Four Briarwood players hit double-figures as Lions take high-scoring battle with Indian Springs

Published 2:51 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

INDIAN SPRINGS VILLAGE – Briarwood took on a county foe and former top 10 team in Class 3A in Indian Springs, and the Lions faced tight competition throughout the night as they took on their rivals from just down the road.

In the end, Briarwood secured the 59-51 win on Thursday, Jan. 11 at Indian Springs School to bounce back from an area loss to Helena.

Both teams got to work on offense early as they combined for 28 points in the first quarter. Drew Mears hit a pair of shots from the field and Luke Schultz made all four of his free throws in the opening period to help the team score 16 first-quarter points.

However, Ben Simms kicked off his shooting night with five points in the first and helped Springs score 12 in the opening quarter.

With the Lions up four at the end of the first quarter, Mears scored six more points to put himself in double-figures for the half and Eli Stubbs had five in the second quarter to keep the strong shooting performance going.

While Briarwood scored 17 points in the second quarter, Indian Springs hit four three-pointers during that time to keep pace and trail by eight at the half.

That set up a 15-point third quarter performance from the hosts in the third quarter as they outscored the Lions during the period.

Simms added six points to his total to lead the way and counter a balanced 13-point effort from Briarwood.

That cut the deficit to six points heading into the fourth quarter and put Indian Springs just two possessions away from tying the contest.

Springs tried to draw closer as Thomas Nabors scored seven points and Dylan Heald had four points to power their team’s entire offense.

In the end, Briarwood stood strong on offense and kept making baskets in response to Indian Springs to seal the win.

Garrett Witherington scored six points in the fourth quarter and Thomas Loudon added four to put the finishing touches on the nine-point victory.

Four Lions scored at least 10 points in the win. Mears led the team with 13 points, Witherington scored 11 and Schultz and Stubbs each had double-digit scoring nights after each scored 10 points.

In addition, Loudon had seven points and Caleb Keller scored five points.

As for Indian Springs, Simms had a game-high 14 points, Heald scored 12 points and Nabors also got into double-figures with 10 points. William Giattina scored six points off two three-pointers, Max Markstein had five points and Lawson Katz scored four points.

Briarwood will face Moody in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day showcase at Leeds High School on Monday, Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Indian Springs will face another Class 6A opponent when it makes the short trip to Spain Park on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m.