Brewer holds off Priceville: Bulldogs can't overcome slow start
By Bradley Handwerger
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FLORETTE — After Rusty Boyd made two free throws with five seconds left in Brewer's Tuesday night game against Priceville, he was almost positive Bulldogs' standout guard Josh Bedwell couldn't bring home a win.
Nervous before shooting his first free throw, Boyd said the second one was much easier to sink.
After all, the second one meant that Priceville needed at least two possessions to win.
"I was pretty sure he wouldn't get a 5-point shot," Boyd said.
No Rusty, Bedwell did not get a 5-point shot. Or a 3-point one for that matter.
And Brewer held off Priceville 44-39 at home by holding off Bedwell, who finished with 16 points after torching the Patriots for 44 when Priceville won a Dec. 15 meeting.
Boyd led Brewer with 15 points, and Brewer needed all 15 to hold on.
Despite holding Priceville to eight first-half points, including zero in the first quarter, Brewer (10-11) never could run away with the game. In the end, that almost came back to haunt the Patriots.
"It's a matter of making some shots and running clock," Brewer head coach Sam Brown said. "An 11-point lead with Bedwell is only three or four possessions."
Quiet for nearly 30 minutes, Priceville (11-10) roared back behind its star guard.
Down 13 with 2:22 to play, Bedwell sank two free throws to cut the lead to 39-28. On Brewer's next possession, Boyd missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity and Priceville's Robert Varner grabbed the rebound.
Bedwell hit a trey, and suddenly Brewer's lead was cut to single digits. Another missed Patriots opportunity with 1:12 to play led directly to another Bedwell 3-pointer that sliced Brewer's lead to 39-34.
Boyd gave Brewer a 40-34 lead when he made the front end of a one-and-one. But he missed the second. Bedwell grabbed the rebound, and scurried down the court.
This time his 3-point attempt missed, but K.C. Green was there for the putback.
Now Brewer led only 40-36. And again Brewer failed to push the lead more in its favor with a one-and-one opportunity. This time Jeremy Widener missed the first one, and again Bedwell picked up the rebound.
Moving down the near side of the court, Bedwell jumped, popped a 3-pointer in front of the Bulldogs' bench, and got fouled.
The shot went in and all Bedwell had to do to tie the game was sink a foul shot.
He missed, and Boyd grabbed the rebound.
Brewer's Kohl Sowder followed by sinking a layup with 12 seconds to play, giving Brewer a 42-39 lead.
Priceville had a chance to tie on the other end, but Brian Mann's 3-point attempt missed. Priceville fouled Boyd, who put the game away.
"We didn't give up," Priceville head coach Darrell Haynes
"Tonight, we had a chance. As bad as we were playing offensively, they never stretched the lead out."
Brewer accomplished its pregame task of holding off Bedwell by mixing defenses, throwing in a matchup zone with a fierce man-to-man defense.
The Patriots had at least one player on Bedwell the entire night.
"I think our guys did a really good job of executing our gameplan well," Brown said. "If you don't have the ball, you can't score. I think we did that for the most part."
Brewer girls 87, Priceville 61: The Lady Patriots raced out to a 17-4 lead and never looked back in a game that was called closely by the officials. In all, there were 57 fouls called.
Three Lady Bulldogs fouled out, and one Brewer girl left with five fouls.
"I was anxious to see how they responded after a disappointing Friday night," Brewer coach Ricky Allen said. "When you score 87 points, you've done something well."
Brewer lost a tough area game Friday 44-40 to Hartselle. Suffice it to say, Allen's girls responded well.
Six Brewer players scored in double figures, and the Lady Patriots made seven 3-pointers.
Emily Dabbs and Meagan Hormel led with 14 points each.
For Priceville, Marissa Chambers scored 18 points.
Brewer led 24-7 at the end of one quarter, and 47-29 by halftime. That gave Allen a chance to substitute his team at will, giving lots of players a chance for minutes.
"Losing to Hartselle made us better," Allen said. "It makes me, as a coach, see things."
But he said don't count out Priceville just yet.
"Stacey (Lovett) is playing a young team," Allen said. "She'll do well."
In a battle of rivals, Brewer’s boys beat Priceville 44-39 on Tuesday, avenging an 80-65 loss Dec. 15.
The Brewer girls completed a sweep of rival Priceville with an 87-61 win Tuesday. The Lady Patriots won 78-45 in the first meeting Dec. 15.
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