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FMB AOTW: Bencker adjusting to American life
Brewton learning new role for CHS
Arne Bencker, a junior guard at Bulloch Academy, averaged 15.5 points in BA’s two wins last week. - photo by Staff
     The Bulloch Academy boys’ basketball program has taken on a European flair with the addition of Arne Bencker.
    The 16-year old point guard hails from Iserlohn, Germany and is spending his 11th grade year as a foreign exchange student, living with the Bryan Burke family.
    Last weekend, Bencker led Bulloch Academy to back-to-back victories, a 58-48 win over then undefeated Westminster of Augusta Friday night and a 58-42 victory over Brentwood School Saturday afternoon. He scored team highs (13 and 18 points respectively) each night as he helped the Gators improve to 5-2.
    In Germany, Beckner was a member of the Nordrhein Westfalen team, a state all-star squad which won the German national championship.  The skilled six-foot says there are many differences in the two styles of play.
    “In Germany, we played a much slower game and there was not as much focus on defense,” he said. “In America, basketball is much more physical and aggressive and a lot faster. It’s just a different style of play.
    As it turns out, Bencker is a quick learner and has adapted very well to his new style of play.
    Since Gators’ first game, Beckner’s scored in double figures in each game and has become known for his ball handling skills, his pin-point passes and his hard drives to the basket.
    “He’s a true point guard,” said BA head coach Chandler Dennard. “He’s going to give the ball to people when they have an opportunity to score.”
    “You can do everything as a point guard,” said Bencker. “You can dribble up court, you can give out assists and you can score.”
Bencker is also excited by the fans that turn out to watch the basketball games.
    “In Germany, there are no athletic teams in the high schools,” he said. “We have teams from each town and only your parents come to watch you play. In America, and particularly at Bulloch Academy, it feels like the whole school turns out for games. It’s like a big family coming to watch you play. That makes me want to play harder and do better.”

Girls: Brewton a 3-point killer for CHS
    It may sound funny, but Lacreasha Brewton is having to do some growing up as a junior.
    The Claxton Lady Tigers lost a good bit of their senior leadership, forcing Brewton into a new role. Out of Claxton’s four junior’s, Brewton’s the only one with true varsity experience.
    “She’s learning,” said CHS coach Laura Aziz. “She’s working with a bunch of young kids. It’s hard when you’ve been the baby and then all of a sudden you’re forced to be a leader.”
    Brewton is a deadly shooter from the outside. Her knack for making the 3 has made her the team’s leading scorer. Brewton is scoring 12.4 points a game. She’s also dishing it out 4.7 times a game and pulling down almost five rebounds every time out.    
    Brewton’s new role in leadership has also come with a new role on the floor.
    “Outside — when she’s hot she’s hot,” said Aziz. “Her defense has picked up this year. She’s having to play down low and she’s having to do it because it’s what’s best for the team.”
    Brewton and the Lady Tigers will be off until Jan. 4 when they travel to Emanuel County Institute for a Region 3-A game.