The talented combo forward for Cincinnati (OH) Moeller High School finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds on 14-23 FGs while going 4-4 from the Free Throw line. Brackman scored in a variety of ways, leading Moeller to a 76-68 win over Shelden (CA) High School and advancing to tonight's championship game against powerful Oak Hill Academy.
Moeller came out firing away from the start, with it's big three of Brackman, Josh Duncan, and Bubba Walther, accounting for 15 of it's 19 first quarter points. The Crusaders led 19-10 at the end of the first period, while holding Duke-bound combo guard Demarcus Nelson in check.
The second period was much of the same for the Crusaders. On consecutive possessions Brackman, Duncan, and then Walther all hit 3-pointers, pushing the Moeller lead to as high as 22 points. Shelden was able to cut the lead to 17 at the break as Nelson finished the half with 11 points, trailing only Brackman and his 13 for game high.
Shelden came out playing inspired in the third period, hanging with the undefeated Crusaders on both ends of the floor, seemingly more into the flow of the game. Nelson was able to get open for a couple of 3-pointers and attacked the rim at will, but with Brackman working the baseline and paint, Moeller maintained it's lead. A beautiful baseline spin move and bucket for the Moeller forward in the final seconds of the period was a thing of beauty.
Nelson again was on fire in the final period, leading a fierce Shelden comeback as they cut the Moeller lead to as low as 8 points. However, the fundamentally sound Crusaders hit their free throws in the final minutes and the game's star, Andrew Brackman, ended the night with a two-handed jam at the buzzer, as Moeller advanced 76-68.
Demarcus Nelson finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds for Shelden, who will play Georgetown Prep today at 4 PM.
The Crusaders of Moeller High will meet Oak Hill Academy at 9:20 PM in the championship game of the Glaxo Invitational.
Brackman Evaluation: The lanky forward was REALLY on tonight. Brackman will surprise you with his athleticism and quickness, but what sets him apart is his skill level, touch, and ability to remain active. He's always around the ball and does a good job of finishing around the rim. His ability to play within a system will allow him to flourish at NC State. In my opinion, Andrew Brackman's a big-time steal for the Wolfpack and with added strength could be an above-average player in the ACC. He's that good.
Moeller: 19 19 15 23 - 76
Shelden: 10 11 15 24 - 68
Moeller: Brackman 33, Walther 16, Duncan 10, Dierkins 7, Childress 4, Watt 4, Trainer 2, Carter, Gomez. Leaders - rebounds: Brackman 14, Childress 8, Dierkins 6. assists: Walther 6, Watt 5. steals: Walther 3, Watt 3.
Shelden: Nelson 28, Ashley 14, Ketchum 8, Fairgood 5, Rose 5, Pitman, Congdan, Rowashdeh, Redick, Monroe. Leaders - rebounds: Nelson 11, Ketchum 5, Rose 5. assists: Nelson 3. steals: Nelson 2 blocks: Nelson 2.