Brandywine boys hoops’ historic season ends in state semifinals

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WNDU) - The Brandywine boys basketball team saw its great season come to an end on Thursday afternoon, as the Bobcats lost to Traverse City St. Francis 46-36 in the Division 3 boys basketball state semifinals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.

The Bobcats (25-3) were a few layups away from leading the Gladiators (24-4) at halftime, but some costly turnovers ultimately doomed them in what was a close game from tipoff.

“The kids played tough all game long. We just couldn’t get over the hump,” said head coach Nathan Knapp after the game. “They did everything they could do. We just couldn’t finish some shots tonight, and they didn’t go our way.”

St. Francis advances to the Division 3 state championship on Saturday against Flint Beecher, who won the other semifinal this afternoon at the Breslin Center. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.

Despite the loss, Brandywine had a remarkable season. The Bobcats reached the semifinals for the first time in program history, and they made it there in dominant fashion. They won 19 of their games this season by double-digit margins.

“I’m happy for these kids, the season they had, and everything they’ve done,” Knapp said. “It’s been an amazing run, and they played hard.”

And this one season wasn’t a fluke. Knapp has led the Bobcats to six league titles and three district titles over the last eight seasons.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats could be Breslin-bound again next year. There was only one senior in the team’s eight-player regular rotation this season, which means Brandywine will have plenty of veteran leaders on its roster next year for another potential playoff run.