Lions lose opener with Goshen, 62-51

BREMEN — Bremen’s boys basketball team dug just too big of a hole in its season opener against Goshen Friday night.
After falling behind by 16 points midway through the third frame, the Lions twice pulled within seven points, but the visiting Redskins answered each charge and knocked off Bremen 62-51.
“I was really proud that we didn’t give up,” first-year Bremen head coach Ryan Eakins, whose team started late thanks to the football team’s semistate appearance, said. “Our guys played extremely hard. I called a timeout in the third quarter and told them it could either be negative 25 or negative 5 by the end of the quarter.
“We’ve had nine practices with the football guys, and two or three of them got banged up against Luers,” he added. “Their legs weren’t there. We’re not in basketball shape physically or mentally, but in time things will come.”
Senior Louis Kissinger finished with 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Goshen. His second triple of the night snapped a 9-0 Bremen surge and put the Redskins back up 40-30 with 1:28 left in the third stanza, and he added a rebound bucket at the end of the quarter for a 45-32 Goshen edge.
“(Bremen) made a little run and we answered it,” Goshen head coach Brian Bechtel said. “I thought we definitely had many guys looking to contribute.”
Junior Ethan Pike drained a trio of triples en route to a team-high 13 points for the Lions. Senior point guard Ben Hueni followed closely with 12 points, including a 3-pointer to cut Bremen’s deficit to seven, 54-47, with 1:20 left in the game.
Also for the Lions, 6-foot-5 senior Mitch Huppert added nine points and six boards off the bench, while 6-4 senior frontliner Austin Huff, who trimmed Goshen’s lead to 37-30 off a post feed from Pike with 1:53 left in the third frame, chipped in eight points and a game-best eight boards. Senior wing TJ Bayer dished out four assists for Bremen.
However, the Lions’ offense stagnated against Goshen’s 1-2-2 zone in the third quarter, and the Redskins opened the second half with a critical 10-2 spurt. Bremen also finished 6 of 16 from the charity stripe.
“Offensively, we were not ready to play against a zone,” Eakins said. “We never attacked it. We never got the ball in the paint. The free-throw line was atrocious. We gave away 10 points at the line.
“Effort-wise, I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “Our press did some good things. When we were aggressive good things happened.”
Goshen’s Josh Gill, a 6-5 senior post, scored eight of his 12 points in the first half as Goshen, which led wire to wire, built a 27-19 halftime lead.
“We wanted a little bigger lineup so we gave Josh Gill his first varsity start,” Bechtel said. “He’s not afraid of anything, and he gives us more versatility on the defensive end, too. I couldn’t be prouder of what he’s done for our team.”
Junior guard Austin Hanke added 10 points for the Redskins, highlighted by a big trey late in the third quarter, while Sam Stegelmann went 6 for 7 from the charity stripe over the final 3:02 to seal the victory for the Redskins. Junior Jesse Good added nine points and three assists for Goshen.
“We had three guys in double figures, and they’re not our two leading scorers; that’s a good sign for us,” Bechtel said. “I think we beat a good team. Bremen is very long and athletic. They’ve got big guys and shooters. I like their team.”
Bremen hosts West Noble Thursday.
• GOSHEN 62,
At Bremen
Score by quarters
Goshen: 15 27 45 62
Bremen: 9 19 32 51
GOSHEN (62): Austin Henke 4 0-0 10, Sam Stegelmann 1 6-7 8, Warren Kay 2 4-6 9, Cristian Barron 0 0-0 0, Jesse Good 3 1-4 9, Louis Kissinger 5 2-2 14, Isaac Huerta de la Vega 0 0-0 0, Josh Gill 6 0-0 12. TOTALS: 21 13-19 62.
BREMEN (51): Ben Hueni 5 1-4 12, TJ Bayer 0 0-0 0, Ethan Pike 4 2-4 13, Jacob Box 2 2-2 7, Tim Zimmer 1 0-1 2, Austin Huff 4 0-3 8, Mitch Huppert 4 1-2 9. TOTALS: 20 6-16 51.
3-point goals: Goshen 7 (Henke 2, Good 2, Kissinger 2, Kay), Bremen 5 (Pike 3, Hueni, Box); Turnovers: Goshen 11, Bremen 14; Rebounds: Goshen 31 (Kissinger 7), Bremen 30 (Huff 8); Assists: Goshen 9 (Good 3), Bremen 12 (Bayer 4); Steals: Goshen 8, Bremen 1; Fouls (fouled out): Goshen 17 (Gill), Bremen 19; Records: Goshen 1-2, Bremen 0-1.