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By David Sharp
Novinger (16-11) opened a nine point halftime lead in March 2, 2022 varsity boys basketball play at Brashear. The Wildcats held off a Tiger fourth quarter rally for a 70-63 win.
Senior Brandon Jochimsen played his final basketball game for Brashear. The post district contest was rescheduled from February 17, 2022 due to inclement weather. The teams decided to play after districts to help settle conference All Sports competition.
Fayette and Schuyler County rescheduled a late season conference game for February 28 partially to settle their girls’ basketball championship. Schuyler County defeated Fayette, creating a Lewis and Clark Conference girl’s championship tie with Scotland County.
Both dates were also employed as one more chance for their seniors to represent their schools and be recognized. Novinger seniors Karchy Farrell, Connor Robinson and Eli Carter were also recognized along with Brashear senior girls’ basketball player Kynleigh White.
Novinger created Tiger turnovers, forging a 19-13 first quarter lead. Brashear pulled within four points late in the first half. The Wildcat defense turned the home team over in response.
A three pointer at the buzzer put the Wildcats up 35-26 at intermission. Novinger fired in ten three balls on the night. Brashear tossed in six three point shots.
The Tigers (13-15) closed within a 37-31 deficit early in the third quarter. Novinger outscored Brashear 18-11 in the third quarter for a 53-37 lead entering the final eight minutes of basketball for both teams.
Brandon Jochimsen drew cheers from the community with a slam dunk for a 55-42 Novinger lead with 6:50 remaining in the game. Carson Erwin pulled the Tigers back to a 61-53 deficit, firing in a three ball off a high screen with three minutes to play.
Carson Erwin banged another home run ball for a 63-56 score with 1:53 to go. Erwin sank a free throw. Avery Zentz rebounded a miss then finished a Brandon Jochimsen feed with 1:36 showing on the clock.
Karchy Farrell sank two free throws for a 65-57 margin with 1:28 remaining. Avery Zentz grabbed another rebound and hit a free throw. Eli Carter scored for Novinger in the closing seconds.
Carson Erwin turned in a three point play with 15 seconds remaining. Novinger sank 10-19 free throws during their 70-63 win. Brashear was 13-27 from the stripe. The Tigers were better in the fourth quarter, sinking seven of 11 free throws in the last eight minutes.
Wes Findling led Novinger with 18 points. Karchy Farrell and Eli Carter scored 13 points each. Connor Robinson and Adrian Peterson scored eight points each. Jace Brownell added six Wildcat points.
“I thought we came out a little flat in the third quarter,” Brashear first year head boys’ basketball coach and Athletic Director Shelbi Followwill said. “We put 26 points on the board in the fourth quarter. These kids knew this was it. No matter what happens, we are done.”
“We have one senior, Brandon Jochimsen,” Coach Followwill said. “That kid will be missed. He led our team in a lot of things. He had 21 tonight. Carson Erwin got hot and had 31 (points).”
“It’s a testament to those kids in the fourth quarter. They wanted to end their season on a win. It’s hard to come back after districts and regain that momentum for both sides,” Shelbi Followwill said.
“We got to end our season on our home court and try for a win. We can’t host districts. We don’t have a standardized court. The fact that our Senior got to end his career here was amazing.”
“We had a chance to finish third in our conference rather than fourth. We had a chance to potentially finish the same as maybe ten teams in the state,” Coach Followwill said.
“To finish with a win. We had that opportunity. We had an opportunity to win a game and finish at .500. That hasn’t been done at Brashear since 2006-07. There were still goals that we could check off at the end of the season. We had a chance to do it.”
“We wanted it just a little bit more in the fourth quarter,” Shelbi Followwill said. “We just were too far back to do it. Both of us pulled our seniors off the floor in the last 15 seconds.”
“We gave them one more standing ovation. We sent them off with the best chance we knew how.”
Carson Erwin led all scorers with 31 points. Brandon Jochimsen fired in 21 points. Jack Reeves scored five points. Avery Zentz and Lucas Keller scored three points each.