HOWARD — When Brandon Berger was told that he wouldn’t be starting at center for the East Knox Bulldogs in Wednesday’s important Mid-Buckeye Conference matchup, it came as an unpleasant surprise.
When East Knox coach Don McDaniel sent him in to play the second half, it was equally unpleasant for the Centerburg Trojans.
Berger (10 points) put on a show for the home crowd while leading the Bulldogs to a 51-45 win over the Trojans.
“One of the things I did this week was challenge Brandon Berger,” said McDaniel. “Tonight he did a really nice job.”
“Coach challenged me to become a better element and become a better player,” said Berger. “I took the challenge, went out and did what he told me to do.”
It wasn’t all Berger. The Bulldogs were hot from the floor all night, shooting 21-of-47 as a team, but four big buckets from Berger, including a powerful dunk, was more than the Trojans could defend.
“This is probably the best shooting night we have had in a long time,” said McDaniel. “We were five out of 16 from the three-point line. We had to take them because they were open.”
“We just didn’t take care of the ball and we turned it over,” said Centerburg coach Jim Simpson, whose team grabbed the early 8-0 lead midway through the first quarter. “If anything did it tonight, it was turnovers.”
That lead was erased before the first period was over.