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The Bruins had a great season and finished it in front of the largest crowd any Bruin team has ever played in front of….a crowd of around 9000.

Whether it was a tougher background, nerves, or too much adrenaline, the Bruins simply couldn’t find the basket for much of the game in a 68-39 loss to number one in the state and undefeated Delta.

The Eagles, the state’s only undefeated team and a very good one at that, improved to 24-0.

The Bruin managed hitting just 12 of 44 shots overall for just 27%. They struggled even worse from behind the arc where they hit just 7 of 28 for 25%.

They did better from the free throw line but didn’t spend much time there, hitting 8 of 11 for 73%. Luke Brown was held to just 11 total shots, hitting 5, in leading the Bruins with 15 points. It was the only time he was held below 20 points all season.

Brandon Stroble connected on 3 of 15 shots in route to 12 points, most of those coming in a flurry late in the game.

There were some bright spots. Luke Brown scored the first 10 points of the game for the Bruins to keep them in it early. However, the Eagles still led 19-10 after the first period.

The Bruins would get two baskets, a 3 from Dalton Willmann and a lay-up by Caleb Mealy off a great pass from Brown, to cut the lead to four at 19-15 early in the second.

But the Eagles would score the last 16 points of the half to lead by 20, 35-15.

The Bruins had no answer for Delta’s 1-3-1 defense throughout the second half which forced Brown, and for that matter all the Bruins, to spend most of the rest of the game far from the basket.

The Bruins never challenged after the first half with the exception of a short flurry by Stroble late in the third and early in the fourth giving the Bruin faithful some delight.

Dalton Willmann finished with six points and four rebounds.

Brown added three rebounds and five assists. No other Bruin would record an assist on the night.

Brown finished the season breaking several Blackford High School boys’ basketball season records.

Those records include Points in a Season (805), Assists (155), Field Goals Made (266), Field Goals Attempted (521), 3-Pointers Made (80), Free Throws Made (193) and Free Throw Percentage (94%).

And, of course, he set the record for Points in a Game (55), the Bruin Gym Record (54), finished the season as the all-time best scorer in boys basketball history, and led the state in scoring with exactly 35.0 points per game.

Brown hit 51% of his shots from the field overall and shot 60% from 2-point range and 38% from behind the arc.

It is worth noting that Brown’s 35.0 scoring average was higher than the entire offensive output of the ’14-15 (33.7) and ’15-16 (31.0) seasons. The Bruins were 0-47 over those two seasons.

The Bruins as a team set records for 3-Pointers made in a season with 172 and 3-Pointers attempted in a season with 490.

After his first two seasons as head coach, Coach Jerry Hoover has the highest winning percentage of any boys’ basketball coach in school history at .674 (31-15).

With the loss, the Bruins say good bye to several seniors who were part of the transition from tough times and empty gyms to back-to-back winning seasons and near packed houses every night.

The Bruins bid farewell to Mark White (5.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Andrew Beckley (2.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Nathan Brown (1.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg), Drake Ramseyer (0.9 ppg, 0.9 rpg), and Brandon Apple (0.1 ppg, 0.1 rpg).

The Bruins will return a good nucleus to build upon in ’19-20 including, Brown, Brandon Stroble (16.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Dalton Willmann (7.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Caleb Mealy (3 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Steffen Hoover (1.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg), and several others with varsity and/or junior varsity experience to fill in the gaps. Stroble scored 371 point this season which is 23rd best all-time at BHS.

All fans who supported the ’18-19 Bruins deserve some thanks as well. It was quite the ride.

BHS is grateful to the seniors for weathering the tough times and becoming a part of something special.

“We wish you the best in your spring sports if you are participating. If not, best of luck in all you do. Make us proud!”