After Highland took a 5-3 lead in the first few minutes of Monday night's game, the Brookfield boys' basketball team put it into gear and never looked back. Brookfield scored the next four points of the game and never trailed from that point onward.
The Bulldogs took it to Clarence Cannon foe Highland at home on Monday night, toppling the Cougars 54-36. Brookfield improves to 4-13, while Highland falls to 4-11 on the season.
Brookfield carried a 15-7 lead into the second quarter, and allowed just seven points again in the second to take a 25-14 lead into the halftime break. Junior Bulldog guard Cooper Cisna knocked down transition layups to end both of the first two quarters. Cisna led the 'Dogs with 19 points.
"We've had some trouble in the past putting the ball in the basket, but our guys are getting some confidence to start taking those shots when they're open," Cisna said. "We're trying to pick up the pace, and move the ball back and forth a lot. We want to see how it feels to win."
The Bulldogs got it rolling in the second half, and at one point in time, carried a 23-point lead at 53-30 with just a few minutes remaining.
Brookfield's transition offense has come miles since the beginning of the season, and a hefty chunk of the Bulldogs' points came on breakaways. Meanwhile, while Brookfield revved up the tempo, it forced Highland into making just five three-pointers on 28 attempts. Three of those shots came from Colton Bliven in the waning minutes, long after the game had effectively been decided.
"We knew that they had seven or eight players, so we thought we had to get their shooters tired by running in transition, and we did that," Brookfield coach Jared Brown said. "Defensively, we played some man-to-man and stifled their passes a little bit and they didn't know what to do with it.
"We added a little bit of a press-breaker to get the ball deep off of the inbound, and that's helped us get routine looks."
Behind Cisna's 19 points, fellow junior Jacob Day was in double-figures with 10. Senior captain Evan Fay finished with eight, and Carsen Beckman and Avery Schreiner both finished with six.
Monday night's game was originally scheduled for Jan. 25, but was pushed back due to weather. The Brookfield - Marceline game that was set to be played on Monday is now totally off of the docket, as the rest of the Bulldogs' games will be within the conference.
By the time of this publication, Brookfield will have hosted South Shelby on Tuesday. The Bulldogs then host Macon on Friday's senior night. Brookfield defeated Macon in the Marceline tournament earlier in the year.