The Brookhaven College men’s basketball team snagged a 77-67 win on the road against Mountain View College Jan. 26.
“Toward the end of the game my heart was shaking,” Bears forward Christian Brown said. “This was a big win that we tried to get, and it took us a while to find our team identity. But we found ourselves and got the job done.”
Mountain View won the tipoff, but quickly turned the ball over. Then, Bears guard Thulyer Hardy went for a layup, but was fouled. He sank both free throws, and the Bears nailed another jump shot to take a 6-2 lead. Mountain View Lions guard Christopher Smith Jr. tossed up two shots to tie the game 6-6.
Bears guard Landen Stephens banged in a 3-pointer after a Lions turnover. Bears guard Shawn Feggett hit a jump shot to extend the Bears’ lead 10-6. Then, Stephens put away another 3-pointer followed by a 2-point shot by Hardy. The Bears’ strong, physical defense challenged the Lions’ offense.
The Lions’ momentum picked up when Lions guard Erik Talton hit a 3-pointer and a jump shot after Brookhaven turned over the ball. But the Bears still had a 31-29 lead.
A few plays later, the Lions played strong defense. Talton dropped another 3-pointer to give the Lions a 35-33 lead. Lions guard Terry Ellis Jr. followed with a layup.
The Lions took back possession after a blocked shot, and Talton scored to extend the Lions’ lead 39-35.
Bears guard Kaland Johnson scored with a shot in the paint followed by a couple misses from the Lions. Then, Hardy tossed up a layup to tie the game 39-39.
Talton was fouled and made both free throws, but the Bears did not give up. Hardy stole the ball and passed it to Johnson for a layup to retake the Bears’ lead. Brookhaven led 43-41 after the first half.
In the second half, both teams played strong defense. Johnson was fouled and made both free throws to extend the Bears lead to 46-41.
Brown made a close shot followed by guard Landen Smith’s 3-pointer to give the Bears back the lead 61-58.
With a few minutes left on the clock, Bears forward Mark Mattiex made two free throws and Feggett scored, pushing Brookhaven further up to 70-64.
As seconds ticked off the clock, the Lions fouled the Bears to stop play, but the Bears made their free throws.
With fifteen seconds left on the clock, Talton made a 3-pointer, but the Lions still could not come back.
“We started off kind of slow, but we stayed with it on the defensive side and that’s what we’re really working on,” Hardy said. “I try to do what I can to get us a championship.”
“Like Michael Jordan, anybody can get individual stats, but when everybody works together, the individual stats and the wins come as well,” Brown said.
Chris McGill, Bears basketball head coach, said: “I think they played really well. They executed the game plan – that was the biggest part – and stayed focused the whole time. That’s what we’ve been talking about all year long. Once they did that and did it for two halves, we came out on top.”