and Dannie Morris added 2. They dropped to 2-3 after the loss.
The varsity Bruins will return to action on Wednesday, December 30th when they head to New Castle for the Raymond James Hall of Fame Classic. The Bruins will face2A, #4 Shenandoah at 11am. Depending on the result, the Bruins will play either 2A, #1 FW Blackhawk or 1A, #1 Barr-Reeve at 6 or 7:30pm. There will be a few tickets available at the gate for those games, but fans should get there earlier than later if they want to get in. More info on how many tickets will be shared early next weeks. There will be more tickets available if Henry County stays CODE ORANGE next week.