By Marilyn Velazquez
The Brookhaven College mens basketball team fought a fierce battle against the Eastfield Harvesters Jan. 18 but ultimately lost as the Harvesters plowed through the game, 92-105.
Eastfield took charge of the tipoff and scored the first point of the game within seconds.
Both teams were tied with 8 points only four minutes into the game.
Brookhaven and Eastfield kept their plays man-to-man with fullcourt press as Eastfield began to drive the scoreboard in their favor.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, the Bears closed the gap to trail by 3 points. The score was 24-27.
Kicking things off, Bears D’Andre Dudley drove down the court for a layup with no defense in his way. Dudley went on to give the Bears an extra boost with two 3-pointers, the most for Brookhaven in the first quarter.
Shortly after, the referee called a technical foul on the Bears, giving the Harvesters two free throws.
“That was probably one of the worst [calls] I’ve ever seen,” Joe Wilson, assistant coach said. Wilson was substituting for Kevin Hurst, head coach.
“We didn’t get a warning, so it was pretty bad,” Wilson said.
With six minutes left until halftime, Eastfield was having a field day with the Bears as they dominated with an 8-point lead, 26-34.
Bear Jordan Enloe said the team needed to buckle down more in the game.
However, the pressure continued as Eastfield ramped up to get ahead by 15 points with a minute left in the first quarter.
The final score for the first quarter was 45-56.
After halftime, the Bears wasted no time adding points to their score. Bear Brady Chamberlain came in with the assist as J’Michael Jasper drove down to the basket for a jump shot.
The Bears’ defense was tighter in the second quarter than the first as they transitioned to a 2-1-2 zone defense, a strategy that ensures each player is responsible for a specific part of the court. Eastfield could no longer drive down to the net as swiftly as before.
A personal foul from Jasper awarded the Harvesters two free throws, both made by Eastfield’s Andre Watts.
Keilyn Nance, Bears captain, responded by pressing straight for a layup as Jasper assisted in planting a screen on Eastfield’s Sean Odum, preventing him from following suit.
Eastfield turned it over as Nance zipped back down to the Bears’ basket for another layup.
Brookhaven then received back-to-back fouls, giving Eastfield 3 points.
The Harvesters added 2 points as Odum went up for the rebound and put the ball back into the basket. Brookhaven took the first timeout of the second half at 53-72.
Enloe came back from the timeout zipping past Eastfield’s defense for a left side layup.
Nance jumped for the rebound and spotted teammate Enloe by himself on the other side of the court. With a one-hand throw from Nance, Enloe caught the ball and made the layup.
With 11 minutes remaining in the second half, the Bears trailed behind the Harvesters, 59-72.
Eastfield managed to turn over Brookhaven’s ball but was unsuccessful, as Bear Logan Dixon hustled to the ball and came in with the assist while Kaseen Penn Jr. dumped the ball into the net.
However, Eastfield’s fast breaks and accurate 3-point shots made it difficult for the Bears to close the 19-point gap on the scoreboard.
“We haven’t beaten this team in two years,” Nance said.
With nine minutes left in the game, the Bears once again transitioned their defense from a 2-1-2 zone back to their original man-to-man defense.
Brookhaven closed the gap to 77-86 with six minutes remaining on the clock.
Eastfield began to slow their pace to let the clock run in their favor.
Ultimately, the Bears could not match up to Eastfield’s fast-paced plays, ending the game with a loss on home turf, 92-105.
“All year we haven’t really been playing good defense, you know. [I] challenged the guys at halftime to man up and stop someone,” Wilson said.
As of press date, the Brookhaven College men’s basketball team holds a record of 13-9.