Brookwood’s Kerwin Lee (24) takes a jump shot over Kell’s Kendrick Summerou (12) during the Duluth Jingle Jam Basketball Tournament in Duluth Friday. Brookwood defeated Kell 84-62. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
DULUTH — Brookwood’s defense forced 24 turnovers and the Broncos rode that effort to a convincing 84-62 win over Kell on Friday afternoon on the opening day of Duluth’s Jingle Jam basketball tournament.
Brookwood (9-3), playing for the first time since a 57-45 win over Wesleyan on Dec. 20, was aggressive with its defense from the start and that eventually paid big dividends in the 22-point victory.
“We played very hard today and execution over the (holiday) break is not always easy with the time off,” said Brookwood head coach Daniel Bowles. “We practiced yesterday for the first time after four days off. So we just asked our kids to play as hard as they could today and they did.”
But it wasn’t easy early on for Brookwood as Kell took a 13-10 lead after the first quarter and led by as many as five in the second quarter before the Broncos awakened.
Down 19-14, Brookwood scored the next nine points to pull out to a 23-19 lead and never trailed again.
Brookwood finished the second quarter with 32 points, including a trio of three-pointers from Nate Gill, to take a 42-32 lead at the half.
Gill finished with 12 points — all from three-point land — to go along with four assists.
Expanding the lead to 19 at 56-37 midway through the third quarter, Kell went on a 9-0 run to cut the Broncos’ advantage to 56-46 late in the period.
But Brookwood regrouped and eventually took a 61-48 advantage into the final quarter.
From there, Brookwood continued to turn up the pressure and outscored Kell 23-14 in the final eight minutes — thanks primarily to that pressing defense and also Kendall Joseph’s offensive burst.
Joseph scored 11 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter and also finished with seven rebounds and an assist for Brookwood.
Micah Kinsey added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Brookwood put 10 players in the scoring column.
“We talked about how we could pressure defensively and get some easy baskets,” said Bowles. “We worked on it in practice yesterday and our kids came out and gave us a great effort today. Kell’s a good team and when you press like we do, it’s about those six- and eight-point runs.”
Kell (4-7) was paced by Kendrick Summerour, Austin Rochez and Qua Alexander as each player connected for 10 points.
Alexander also had six rebounds and two assists for the Longhorns.
Brookwood, riding a three-game win streak, scored 70 or more points for the fifth time this season and will now take on King’s Ridge today at 4:30 p.m.
“We had a stretch where we played Friday-Saturday-Monday, had final exams and then a Friday game,” said Bowles. “That was just a survival mode. So now we’re able to work on some things before we get back into region play.”