The Blackford Bruins improved to 21-4 with a 63-53 win in their Sectional opener over Madison-Grant last night. In front of the largest crowd to see at game in Bruin Gym this winter, the Bruins survived an outstanding effort by the Argylls who came in 19-3 overall and the undefeated CIC Champions.
It was a program-tying 12th straight victory and 19th win a row at home for the Bruins.
The Bruins and Argylls battled early to an 8-all tie thanks to 5 points from Dawson Hundley and a 3 by Landon Grimes added a 3. Luke Brown then got his first points of the game on a 3 and got fouled. He hit the freebie and the Bruins led by four, 12-8. The Bruins would increase that lead to 18-8 thanks to another late 3 by Brown, but the Argylls hit a 3 in the final seconds of the quarter to make it 18-11 after one.
Foul trouble plagued the Bruin big men early in the second. The smaller Argylls took advantage of the lack of height for the Bruins early in that quarter to outscore the Bruins 7-0 to tie it at 18. They would lead much of the rest of the half but the game remained within three points. Brown hit his third 3 of the half to tie it late in the quarter then stole the ball and raced the floor to lay it in at the buzzer to give the Bruins a 28-26 lead at the break.
The Argylls hit a 3 to start the third to put them up 29-28. It would be the last time they led in the contest.
The Bruins got baskets from Hundley, Brown and Grimes to go up 34-29. The Argylls would get it within two at 36-34 before Grimes and Hundley got 2-point baskets and Brown hit a huge 3 to put the Bruins up 43-34 heading to the fourth.
The Argylls again hit a 3 to cut the lead to six. Both teams exchanged points over the next few possession and the Argylls cut it to 50-45 with 2:57 to play. Fortunately, they missed a free throw after a basket or they could have cut it to four. Dawson Hundley hit a big basket to put the lead back to 7 for the Bruins. Dane Baker followed with back-to-back baskets to up the lead to 11 with 1:35 to play.
From there, the Bruins wisely put the ball in Brown’s hands and he managed 5 of 6 free throws over the next three possessions to give the Bruins a 61-48 lead with 38 seconds to play. After the Argylls hit a basket, Cam Elam took a great pass from a driving Brown to lay-it in with 15 seconds to play. An Argyll 3 with :09 to play cut the lead to 10, but the Bruins dribbled off the final seconds to wrap up what was a very entertaining game put on by two very good teams.
Luke Brown finished with 22 points. He added 9 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocked shots.
Dawson Hundley scored 16 points and added 4 rebounds. Landon Grimes finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Dane Baker scored 9 points and pull down 2 boards.
Cam Elam scored 6 points and added 3 assists. Scott Winger grabbed 6 boards in just 15 minutes of floor time. Mickey Waters came off the bench and provided a defensive spark. He recorded 2 rebounds, 2 assists and added a steal. The Bruins hit 50% of their shots from the floor. The Bruins did uncharacteristically turn it over 17 times much in part to the aggressiveness of the Argylls.