Each high school basketball team had a four-minute scoring drought Saturday night at Terre Haute South, and one might have expected the Braves’ dry spell to hurt worse.

It came early, enabling highly regarded Brownsburg to go from a 7-7 tie to a 20-7 lead, and if the Braves’ egos were fragile at all after two straight sub-.500 seasons it wouldn’t have been surprising to see some heads drop.

Instead, South clawed its way back to within two points before the half, forged three ties in the third quarter and took the lead — for good, as it turned out — in the last minute of that period. When Brownsburg’s four-minute drought occurred, right after 6-foot-8 Butler-bound Gordon Hayward had fouled out, it enabled the Braves to be on their way to a 72-55 win that looked like a blowout on paper.

“In the first half I thought our kids gutted it out through some foul trouble,” coach Joshua Kendrick said after the game, “but we were not making good decisions with the basketball.”

Foul trouble was not just an incidental factor for the visiting Bulldogs. Hayward saw less than 11 minutes of action before becoming the first of four Brownsburg players to foul out.

South nullified a lot of that advantage by missing 24 free throws — which might be a school record, along with the 55 attempts and the 31 free throws made, although no one was absolutely sure Saturday — and actually could have won even more easily.

“Terre Haute South did a great job switching defenses,” Kendrick said, “and thank goodness they didn’t shoot better from 3[-point range].”

“It was amazing how many steals and deflections we didn’t take advantage of,” coach Mike Saylor of the Braves said. “But other than that — and the free throws — it was a real nice game.”

It was also kind of a strange game, as you might have already guessed from some of the statistics mentioned. Brownsburg was already without its other Division I recruit — 6-8 Julian Mavunga has missed the Bulldogs’ first two games for a violation of athletic handbook policy, Kendrick said — yet for the first nine minutes looked like a team fully able to extend its season-opening winning streak against the Braves.

But after Jake Odum stopped South’s cold spell with a pull-up jumper that cut the lead to 20-9, it was game on for the home team. Twice in the second quarter South had 7-0 runs of its own, the first cutting the lead to 22-17 and the second slicing the margin to 26-24.

“We needed to go out and work harder on defense,” Zach Odum said later. “We were working hard in the first quarter, but then we kind of ran out of gas. But we went to half-court pressure and attacked [the Bulldogs’] small guards.”

“It felt like our team defensive intensity dropped [during the 13-0 Brownsburg run],” said Jake Odum, “and that didn’t allow us to force turnovers.”

“We had to bag what we were going into the game with [defensively],” Saylor said. “We went to a more aggressive style.”

What started working for the Braves was a half-court 3-2 look, out of which they either trapped or went man-to-man. And with Hayward basically useless after the first quarter — he got his third foul 16 seconds into the second quarter, returned for the third quarter and picked up his fourth foul after two minutes, then sat until the fourth quarter, fouling out with 7:18 to play — the Bulldogs had trouble finding someone to score.

South tied the score for the first time since 7-7 when Jake Odum got back-to-back baskets in the third quarter that made it 34-34.

Brownsburg scored four straight, but then John Michael Jarvis got a rebound basket and came up with a steal that set up Zach Odum’s dunk for a 38-38 tie.

A 3-pointer by Brownsburg’s J.T. Cosby was matched by Jake Odum, and then Blake Hall hit another 3-pointer for the visitors’ last lead at 44-41.

South got the last seven points of the third period — two more Jake Odum baskets, then a Jarvis 3-pointer. Hayward assisted on a basket by Austin Fish that cut the lead to 48-46 to start the fourth quarter, but then fouled out. And the Braves pulled away in agonizing fashion, missing 15 free throws down the stretch.

“I liked the spirit of the kids, the way they came out after halftime,” Saylor said later. “We’ve got a real competitive, smart group; they don’t know the meaning of quit.”

Jarvis and the Odum brothers had 19 points each for the Braves, and also combined for 15 rebounds and 14 steals. “That kind of speaks for itself,” Saylor said when hearing the stats. “They made key plays offensively and defensively.”

Cosby had 15 points and Hayward and Hall 10 each for Brownsburg. Hayward still led all rebounders with eight.

“We hope we can keep our energy and our defensive intensity up going on the road,” Zach Odum said. “That’s what’s winning games for us.”

Saylor also emphasized how pleased he was that South’s junior varsity was also a winner Saturday, noting the contributions of sophomores Bryn Schwartz and Chris Rose and freshman Anthony McGill.



Brownsburg 55

Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp

Hayward 4-10 2-2 0-0 8 0 5 10

Hall 4-6 1-3 1-6 5 1 2 10

Watson 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 0 5 0

Fish 1-7 0-3 2-3 3 1 2 4

Nibbs 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 5 0

Cosby 5-12 1-3 4-4 4 0 5 15

Mason 1-3 0-0 1-1 3 1 4 3

Jankowski 2-6 0-4 5-8 5 1 3 9

Stevens 2-3 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 4

Calderon 0-3 0-3 0-0 2 1 4 0

Totals 19-52 4-18 13-24 *43 5 36 55

Terre Haute South 72

Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp

Z.Odum 3-9 0-1 13-22 5 5 3 19

Barnett 1-2 0-1 2-2 3 1 4 4

Harlan 1-2 0-0 1-3 2 0 1 3

J.Odum 8-11 1-2 2-4 4 5 4 19

Jarvis 6-12 2-7 5-6 6 4 2 19

Tanoos 0-0 0-0 1-4 1 0 2 1

Shouse 0-1 0-1 3-4 2 0 0 3

Schwartz 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 0 2 0

Weaver 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0

Austin 0-0 0-0 1-2 3 0 1 1

Worrell 0-0 0-0 1-2 2 0 1 1

McGill 0-0 0-0 2-6 1 1 1 2

Totals 19-40 3-13 31-55 *46 16 22 72

Brownsburg 18 13 13 11 — 55

Terre Haute South 7 19 22 24 — 72

FG Pct. — Brownsburg .365, THS .475. 3-pt FG Pct. — Brownsburg .222, THS .231. FT Pct. — Brownsburg .542, THS .564. (*) Includes team rebounds — Brownsburg 8, THS 16. Turnovers — Brownsburg 22, THS 12. Assists — Brownsburg 10 (Cosby 3, Hayward 3), THS 9 (Z.Odum 3). Blocks — Brownsburg 1 (Jankowski), THS 2 (J.Odum 2).

JV — Terre Haute South 47 (Bryn Schwartz 17, Anthony McGill 13), Brownsburg 42 (Levi Roach 12).

Next games — South (1-0) plays Friday at Lawrence North. Brownsburg (0-2) has a home game that night against Fishers.

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