Brewer boys 75, Priceville boys 59
Nielsen scores 23 in first half as Patriots cruise to victory
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
When the game was over, the student section started chanting "three-peat" to signify Brewer's third victory over Priceville this season. They'd love to chant "repeat," as well, if the Patriots make it all the way to the county championship once again.
Brewer's Matt Nielsen led the way with 29 points, including 23 in the first half, as the Patriots took advantage a raucous home crowd to move past the first round of the Morgan County Basketball Tournament Tuesday night. The Patriots are the defending boys county champion.
"We're playing a lot better the last six or seven games," Brewer coach Sam Brown said. "Obviously as Matt Neilsen goes, so we go, but we played really good around him. Everybody played solid tonight.
"Priceville's difficult to defend and I think we did a pretty good job there."
The Bulldogs' Josh Bedwell had a game-high 37 points in the loss, a game in which Priceville found itself down 38-24 at halftime.
Nielsen was deadly from the three-point line in the first half, finishing 5-of-8 including a three-pointer right at the buzzer before halftime. He was slowed considerably in the second half of play, but other Patriots stepped up. Brandon Franks nailed two three-pointers in a row in the third quarter to give Brewer a 53-32 lead, its largest lead of the game.
"One thing that we do have is other guys that can make shots and score if teams are keying on Matt," Brown said.
Priceville never could get the lead below 14 points in the second half as the Bulldogs were eliminated from the tournament. Alex Cannon added 10 points for Priceville and the Patriots' Rusty Boyd finished with 12, including a dunk in the fourth quarter that energized the Brewer faithful.
Brewer faces Falkville Thursday at 7:30 p.m.