BUNKER HILL — Maconaquah boys basketball player Brennan Dexter missed a layup at the buzzer Friday night.

He won’t lose any sleep over it.

The previous 16 minutes, the senior guard was perfect from the field and the line, scoring 17 points and combining with his Maconaquah teammates to stun Western 57-51 and knock the Panthers off the top spot in the Mid-Indiana Conference.

Dexter had plenty of help as several Maconaquah players made big plays in the second half leading the Braves out of a hole that grew to 11 points early in the third quarter. The victory was the first in the MIC for Maconaquah (3-8 overall, 1-2 MIC) and halted a six-game skid.

“It feels great to come out and beat a team that’s 3-0 in the MIC,” said Dexter, who had 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Braves roared back. “It’s just amazing. [We] played our butts off, worked hard for it.”

The loss dropped Western to 3-1 in the league and 6-4 overall. Peru moved up to the top spot in the conference at 3-0 with a victory over Taylor Friday.

Western led for the first three quarters but the lead was never secure thanks to Maconaquah’s quick-strike ability. The game turned in the third quarter. Western had fought free of a brief 25-24 deficit to take a nine-point lead 39-30 with just a few seconds left in the stanza.

On the last possession of the quarter, Maconaquah’s Nathan Shinn found himself open on the left wing in transition for a 3-pointer at :04 to cut the lead to 39-33. Ninety seconds into the third quarter, the Braves and Panthers were all square at 39-all.

“The key possession in my opinion was the last possession of the third quarter,” Western coach Andy Weaver said. “We’re at the free-throw line, we went up 39-30 and we went man defense with 11 seconds to go in the third quarter and we missed an assignment and they made a 3-pointer to cut it to six.”

“[The missed assignment] was the beginning of the destruction for us.”

Maconaquah sensed it too. To start the fourth quarter, Shinn banged another triple and Dexter canned the next. The Braves then went ahead on 3 freebies by Dexter to take the lead. Western tied once, but never held the advantage again.

“From there, we come right out of the quarter and hit another quick 3,” Maconaquah coach Lucas Zartman said of the stretch after Shinn’s first trey. “That really got the momentum in our favor and I don’t think we looked back from there.”

Western led 13-9 after one quarter and 20-16 after a first half that featured a lot of missed shots. The game heated up significantly in the second half.

“Give Maconaquah credit, they’re a team and they didn’t quit,” Weaver said. “They smelled victory, and they played with enthusiasm and they played together and they made enough free throws, and made enough big plays down the stretch.”

Dexter was a menace in the fourth. He added another deuce and was 9 of 9 from the free-throw line in the quarter. He’d missed all four of his shots and his only free throw in the first half.

“We pulled him out and talked to him and said ‘you’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to have confidence,’” Zartman said of Dexter’s slow start. “When he went back in, he finally knocked a shot down and once he did that, it was the old Brennan again. He attacked and shot the ball.”

Curtis Hyde provided another big lift for Maconaquah, scoring 13 points after coming off the bench. Nick George added nine and Corey Christner eight. Maconaquah was 2 of 12 from 3-land in the first half, then 6 of 8 outside the arc in the second.

Dexter said he felt the momentum shift in the “second half, when we started getting things going and everybody was hitting shots.”

Wes White scored 19 points to lead Western — scoring 17 in the second half. Darrian Greene added 10 and Jamal Johnson scored nine in an all-action showing off the bench. Western was 0-14 from 3-point land and just 11 of 21 from the free-throw line.

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