A night after playing its most complete game of the season, the Brookfield boys' basketball team fell just short in the third-place game of the Marceline Hoops Tournament.
South Shelby topped Brookfield on Saturday afternoon, 65-56, in a third-place matchup in which the game was tied two different times in the fourth quarter. Brookfield trailed by just four points when coach Jerod Gillman burned a timeout with a minute remaining, and from there on, South Shelby scored on an uncontested breakaway and knocked down free throws to ice the game.
"I decided about midway through the third to sit the starters for the rest of the period to try to get them a little rest going into the fourth," Gillman said. "Our starters came out in the fourth and revived us, but we weren't ultimately able to sustain the momentum or get stops when we had to have them."
A night after posting 27 points, Jacob Day finished with 21. Cooper Cisna scored 11 points coming off of a 16-point outing. Both were named to the all-tournament team.
Brookfield led 14-12 through one quarter of play, and South Shelby did not take its first lead until the 6:10 mark in the second quarter at 16-14. Day was fouled at the buzzer, and the Bulldogs trailed 28-27 entering the halftime break.
The game was bucket-for-bucket in the third, with the game tied at 32, 34, and 36 points apiece. The Cardinals went on an 11-2 run to end the third, but the Bulldogs did the same to begin the fourth. A pair of Day three-pointers and a Carsen Beckman three tied the game midway through the final period, but South Shelby outscored the 'Dogs 16-7 from that point to the final horn.
The evening before, the Bulldogs defeated Macon 65-52 to open pool play in what Gillman said was the most pleasing outcome his team has exhibited thus far.
"It was a great overall team victory (versus Macon)," Gillman said. "A lot of kids contributed in multiple ways that were all important. We did a great job of mixing it up defensively and making Macon uncomfortable in their half court.
"We still struggle putting teams away late, but we've done a better job of that."
The Bulldogs fall to 3-8. They travel to Harrisburg on Wednesday.