Already at a rebounding disadvantage in Friday’s Class AAA semifinal with Southwind, Brentwood’s inability to make shots in the second half was a key factor in the Bruins’ 54-32 loss.
“We weren’t going to win this game with second shots,” Dennis King said after his first state tournament appearance in 26 years as coach at Brentwood came to an end. “I’m disappointed at not being competitive to the final buzzer, but that wears off.”
The Bruins (30-5) trailed 21-17 at the half, then hit just 3 of 10 field goal attempts in the third quarter as Southwind began to pull away. A 14-2 run to open the quarter took its toll on any comeback chances for Brentwood, which overcame an 18-point halftime deficit in Wednesday’s 52-49 quarterfinal win over Blackman.
“We tried to speed them up, show them some different things (defensively),” Southwind coach Paul Edwards said. “We tried to get them going a little quicker than they would like to.”
“That was a hard game. That’s a well-coached team, hard to prepare for because they do so many things and they’re so disciplined and patient offensively. They run a lot of stuff. Hat’s off to their coach for teaching them so well and to their players because they execute.”
Southwind (33-6), making its first state tournament appearance, will play Dyer County in Saturday’s championship at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We played our game (in the first half), let the game come to us,” said Brentwood’s Jack Bautista, who had 10 points. “We were patient and we got good looks.”
“In the second half, they started hitting a couple more shots and we had to scramble defensively.”
Southwind’s defensive pressure opened up the transition game for the Jaguars, and Brentwood was unable to match up with 6-9 forward Johnathan Williams, a Missouri signee who finished with 17 points, including 15 in the second half.
“We couldn’t hit a lot of shots,” Brentwood senior guard Asa Duvall said after scoring three points on 1-of-8 shooting (0-of-6 3-pointers). “Their athleticism and size finally got to us.”
Andy Schumpert added 10 points for the Bruins. Marquette signee Jajuan Johnson scored 18 for Southwind.
Brentwood shot 36.1 percent from the floor, including 20 percent from 3-point range.
“To beat this team, we’d have had to play a perfect game,” King said. “It’s hard to ask for two perfect games in two nights.”