Brahmans upset Martin County Tigers

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Okeechobee High School senior Malcolm Kelly currently leads the Brahmans in assists with 21, rebounds with 35 and steals with 20.

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee High School varsity basketball team upset the Martin County Tigers 74-64 on Dec. 20.

The win improves the team’s record to 6-1 this year, and also means the Brahmans are still undefeated when playing in Okeechobee.

Heading into the game, high school sports website Maxpreps ranked the Tigers as the 44th best team in the state, while putting the Brahmans back at 99th. And Martin County lived up to that ranking in the early going of the game, jumping out to a 22-12 lead in the first quarter.

But Okeechobee took control for the rest of the game, outscoring the Tigers in the next three quarters. In the fourth quarter alone, the Brahmans outscored Martin County 24-16.

In the win for Okeechobee Malcolm Kelly scored 22 points, Markeze Kelly, 12, Silas Madrigal, 12, De’nitrik Whittaker, 10, Alessio Dehart, seven, Mikal Kelly, seven, and Rowan Hanley, four.

Brahmans coach Demetre Riles looks to have his team prepared to make another playoff run after winning the district championship last season.

One thing that is hard to coach is team chemistry, and the Brahmans seem to be clicking at every level on the court. Attend any home game at Okeechobee High School and the first thing you’ll notice is the way these Brahman team members are able to communicate with each other efficiently during the game. The other thing that will jump out at you is the support each player has from his teammates.

No matter who is in the game, the players sitting courtside are always actively engaged in what’s happening and supporting their teammates. There aren’t any selfish players on the team. The Brahmans seem to celebrate each other’s successes and are laser focused on one goal each game … winning.

A lot of that culture of unselfishness can be attributed to the Kelly brothers, Malcolm, Markeze and Mikal. When not in the game, those three are usually the loudest, most vocal supporters of the team in the entire gym.

Malcolm Kelly is currently tied for the leading scorer for Okeechobee with fellow senior Silas Madrigal. Both players have 80 points so far this season. Madrigal was a standout on the junior varsity team and few years ago and has continued to improve each year. Madrigal is quick, decisive and a dangerous weapon on the perimeter for the Brahmans.

Malcolm also currently leads the Brahmans assists with 21, rebounds with 35 and steals with 20.

Following their dominating December performance, the Brahmans will open up the second half of their season with two back-to-back road games in 2020.

Okeechobee will be at Westwood High School on Jan. 7 and then at Fort Pierce Central High School on Jan. 8.

The Brahmans beat both teams earlier in the season, taking down Westwood 67-39 back on Dec. 6 and defeating Central 67-40 on Dec. 14.

After the two away games the Brahmans will host their first home game in 2020 on Jan. 10 when they face Treasure Coast in a rematch.

Treasure Coast gave Okeechobee their only loss of the season so far, beating the Brahmans 55-50 in the first game of the year for both teams. In the aftermath of that game, Treasure Coast has sputtered out to a 5-4 record while Okeechobee has gone undefeated.

Okeechobee will tip off against district foe Westwood at 7 p.m. on Jan. 7.

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