SULLIVAN TWP. — In a matter of minutes, a close game turned into a rout for Brooklyn as it knocked off Black River 60-39 in Patriot Athletic Conference cross-division boys basketball action.
The Pirates (0-3, 0-1) knotted the score at 11 early in the second quarter, only to watch the Hurricanes (2-2, 1-0) go on a 21-3 run to end the first half.
John Schnear (10 points) got the ball rolling for Brooklyn, answering a game-tying basket from Black River guard Zach Sword (11 points, 11 rebounds) as six different players scored during the run.
“Sometimes we get a little ahead of ourselves,” said Brooklyn coach Jon Holko, a Wadsworth graduate. “When we do that, we need to get back to fundamental basketball. And when we got back to fundamental basketball — our basketball — we dictated the pace and the tempo of what we wanted to do. I think that gave us a boost of confidence and put them in a hole they couldn’t recover from.”
While the Hurricanes seemingly couldn’t miss during their big scoring outburst, the Pirates had trouble holding on to the ball.
“When you get the wind out of your sails — and we can’t let the wind get out of our sails — it’s tough,” Black River coach Cynthia Berry said. “Basketball is a game of momentum, and we keep talking about that. You’re going to make runs, and it got away from us pretty fast there.”
Back-to-back triples from Sword and Stephen Zumack narrowed the margin to 13 with 4 minutes to play in the third quarter, but that was as close as Black River got. Brooklyn reeled off the next seven points to push the lead to 40-20.
Hurricanes center Michael Byndas (12 points, 8 rebounds) dominated early, muscling inside to score the game’s first six points. He might have posed even more problems for Black River had Caleb Stiver not been able to draw four charging fouls against him.
“I truly believe he is one of the best players in the conference,” Holko said. “But, to this day, he has not played like the best player in the conference. When he gets into foul trouble early because of some bad decisions on his part, it hurts us. When he’s on the floor, we’re a different ball team.”
Byndas sat the majority of the second half after picking up the fourth charge midway through the third quarter.
Black River didn’t score until the 4:19 mark, when Jerod England split a pair of free throws, and didn’t knock down a basket until Zumack hit a jumper 1:19 later.
Contact Chad Grant at email@example.com.
Brooklyn 60, Black River 39
BROOKLYN 11 21 12 16 — 60
BLACK RIVER 7 7 11 14 — 39
Brooklyn — Andrew Grose 4-4-13, Dennis Clark 2-0-4, Michael Byndas 4-4-12, Dan Czirr 2-0-5, John Schnear 4-1-10, Deric Martin 2-1-5, Antonio Vega 1-1-4, Nick Hernandez 3-0-6, Pat Ryan 0-0-0, Dan Lott 0-1-1. TOTALS: 22-12-60.
Black River — Stephen Zumack 3-0-7, Tyler Potter 2-2-6, Caleb Stiver 2-0-4, Jerod England 0-1-1, Zach Sword 3-3-11, Gabe Eaton 0-0-0, Austin Hsia 1-2-4, Brett Nagy 0-0-0, Nick LaHood 1-0-2, Jared Herb 1-2-4. TOTALS: 13-10-39.
3-point goals —Czirr, Grose, Schnear, Vega, Sword 2, Zumack. Rebounds — Brooklyn 35 (Byndas 8), Black River 31 (Sword 11). Assists — Brooklyn 9 (Czirr 3), Black River 4 (England 3). Records — Brooklyn (2-2, 1-0), Black River (0-3, 0-1). Junior varsity — Brooklyn 46, Black River 36.