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Cougars rally past Brownstown, 70-65

Cougars rally past Brownstown, 70-65
Cougars rally past Brownstown, 70-65
North Harrison's Blake Snodgrass (3) sashayed his way around four Brownstown defenders with 43 seconds left in the third quarter to give his team its first lead in the second half of Friday night's Mid-Southern Conference clash. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

Former Indiana University head coach Bobby Knight, now the head man at Texas Tech, has often said that basketball is a game of mistakes. Eliminate your mistakes and your chances of winning increase.
That’s exactly what happened Friday night in Ramsey.
After a nip-and-tuck first eight minutes in a key Mid-Southern Conference tilt against Brownstown, North Harrison held a narrow two-point lead. Through the next 20 minutes, the host Cougars were forced to play catch-up as Brownstown took control and pushed out its advantage to as many as eight points.
During Brownstown’s run, North committed twice as many turnovers, 13-7.
Then, after committing just nine miscues in three periods of action, the Braves were bamboozled into eight turnovers in the final eight minutes, including four straight to start the fourth. That’s where the visitors frittered away a 51-45 advantage, fought back to tie the game with 13 seconds left, but lost, 70-65.
Junior guard Blake Snodgrass scored 23 points, including the eventual game-winners with 10.1 seconds left to set the score at 67-65.
Brownstown had a chance to tie or go ahead at the other end, but junior forward Marty Young was whistled for a traveling violation as he drove along the right baseline. North’s Cody Mitchell was fouled just after that and hit one of two free throws, giving the Braves one last attempt to tie the ball game.
In an interesting twist, Krieg Reed guarded the inbounder and somehow came up with the steal on the throw-in. Reed had enough smarts to toss the sphere through the hoop at the buzzer to send the hometown crowd into a tizzy.
After 13 miscues in the first half, North had a mere five in the second and only one in the final eight minutes of play.
The kind of grit and determination displayed by the Cougars is a big reason why they sport a 4-0 record and a spotless 3-0 mark in the conference race.
“This win is huge. The conference title is sitting there for us now,” said varsity assistant coach Kelly Cooper. “We’ll have to go on the road for some tough games after Christmas. We’re in first place, and it’s up to us to go out and continue what we’ve been doing.”
Senior guard Chad Miller had a season-low 12 points but dished out several assists, and Ross Schulz continued his hot shooting from downtown with two more threes and 10 points. Mitchell had five points, Reed and Love both finished with four points, and John Shearer had two.
Clint Parker and Jared Stahl provided most of the offensive spark for Brownstown (3-3, 2-2), which buried 10 of 16 three-point attempts in the game. Parker wound up with 19 points and Stahl 12. Young added 12 as well.
“We had some three-point shooting breakdowns. Parker is a flat-out great player. We got the stops when we needed to on him, and in the fourth quarter we made our little run,” Cooper said.
The Cougars got plenty of valuable minutes from the bench from Reed, John Shearer and Steve Throckmorton. Throckmorton had 10 points, including eight in the pivotal fourth quarter, while the hustling Reed and Shearer had a slew of rebounds.
“Our entire bench played huge. I think they really gave us that second- half push. Steve got to the free throw line and hit some key ones down the stretch for us,” Cooper said.
For the game, North was 23 of 40 from the field, 7-16 on threes and dropped home 17 of 21 free throws. The Cougars won the battle of the glass, 23-15. Brownstown hit 24 of 44 attempts from the floor and went to the line just 10 times, converting seven.
The Cougars return to action Saturday in the Crawford County Holiday Tournament, where they’ll battle the hosts at 10 a.m. The matchup will be followed by a scrap between Perry Central and Mitchell. The losers of the two games will play that night at 6 and the winners at 8.