BROWNSBURG — For three quarters the Brownsburg boys’ basketball team hung with two-time defending state champion Carmel Wednesday night. But it was the fourth quarter that sealed the Bulldogs’ fate.
Carmel outscored Brownsburg 25-10 in the fourth to take a 54-41 win over the hosts in each team’s 2013 opener.
Though first-year coach Steve Lynch would have liked a victory, he was pleased with what he saw from a transitioning Bulldogs’ team.
“Carmel has a great system to rely on and there were so many positives tonight but when it came time to win, we just didn’t have enough in a lot of areas,” Lynch said. “We didn’t defend well enough, didn’t rebound, couldn’t put the ball in the net and there are great learning lessons there. We were tested by the best team in the state.”
With Brownsburg ahead 31-29 heading into the fourth, it looked to be either team’s game. Carmel came out on an 11-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way, extending its lead to 13 points with less than two minutes remaining.
“I thought Carmel really asserted themselves in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter and we didn’t respond,” Lynch said.
Free throws propelled Carmel past Brownsburg down the stretch as the Greyhounds converted 17 of 20 attempts. Carmel’s Michael Bruns, who had two points for the first three quarters, scored one basket and made 17 of 18 attempts from the charity stripe, finishing with a game-high 20 points.
“In the second half we made a little run and hit some free throws down the stretch,” Carmel coach Scott Heady said.
Brownsburg’s K.J. Walton scored all nine of the Bulldogs’ first quarter points, but Brownsburg trailed 10-9 after one period of play.
Walton would finish with team-high 17 points and drew Carmel’s Zach McRoberts — brother of NBA player Josh McRoberts — for most of the night in a two-sided defensive battle.