‘They made us better’: Brandon Valley boys fall short against Roosevelt

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As the Brandon Valley boys’ defense goes, so too do the team’s fortunes. 

At least that was the case Saturday night against Roosevelt.

The Lynx battled dry spells offensively throughout the game, but even as they struggled to consistently convert both from the field and at the line, the pressure was still on their defense to help them find a way to win.

“It was a good game for us, I just wish our defense had played better,” coach Brent Deckert said following the 62-59 loss. 

“Obviously you have to put the ball in the basket, but this was just one of those games where we weren’t able to rebound the ball and get stops when we needed them.”

There were stretches of brilliance by the Lynx defense, most notably midway through the third quarter when they held the Rough Riders without a field goal amidst a 10-1 run. That scoring surge, which was bookended by layups from Jackson Hilton, swung an 8-point deficit into a 34-33 advantage with a minute left.

The defense was clicking and the offense had seemingly found its rhythm, attacking the basket and getting to the foul line.

“We have to play to the foul line and the post a little bit more,” Deckert said. “That was a situation where if we’re not getting the ball inside to our post player, then our inside game has to come from driving it and kicking it out.”

Brandon Valley grabbed its largest lead β€” 40-37 following a 3-point play by Payton Tietjen β€” amidst a back-and-forth start to the fourth quarter, but then Tyler Feldkamp took over for Roosevelt. 

After slicing through the defense for the go-ahead layup, the 6-foot senior drilled a 3-pointer from well-behind the arc with a hand in his face to extend the lead, then hit a step-back 3-pointer from the top of the arc to push the score to 51-45 with 3:22 remaining. “That was just a dude making a play right there,” Deckert said.

“With Tyler, you just kind of hope that he’s off,” he continued. “He can be off and on β€”he’s like a light switch β€” but it doesn’t seem like he misses very often.”

Feldkamp, who finished with 29 points unofficially, added another layup before teammate Tucker Large put an exclamation point on the 13-3 run with a triple of his own. 

“Tucker, when you watch him play, he really is Roosevelt’s motor and he’s got one that doesn’t stop,” Deckert said.”But there are a lot of guys on that team who are really difficult guards. It’s not just one or two guys, trust me. They have a team full of them.”

The visitors were positioned to start pulling away, but the Lynx refused to fade. Riley Miller hit back-to-back 3s to make it a 3-point game with 35 seconds left, then Jaksen Deckert negated a pair of Roosevelt free throws with his first (and only) trey of the night.

BV hung tough down the stretch, but Feldkamp was perfect at the line and Roosevelt escaped with the win. 

Hilton led the way with 16 points for BV, while Jaksen Deckert added 13. Both players recorded four assists. Miller recorded 11 points with three 3-pointers for the Lynx, who shot 39 percent from the field and 52 percent at the line (14-for-27).

“Roosevelt is a really good team and they made us better,” Deckert said. “I don’t think we gave them the victory. I think they went out and took it (with) some outstanding plays down the stretch.”

Up next

Now 4-3 on the year, Roosevelt returns home to host Harrisburg on Tuesday. 

Brandon Valley (4-3), has lost three of its last four and will look to bounce back at Mitchell on Tuesday. 

Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen.

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