Although the Brookfield boys fell to 0-2 with a lopsided, 81-44 loss to Harrisburg at home on Monday night, Bulldog coach Jerod Gillman said that there was little to be concerned about.
He said that compared to the season-opening loss against Putnam County, Brookfield showed the home crowd tremendously encouraging signs of life in its second game of the season.
"We played substantially better tonight than we did in game one on both ends of the floor," Gillman said. "Our kids committed to each other to take away the dribble-drive, and we made them earn everything that they got. We knew they had good shooters on the perimeter, but we can't let them shoot layups, and they made us pay for it. We were able to hang around for a while, and we only gave them one shot.
"It makes you wish you could go back and try that first one again if we had the same offensive mindset we had tonight."
The visiting Bulldogs hit a boggling 13 three-pointers on Monday night. Kolton James, Harrisburg guard, hit four three-pointers alone in the third quarter. Brookfield knocked down just three all evening.
Harrisburg is coming off of a season in which it finished third in the state tournament, and in stark contrast to Brookfield's Bulldogs, the visiting Bulldogs roster eight seniors. To put things in perspective, the other three teams in action on the evening -- both of Brookfield's varsity teams and Harrisburg's girls team -- have two 12th graders on their rosters combined. For that matter, Gillman stated that his only senior, 6'1" bruiser Tyler Pickens, has transformed within the past 18 months from being a guy who had little business on a basketball court to becoming an integral part of his team's physical assertion on the low block.
Brookfield sophomore guard Cooper Cisna led his team in scoring with 13 points, and was the only hometown player in double figures. Fellow sophomore Jacob Day scored nine, and Evan Fay finished with eight. Cole Daugherity and Derek Liebhart each scored five.
Four Harrisburg players scored double-digits, and Cade Combs led all scorers with 20.
"Any time we make shots, we'll be pretty tough to beat, but it all starts with our defense," Harrisburg coach Kyle Fisher said. "Most of the time we'll be able to score, but where we'll make our money this year is on the defensive end. Coach Gillman does a great job of getting his guys to play extremely hard, and they had a size and strength advantage on us. In the second half, our guys put bodies on their guys."