BROWNSBURG — It was the same type of game the Brownsburg Bulldogs boys’ basketball team has been through too many times so far this season. The Bulldogs fell behind early and could never catch up to the visiting Noblesville Millers Friday night.
The end result was a 62-49 Noblesville win, dropping Brownsburg to 4-9 on the season and 2-4 in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference.
“I thought Noblesville came out and played really well,” Brownsburg coach Ronald Nored said. “I thought they came out and made shots early which forced us to get out of what we were originally in. The rest of the game we were scrambling.”
Noblesville jumped out to an early 9-0 lead and extended that to 15-7 at the end of the first on the back of 5 of 6 shooting from behind the arc.
That caught the Bulldogs by surprise and made it difficult to adjust.
“It’s hard, especially with a team that spreads you out and can shoot it,” Nored said. “It’s not like you can sit in the paint and wait for them to drive it at you. Their guards spread us out and we could have done a little better job finishing at the rim early on. That’s something that we have to take care of. We can’t start the game down 9-0.”
After getting down by nine in the first, Brownsburg never came any closer than seven points.
Noblesville’s outside-in game frustrated the Bulldogs in the second quarter as the Millers’ big men began to gain easy access to the basket. Its poor shooting compounded Brownsburg’s troubles as the Bulldogs shot a paltry 22 percent from the floor in the first two periods.
That left the Bulldogs down 29-12 at the half and something had to give. Either Brownsburg would fold coming out of the locker room at the break or begin to fight back and knock down some shots.
The Bulldogs opted for the latter as they outscored Noblesville 16-12 in the third and began to slowly climb back into the game.
“Honestly, we had no choice,” Nored said. “We had played not as good as we had wanted to in the first half. It was important to us to prove to ourselves that we are a hard-nosed, physical and tough team. I think the way we came out in the third we showed that to ourselves.”
Brownsburg more than doubled its point total in the third led by KJ Walton, Kyle Thompson and Trevor Lucas as the trio combined for 16 points.
Trailing 41-28 heading into the fourth, Brownsburg and Noblesville played a game of cat and mouse as the Bulldogs would close the lead to within 10 points and the Millers would then surge ahead again.
Brownsburg pulled within nine at 58-49 with 47.4 left in the game, but time simply ran out on the Bulldogs.
“We’ve competed really well with a lot of teams and haven’t been able to finish and that’s something that as a coaching staff we have to look at and figure out as far as coming out in games and after the half to finish better at the end,” Nored said.
Walton led Brownsburg with 22 points and eight rebounds while Gerald Harney finished with nine.
Brownsburg now travels to Westfield at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 in another HCC matchup.