Everything seemed to finally be falling into place for the Brunswick boys basketball team Wednesday. A year after being crowned FAA regular season champs, the Bruins managed just two league wins this season. They struggled with injuries and illnesses to their best players all season.
Brunswick had the closest to a full roster as they had all season against St. Luke's in the opening round of the Fairchester Athletic Association playoffs . The boys bolted out of the gate, opening up a 19-point lead with 6:30 to play in the first half. It still wasn't enough, as St. Luke's came all the way back to put the final nail in the coffin of Brunswick's disappointing season, 50-48.
"That's the way the season has gone. The first nine minutes we played were the best we've played all season," senior guard Brendon Hardin said. "But it's 16 minutes in each half, and we let them get on some runs. That's basketball."
Despite blowing the huge lead, Brunswick had two golden opportunities to send the game into overtime with the final possession of the game. Hardin and Bradley Seaton both had unopposed layups in the final nine seconds, but both rolled harmlessly off the back of the rim.
Brunswick opened the game on a 13-1 run thanks to seven early points by Devin Mehra. Foul trouble hurt the Bruins, forcing them to sit Mehra and Seaton. With its hot shooters on the bench, Brunswick's halftime lead was cut to seven by St. Luke's.
St. Luke's defense solidified in the second half, while its offense scratched and clawed back into the game. The Storm opened the second half on a 14-5 run to take their first lead of the game.
Brunswicks' big men Seaton and Billy Murphy led the team with eleven points each. Seaton also pulled down nine rebounds while Murphy had four.
"The kids were full of fight. They're a diehard group of kids," Brunswick head coach Anthony Fischetti said. "You can't quit. That's been our mantra all year. I just wish our seniors had a little more of a taste of success."
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