Brookfield rallied past the top-seeded Vikings, 59-57.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
HUBBARD -- Brookfield High came back from 15 points down at halftime to stun top-seeded LaBrae 59-57 in a Division III boys sectional basketball final at Hubbard High on Wednesday night.
The Warriors (8-14), who were easily defeated by LaBrae twice during the regular season, got two huge 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter from junior Ted Swogger to lead the second half comeback.
It was the second tournament win in a row for Brookfield, which entered the postseason with an 11-game losing streak.
"Our kids never quit," said Brookfield coach Chris Fahndrich. "We played hard right until the end. We went through a streak of losing 11 games but our kids never quit."
Badger next: The Warriors play Badger next Tuesday in a district semifinal. Badger defeated Grand Valley 60-45 in the second game Wednesday.
"This feels good, it really does," Fahndrich said. "We've struggled the last two years so this is a new experience for our kids."
Brookfield withstood an offensive flurry by LaBrae in the final seconds to preserve the upset.
After Swogger made a free throw with 21 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a two-point lead, LaBrae missed several chances to tie or win the game.
Following a missed shot, LaBrae's Maurice Hightower grabbed the offensive rebound, but his shot was blocked by Brookfield sophomore Chris Davis. Rebounds gave LaBrae two more shots in the waning seconds but both missed.
"Chris is a very athletic kid who came through with a big play," said Fahndrich. "That was one play but throughout the game we had different kids make big plays."
LaBrae (16-5) shared the TAC championship with Badger. The Vikings were one of the favorites to make it out of the Hubbard district.
But LaBrae coach Greg Isler knew any TAC opponent was dangerous.
"This hurts a lot," Isler said. "It's real disheartening. Our kids worked really hard, but with our team our margin of error is really small and tonight we couldn't overcome [those errors]."
Early lead: LaBrae looked like it would cruise, outscoring Brookfield 25-12 in the second quarter to take a 40-25 lead.
Tim Littell scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the quarter. Tony Watkins added four of his 12 points in the period.
Brookfield responded in the third quarter as Swogger, Julian Hayes and Adam Daugherty began to heat up offensively. The Warriors outscored LaBrae 19-5 in the period to cut the Viking lead to 45-44.
Swogger led the Warriors in scoring with 17 points while Chad Fonagy added 10 points and Hayes nine.
Badger 60, Grand Valley 45: The TAC's other co-champion, Badger, had no problem with Grand Valley.
The second-seeded Braves were playing in Div. III for the first time since 1995. Badger was a district finalist in Div. IV last season.
Seniors Josh Upshire poured in 16 points while Ryan Miller had 15 points and Brett Bell 12. Senior Josh Klingensmith grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Badger coach Bill Bogan wasn't entirely happy with his team's performance against the Mustangs.
"We are going to have to execute much better if we want to advance further," Bogan said. "We weren't crisp tonight at all."