VAN — Van and Brownsboro renewed their rivalry on Friday night in front of two raucous student sections.

The No. 5-ranked Brownsboro Bearettes opened the night with a 49-27 win over the Lady Vandals, and the Vandals held off the Bears in the nightcap, 40-34.


Brownsboro got the game started with a free throw by Gekyle Baker. Van then reeled off a 10-2 run.

Kyle Nichols had two putbacks in the final 1:12 of the first quarter to cut Van’s lead to 10-7.

With Van up 14-9 in the second quarter, Canon Rust went on a personal 8-3 run, knocking down two triples, and Malik English connected from downtown for the Bears. Jacob Hardwick then scored on a drive to make the lead 24-12.

Van got a free throw by Michael Fitzgerald and a layup by Baker in a two-second span in the final 18 seconds to trim Van’s halftime lead to 24-15.

Down 27-17, Brownsboro went on a 6-0 run. Baker then scored the Bears’ final four points of the quarter, including turning a steal into a layup with 20 seconds left to make the score 32-29 in favor of the Vandals heading into the fourth quarter.

Erskine got a 3-pointer for Van with 6:38 left in the game to push the lead to 35-29. Neither team scored after that until a free throw by English with 2:51 to play.

Brownsboro’s only field goal of the fourth quarter came when Aidan Hardin had a steal under the basket and a quick layup with 30 seconds left to cut the score to 39-34.

As the intensity elevated, the official decided to blow the whistle for the conclusion of the game a few seconds early.

Both teams had their struggles from the free-throw line. Brownsboro was 7 of 22 from the charity stripe, while Van was 6 of 21. The two teams combined to miss 14 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Erskine led Van with 10 points. Drew Reynolds had 8 points and seven rebounds, and Rust also had 8 points. Luca Kozhev had 7 points and 10 rebounds. Quentin Harris scored 4 points, Hardwick 2 and Cayden Mitchell 1.

Baker led Brownsboro with 9 points, six rebounds and four steals. English had 8 points and five rebounds. Nichols had 6 points and six rebounds. Jacob Hopson had 4 points and eight rebounds. Hardin scored 4 points, Tanner Ballard 2 and Fitzgerald 1.

Van (10-11, 1-0) will play at Canton on Tuesday. Brownsboro (19-4, 0-1) will play at Wills Point on Tuesday.


Brownsboro jumped out to a 10-0 lead with all of the points coming from either Paris Miller or Mekhayia Moore.

Landry Jones made Van’s first bucket with a runner off of the glass with 1:06 left in the opening quarter. Tori Hooker connected on a layup in the final seconds to give Brownsboro a 12-2 lead after the first quarter.

Brownsboro opened the second quarter on an 8-3 run as Landry Jones made a 3-pointer for Van.

While the Lady Vandals put in 17 points in the second quarter, the Bearettes scored 20 to lead 32-19 at the break.

Brownsboro outscored Van 9-2 in the third quarter to go up 41-21 after three quarters.

Miller led Brownsboro with 14 points. Moore had 11 points and four steals. Allie Cooper also had four steals. Rebecca Rumbo had 9 points. Cooper, Hooker and Khayla Garrett all scored 4 points, and Khyra Garrett added 3.

Landry Jones and Jordan Ryan had 7 points each for Van. Landry Jones also had five assists and four steals, and Elizabeth Nixon had five steals. Maddy Clyburn scored 5 points. Maci Jones and Adyson Horan had 3 points each, and Nixon added 2 points.

Van (19-5, 2-1) will play at Canton on Tuesday. Brownsboro (26-2, 3-0) will play at Wills Point on Tuesday.


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Sports Writer

Brandon Ogden is in his 21st year covering high school sports in East Texas and has been in Tyler for the past three years. Follow on Twitter: @BrandonOSports