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Linn County Rival Schools Split Friday Roundball at Brookfield

BHS boys salvage split after Marceline girls won by 18

By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor
Junior Ramzee Bruner of the Marceline High School basketball Lady Tigers hits a tough angle shot over multiple Brookfield defenders to give MHS a 5-2 lead in the first quarter of Friday's (Jan. 8, 2021) non-conference game at BHS. The 5'11" Lady Tiger rang up a game-high 22 points, including converting 12 of 17 free throws, to lead MHS to a 47-29 triumph.

By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor

BROOKFIELD — With one player leading the way for the winning side each game, host Brookfield and guest Marceline split high school basketball action between the largest schools in Linn County Friday.

First, MHS junior forward Ramzie Bruner’s 22 points led the Lady Tigers (2-6) to a 47-29 triumph.

After that, BHS senior guard Carsen Beckman netted nine of his game-best 21 tallies in the last period as the Bulldogs (3-6) drew away from Marceline 42-33.

The schools will tangle again Tuesday (Jan. 12) at 6 p.m., this time on the wrestling mat and again at Brookfield.

Brookfield’s girls’ and boys’ basketball clubs continue their string of 5-straight non-conference doubleheaders against Lewis and Clark Conference teams Monday when they go to Fayette.

Marceline’s teams go into the Milan Invitational Tournament this coming week. The girls will take on No. 4 seed Putnam County Monday at 6:15 p.m. The third-seeded boys will hook up with Putnam County in the first round, too. That game will be Tuesday at 6:15.

Senior guard Carsen Beckman of the Brookfield High School Bulldogs gets to the basket on a quick drive from the left wing to give the Bulldogs a 12-7 lead lead just before the end of the first quarter of Friday's (Jan. 8, 2021) home game against Marceline. Beckman had three treys, four deuces, and four free throws in four tries to generate a game-high 21 points in BHS' 42-33 non-conference triumph.

Only the boys’ game had any dramatic tension down the stretch.

A pair of Beau Kunkel 3-pointers and five points from Beckman helped Brookfield seize a 12-7 lead after one period, but Marceline came back to tighten things behind junior Wyatt Molloy’s scoring in the second.

When Molloy drilled a 3-ball in the final half-minute of the first half, giving him seven points in the quarter, MHS had an 18-16 lead. However, with less than five seconds left, Beckman responded in kind to let the home team carry the upper hand into the locker room at intermission.

The scoring pace – never rapid all night – slowed further in the third quarter, but Brookfield expanded its lead nonetheless, heading to the fourth period on top 29-24.

Surprisingly never looking to take advantage in the final half of the hot hand (seven points) Molloy flashed in the second period, Marceline never located any offensive rhythm in the last quarter. When Beckman bundled a layup, a trifecta, and four free throws in the last segment, the hosts won with a bit of room to spare.

Beckman ended the night with four deuces, tbhreee treys, and 4-of-4 foul shooting for his 21 points. He was the game’s only double-digits scorer.

Marceline’s TIgers (4-4) received nine points apiece from Molloy and Will Heller. The visitors’ cause was hurt by making only two of 10 free throws.

With a notable size advantage, Marceline’s Lady Tigers combined inside scoring and strong rebounding for a winning recipe.

The 5’11” Bruner scored all of MHS points in the first quarter as it gained a 9-6 advantage. She then had seven of the Lady Tigers’ 11 in the second segment as the guests increased their margin to 20-12.

Brookfield’s Lady Bulldogs (1-8) finally slowed Bruner in the third quarter, but at a cost. MHS forward Addison Huber used her height and strength to score eight of the team’s 10 points in the quarter, inching the MHS margin up to 30-21 after 24 minutes.

Rather than the “either-or” approach of the first three quarters, Marceline exploited both Bruner and Huber in the last stanza, allowing it to pull away. Bruner tacked on the last six of her 22 points and Huber, scoreless in the first half, completed a 14-points showing.

A major component of the Marceline girls’ triumph was their free-throw shooting – both the quality and quantity. Led by Bruner’s 12 of 17 contest, the Lady Tigers sank 18 of 25 charity tosses in the game. By contrast, Brookfield was eight for 23.

BHS’ top scorers in the girls’ game were Ella Daugherity and Alex Sharp with nine points apiece.