The Brentwood Bruins basketball team (6-3) notched an important non-conference win at home against the Nolensville Knights (6-7), 60-37.
“We got derailed and showed some rust a little bit early,” said Brentwood head coach Troy Bond. “It has been one of those years where we have not had many home games. It was big to get up and down and have some bench guys play big minutes for us.”
“This win means a lot for us,” said Brentwood senior Jake Brock. “We had a lot of time off, but we got in the gym together. To have a big win like this at home feels good.”
“We gave a good effort, especially in the first half, but we just did not make a lot of plays,” said Nolensville head coach Todd Babington. “They out hustled us in the third quarter and got some put backs that just hurt us. When you are struggling to make points on offense, those second-chance points really hurt.”
Nolensville kept it close in the first quarter with baskets by senior Cody Farmer and senior Grady Powers, but the Brentwood duo of Brock and junior Daniel Cochran gave the Bruins the advantage 17-11.
In the second quarter, Brentwood was able to find their rhythm, thanks to the trifecta of Cochran, Brock and senior Davis White to increase their lead 27-16.
The Bruins caught fire in the third quarter as the trio of Cochran, Brock and White continued to sizzle from behind the arc and in the paint, stretching their advantage 48-27.
Brentwood closed it out in the fourth quarter with three pointers and layups by Brock, White, Cochran, freshman Nick Degnan and sophomore Jackson White to win the game 60-37.
The Bruins smothering defense held the Knights to 37 points.
“Our purpose is always to guard first,” said Coach Bond. “Our guys have gotten use to what we want to do. I think we definitely are getting better as we go. Our kids play hard and buy in.”
“We take a lot of pride in our defense,” said Brock. “Coach Bond pushes us to be the best on the defensive side of the ball. I still think we are figuring some things out. Nolensville has some great shooters, so it feels great to hold their team to 37.”
“Our defense sparks our offense,” said Brentwood senior Davis White. “We start getting steals and stops that lead to our offense getting shots. This gets the whole team hyped.”
Nolensville had two players in double figures in seniors Grady Powers with 11 points and Cody Farmer with 10 points.
“They were able to get some points when we were patient on offense,” said Coach Babington. “They got open looks and were able to knock it down.”
Brentwood had three players in double figures: Cochran with 18, White with 17 and Brock with 14.
“Anytime you get three guys in doubles, that is a huge deal,” said Coach Bond. “We hit several threes. I thought Jake Brock shot the ball really well. Daniel Cochran shows up with nice numbers at the end in a quiet way, but makes some big plays when we have to have them. Davis White attacked the basket hard and made some big free throws. He was really aggressive on the offensive end.”
“Our offense is an unreal attack,” said White. “When we have a 3-point shooter, big man and driver working together, we can be something special.”
Nolensville will travel to Ravenwood on Friday night.
“I want to see us fight,” said Coach Babington. “I want to leave the floor on Friday night and say that we played harder than Ravenwood. We are going to need to outwork them.”
Brentwood will face district foe Centennial on Friday.
“They have a really good ball club,” said Coach Bond. “Coach [Jeremy] Moore and I go back a long ways, when he was at LaVergne and I was at Oakland.”
“At this point in time you really want to start polishing your team and getting ready,” said Bond. “You are looking at a six-week period, and then you’re in the tournament,”
“It is a huge road game for us,” said Brock. “They have been playing really well. They played us well last year and have good guards. I am excited to see what we do.”