BRUNSWICK — The chants grew louder as the moment drew near. Would they or wouldn’t they? Who would be the hero?
It all came down to the final 30 seconds. Would there be chalupas?
Well, only the Cavaliers do that, but that didn’t stop the Brunswick boys basketball team’s faithful from booing when the Blue Devils decided to just run out the clock with 99 points on the scoreboard.
But a late foul with 6 seconds left sent new fan favorite Brandon Zaccardelli to the line with a chance to become legend — kind of.
Zaccardelli calmly buried both free throws to close out a 101-60 win over Ashtabula Lakeside in the semifinals of the Brunswick Holiday Hoops Classic.
The Blue Devils (5-4) advance to play St. Edward tonight at 7:30 for the title. The Eagles rallied to knock off Solon 67-61 in the other semifinal.
The win was big for Brunswick — not because the fans thought they would get free chalupas, but because it brought an end to a three-game losing streak.
That streak came against Shaker Heights, Pickerington Central and Garfield Heights in one of the most difficult stretches that anyone in the state will face this season.
“When you lose three straight, it’s just nice to have that winning feeling again,” coach Joe Mackey said. “It’s been a long time. We’ve been fortunate to not have those kinds of losing streaks around here in a long time. You can say our schedule is tough, but losing hurts the same way regardless of who you are playing.”
Leading the hot shooting was Ryan Badowski. The junior was white-hot, making 9-of-12 shots en route to a game-high 26 points.
“When someone gets hot, we always try to feed them the ball,” Badowski said. “When all guys can get hot at one time, we can beat anybody when our shots fall. We are a 3-point deadly team, and when Taylor (Armagost) is playing well, he’s deadly inside. We always look for each other and knock shots down.”
The 6-foot-3 Badowski went nuts in the second quarter, scoring 15 points as a game that was already one-sided became even more so as the Blue Devils entered the locker room with a 50-30 lead.
In the first quarter, Kyle Wheeler (19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) ate up the Dragons (1-6).
“Me and Ryan, we look for each other on the floor and try to play to each other’s strengths,” said Wheeler, had nine points in the first 8 minutes as the Blue Devils quickly led 26-13. “If one of us is playing well, we keep feeding it to them.”
Badowski and Wheeler headlined a quintet of double-digit scorers for Brunswick, as Armagost (13 points, 10 rebounds), Patrick Jarvis (11) and Alex Hartill (10) also reached the milestone.
“I thought the ball was moving,” Mackey said. “We haven’t shot the ball well all season, but I don’t think we had the ball moving as much. We started four guards today, got the ball moving a little bit and I think that’s important. When we get out and run and play unselfish basketball, I think that’s when we are at our best.”
|The Brunswick junior varsity was a big winner as well, pounding Lakeside 90-27 to advance to play St. Edward in the junior varsity final. Eric Bulic (19 points), Austin Conn (15) and Jason Okulovich (14) paced the Blue Devils.|
Contact Chad Grant at email@example.com.
Brunswick 101, Lakeside 60
LAKESIDE 13 17 19 11 — 60
BRUNSWICK 26 24 25 26 — 101
Lakeside — Sayvaughn Morgan 1-0-3, Odero Ajamu 1-2-4, Marcell Ballenger 5-4-14, Kyle Downs 2-2-7, Jaeden Jones 0-1-1, Nick Meola 5-1-11, Tristan Bradley 4-0-8, Edmonte Parks 1-0-2, Lorenz Sistrunk 1-0-2, Will Anderson 2-0-4, Chad McAfee 2-0-4. TOTALS: 24-10-60.
Brunswick — Zach Parker 3-2-8, Alex Hartill 4-2-10, Patrick Jarvis 4-3-11, Kyle Wheeler 8-1-19, Ryan Badowski 9-6-26, Taylor Armagost 5-3-13, Billy Applebee 1-0-3, Brandon Zaccardelli 1-6-9, Robert Hale 0-0-0, Eric Bulic 0-0-0, Brennan Magalski 0-0-0, David Reiter 1-0-2. TOTALS: 36-23-101.
3-point goals — Morgan, Downs, Wheeler 2, Badowski 2, Applebee, Zaccardelli. Rebounds — Lakeside 25 (Ballenger 10), Brunswick 41 (Armagost 10). Assists — Lakeside 7 (Bradley 2), Brunswick 17 (Wheeler, Parker, Applebee 4). Records — Brunswick (5-4), Lakeside (1-6). Junior varsity — Brunswick 90, Lakeside 27.