BRUNSWICK — Get the ball inside the paint.
That’s one of the things Brunswick boys basketball coach Dan McLane wanted to see his players do during Tuesday’s game against Walkersville.
But when the Railroaders didn’t immediately implement that plan, their coach had no complaints about the delay.
Hitting four straight 3-pointers, Brunswick quickly scored the game’s first 17 points, and the torrid start helped the Railroaders beat Walkersville 63-55.
“I’m glad we came out as hot as we did,” Brunswick junior Brayden Jones said. “It’s a confidence booster, definitely.”
Jones was one of three Railroaders to hit 3s during the game-opening stretch. Others were Layne Harich, who got the first one, and Jaeden Spriggs, who contributed two treys.
“It was really fun,” Jones said. “That was the first game in awhile that we all were ready to go.”
After witnessing such a display, it was difficult to tell Brunswick (2-2) had trouble hitting shots in its first three games.
“We hadn’t shot the ball that well. So I really wanted us to run through our offense,” McLane said. “I felt like we were bigger than [Walkersville], so I wanted to get the ball inside a little bit. And I thought we did a pretty good job of that against their zone after we hit the treys.”
The Railroaders also did a solid job on the boards, and that beneficial trait proved to be more long-lasting than their long-range shooting. On the game’s first possession, Spencer Kornblum — a sophomore who’s been playing basketball for two years — grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a putback.
“So boom, right away, they feel good about themselves,” Walkersville coach Mike Mathis said. “And then they hit a couple shots and it just snowballs from there.”
Granted, Walkersville (0-5) was far from done after falling behind 17-0.
When Lions junior Chaz Egan drove hard for a layup, it cut Brunswick’s lead to 38-30 with 6 minutes, 52 seconds left in the third quarter. And the Lions hung around the rest of the night, pulling to within 62-55 when Egan hit a 3 with 1:12 left.
But the Railroaders refused to buckle.
“We came out hot tonight,” McLane said. “But then they picked it up, and we had to weather their storm, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
With Walkersville inching close, Jones dished a pair of assists — including one on a no-look, underhanded pass — early in the fourth quarter to Carson Backer. One of four Railroaders to score in double figures, Jones had 13 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
Jaeden Spriggs had 13 points for Brunswick. Kornblum had 12 points and six rebounds, Harich had 11 points and Daniel Polyniak had nine points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
While Spriggs, Polyniak and Harich are seniors, Kornblum isn’t nearly as experienced.
“This is only his second year playing, so he’s very new at this,” McLane said. “Things happen very fast for him right now, so I’m hoping that as we move forward, the game will slow down for him. But he’s all over the glass, and that’s what I like about him.”
With just two seniors on the roster, the Lions are even younger than Brunswick. But Mathis hopes to see his team improve on the boards.
“Some games we’re just totally overmatched, and it it what it is. But like tonight, I think we matched up pretty well with them,” Mathis said. “They just beat us up on the boards, and that’s what won them the game.”
Egan led the Lions with 22 points, four assists and two steals. Jacob Montgomery had 13 points and two steals, and Nick Waltrup had five rebounds.
Brunswick won the JV game 42-41. Bryton Schnur led the Railroaders with 10 points, and Christ Ntemi had 17 points for the Lions.