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Day, Brodhead cruise past Argyle
Argyles Brent Ritschard drives towards the hoop while being defended by Brodheads Dawson Van Whye during Fridays game. (Times photo: Mark Nesbitt)
BRODHEAD - After blowing a 16-point lead in a loss to rival Parkview one day before, Brodhead senior Brekan Day knew the Cardinals had to answer the adversity in the midst of a six-game losing streak.

Day scored a game-high 23 points and had four steals to propel the Cardinals to a 58-49 win over Argyle in a nonconference game Friday.

"It obviously feels great," Day said. "We knew we had to bounce back after last night. It's a little weight off our shoulders to get a good win."

Brodhead (4-6, 2-4 Rock Valley) switched to a 1-3-1 zone with a halfcourt trapping defense and stymied the Orioles in the second half. The Cardinals broke the game open with an 18-7 run to start the second half. With the loss, Argyle has now lost six straight games, and drops to 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the Six Rivers East.

"We noticed in the first half there was no energy in the building," Day said. "We decided to up the tempo and we went to the 1-3-1 and that really helped us."

Day had three steals and scored the first five points of the second half to help the Cardinals take a 36-22 lead with 14 minutes, 28 seconds left in the second. Brodhead junior Dawson Van Whye and Day scored on layups to extend the Cardinals' lead to 43-26 lead. Brodhead led by as many as 23 points in the second half.

"It (the 1-3-1 zone) is something we have practiced against," Argyle coach Justin Jenson said. "It's hard to emulate the length Brodhead possesses. They were able to dictate the game. We weren't able to get many good looks out of it.

"I'm always telling my team we are not blessed with a lot of height. We have to always have the workmanlike mentality to go out there and rebound. We gave up too many second-chance opportunities and they were able to convert on those."

Johnson added 10 points and senior Alex Riemer had 9. Van Whye and junior teammate Dawson McGinty each chipped in 8 points. The Cardinals shot 68 percent from the free-throw line (13 of 19).

Day took a lesson from the loss to Parkview Thursday when a double-digit lead slipped away as the Cardinals struggled breaking the press.

"We learned we have to have some other guys step up and help us out," Day said. "We had some guys who really stepped up tonight with their scoring for us. We have to find guys to fit the spots. We have to learn from that game."

Brodhead coach Nick Jarvis considered going to the 1-3-1 zone earlier.

"We talked about it and I wanted to use it earlier in the game, but we were in foul trouble," Jarvis said of the first half. "Personnel-wise we have to have the right mix to run it."

The Cardinals won despite playing without senior starter Justice Tway who has a sprained ankle.

"Any win is a good win," Jarvis said. "Argyle has been playing teams really tough. They have been playing physical. Coming off a tough loss, I felt like we really needed this win."

Jarvis credited Day for his big performance and his team's defensive intensity in the second half.

"I thought a lot of that (Day's scoring) came out of the 1-3-1 and we were able to find him in transition," Jarvis said. "He's really good at converting. I thought we did a really good job of passing the ball and finding the open man."

Argyle senior Brent Ritschard scored a team-high 12 points. Senior teammate Dylan Stietz, junior Corbyn Carius and sophomore Miken Godfrey each added 7. The Orioles struggled with seven turnovers in the second half.

Day had a steal and then was fouled late in the second half. He hit two free throws to give the Cardinals their largest lead of 23 points, 53-30 with 5:32 left. The Orioles closed the game on a 19-5 run. Godfrey and Carius each drilled 3-pointers during the surge. Carius scored 7 points during the run.

"I told them every time we step on the court it's an opportunity," Jenson said. "It would have been easy to fold up and go home losing by 25 points. We didn't do that. We have a deep bench. A lot of our guys got in there and they took advantage of the opportunity in the second half."