NEW CARLISLE — Sometimes a close game can get away in the blink of an eye, like in Friday night’s meeting between Bremen and host New Prairie.
Bremen trailed by six points going into the fourth quarter, but a 19-5 New Prairie run pushed the Cougars to a 67-51 victory.
It was an unfortunate result for Bremen, which played some of its best basketball of the season through three quarters.
“I keep telling the kids, we’re not getting the results we want, but they have to see we’re getting better, and we are,” Bremen coach Kyle Hanyzewski said. “We started out talking about playing one good quarter, then two and finally we’re to three. I’m happy about that because they are starting to get it. Pretty soon it’s going to come together and I’m pretty excited about what that’ll look like.”
Despite nine turnovers, Bremen trailed by just two after a quarter at 13-11, as Ben Hueni — who led the Lions with 17 points — had a three-point play followed by a 3-pointer to end the period.
“As much as he was harassed defensively, Ben had a real nice game,” Hanyzewski said.
A 3-pointer by Ethan Pike on the first shot of the second quarter gave Bremen (2-11) a 14-13 lead. The teams went back and forth until New Prairie’s Mitchell Mrozinski had the final four points of the half to put Cougars up 28-22 at the break.
After 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line in the first quarter, New Prairie (7-7) went 6-of-7 in the second to outscore Bremen 12-3 at the line for the half. Bremen also finished the half with 15 turnovers, seven more than New Prairie.
“We turned the ball over way too much,” Hanyzewski said. “I think about what we could do with seven or eight of those possessions, especially with how we were shooting.”
Hueni and Box combined for 15 points in the third quarter, and Pike had four straight to close the period as New Prairie led 48-42 going into the fourth. But three 3-pointers were part of New Prairie’s game-clinching spurt which turned a close contest into a 20-point blowout.
“I’m not into moral victories, but New Prairie is a very good offensive team,” Hanyzewski said. “They have some scorers, and that’s what they did. But, the kids are learning from their mistakes, and as long as they can do that, I don’t see anything wrong with what happened here tonight.”
Mrozinski led all scorers with 22 points, followed by teammate Michael Wagner with 19. Wagner went 13-of-15 from the free throw line as New Prairie finished 20-of-25 for the game.
Pike finished with 12 points and Box had 11 behind Hueni’s team high for Bremen.
• NEW PRAIRIE 67,
At New Carlisle
Score by quarters
New Prairie: 13 15 20 19 — 67
Bremen: 11 11 20 9 — 51
BREMEN (0): Ben Hueni 17, Ty Holmes 0, Jesse Glingle 0, Ethan Pike 12, Jacob Box 11, J.J. Schafer 1, Austin Huff 6, Michael Ricketts 0, Mitch Huppert 4.
NEW PRAIRIE (0): Joshua Ruiz 8, Zachary Rehlander 12, Michael Wagner 19, George Stainko Jr. 2, Mitchell Mrozinski 22, Kyle Brammer 4.
3-point goals: New Prairie 7 (Rehlander 4), Bremen 7 (Box 3); Rebounds: New Prairie 16 (Mrozinski 6) Bremen 19 (Pike 5); Turnovers: New Prairie 12, Bremen 23; Fouls: New Prairie 14, Bremen 18; Records: Bremen 2-11, New Prairie 7-7.