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Brownsburg focused on second half of the season after winning county title

Bulldogs part of race for HCC championship

With victories over Danville, Plainfield and then rival Avon in Saturday’s title game, Brownsburg won its first Hendricks County tournament in three years this past week.

 

The 10-2 Bulldogs, whose losses came against prep school power LaPorte LaLumiere and defending 4A champ Ben Davis, held each county foe to the less than 50 points.

 

“I thought we played well defensively against two really competitive teams in Danville and Plainfield, and a much-inspired and team trending upward in Avon,” Brownsburg coach Steve Lynch said. “I felt we got everybody’s best shot for three games. We had good balance, different guys stepped up and we found ways to win.”

 

Brownsburg returned three starters from last year’s squad that went 18-7 and won a sectional championship, led by 6-1 junior guard Cameron Alford (17.1 points per game, 3.6 assists per game).

 

“He’s been pretty consistent, shooting free throws a lot better, scoring the ball per shot attempt better,” Lynch said. “He’s had some across-the-board statistical games, like Plainfield, where he had 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He’s learning how to be a complete player.”

 

An Ohio University football commit, 6-5, 230-pound forward Antrez Baker (5.6 ppg, 4.7 rebounds per game) is a presence in the paint and the locker room.

 

“He has a great basketball IQ, great kid, a leader who really cheers his teammates on,” Lynch said. “He’s a very engaging personality who has a real influence on our team.”

 

Lynch calls 6-3 junior forward and vocal leader Reis Thomas (9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg) “the anchor.”

 

“He does so many things that affect winning,” Lynch said. “He generally guards the other team’s best player, he’s a facilitator with the ball. Coaches call guys like him ‘glue guys,’ and I don’t know that people really appreciate just what they are and what they mean to a team.”

 

Thomas’ younger brother, 6-5 freshman Pierce Thomas (9.8 ppg), came in with a reputation already in place, and earned his spot in the starting lineup.

 

“He’s a phenomenal talent, one of the top-ranked recruits in his class. He’s already visited Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Ohio State,” Lynch said. “He’s done a great job as a freshman, melding into a very veteran team, getting better defensively. He can impact the game in so many ways.”

 

The Bulldogs also rely on the contributions of 5-9 senior guard Kris Jackson (3.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and 6-5 sophomore forward Malek Edmonds (9.0 ppg).

 

The second half of the season has its challenges, including a Hoosier Crossroads Conference race with Zionsville and Hamilton Southeastern, a home contest versus Carmel and the regular-season finale at No. 12 Center Grove.

 

“I really like how the schedule came together this year,” Lynch said. “We were able to get a lot of kids on the floor before Christmas, had some real tests with LaLumiere and Ben Davis, and really evolved and grew. We’ll be tested against some great teams from across the state, and it’ll give us a chance to see what we can and can’t do, and prepare for the postseason."

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