YORK TWP. — Sometimes playing spoiler can be fun.
Just ask Brookside’s boys basketball team.
The Cardinals upended Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division co-leader Buckeye 50-47 Friday with nothing more than pride.
With Buckeye (11-7, 8-6) leading 30-23 and poised to run away with the game early in the second half, Cardinals coach Brent Schremp had seen enough.
Schremp called a timeout and lit into his team. The pep talk sparked an 11-3 run that spanned the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth.
“I told them we thought they were being lazy,” he said. “At that point, we were being outworked, and we can’t afford for that to happen. They needed to dig in deep and get after it.”
The game went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter, with neither team able to pull away until the Cardinals (6-13, 5-9) got a spark from senior Alex Robinson.
The 6-foot guard went to the line for the first time with his team holding a 44-42 lead with 1:29 left to play. He calmly buried both attempts.
Buckeye’s Garrett Beck (23 points, 5 rebounds) missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. Robinson got a hold of the ball and was fouled again with 56 seconds remaining.
He again knocked down both free throw attempts to make it 48-42.
“You have got to make them,” Robinson said. “I don’t really think much (when in that situation). You just have to make them.”
Mike Bacho couldn’t knock down another triple try for the Bucks, and Kelvin Jones (11 points, 13 rebounds) pulled down the rebound.
Jones was immediately fouled and swished two free throws.
“We just couldn’t score,” Buckeye assistant coach Nick Senghas said towards the end of a nearly hour-long postgame talk between head coach Matt Saunders and the Buckeye players. “We couldn’t get anything inside, and their bigs took away Chris Vogt, who has really been playing well.”
The Bucks’ Jeff Miller (16 points, 8 rebounds) finally broke a 1:30 scoring drought when he got a putback off yet another missed 3-point attempt.
With 30 seconds left, Robinson finally salted the game when he took an inbounds pass and got free from the Buckeye defense, which ran critical seconds off the clock.
“I just threw the ball out in front of me and I went and got it,” Robinson said. “He reached behind me and we got the layup that got swatted, but it took time off the clock.”
Beck nailed a 3-pointer after an empty attempt from the free throw line by Brookside’s Cameron Drew.
After three timeouts, there was just 1 second left and Brookside was inbounding. Beck picked off the pass just past midcourt and chucked an attempt that wouldn’t have counted anyway.
Despite committing 23 turnovers, Brookside stayed in the game by dominating in the paint. The Cardinals held a 33-23 rebounding edge and got a combined 25 points and 18 rebounds from Jones and Nathan Keith (14 points, 5 rebounds).
“We knew Buckeye wanted to get up and down the floor,” Schremp said. “They shoot the ball really well and get transition baskets. We thought if we could get them into a half-court game and shoot the ball well, we could win the rebounding battle. Our two bigs on the inside did a heck of a job doing that.”
Buckeye had a strong duo of its own in Beck and Miller, who combined to score 39 points on 13-of-32 shooting. They also pulled down 13 of the team’s 23 rebounds.
The rest of the Bucks managed eight points on 4-of-18 shooting.
“Over the last two or three weeks, we have really struggled shooting the ball,” Senghas said. “Their confidence is down, and with their big guys we had trouble getting penetration. Jeff and Garrett have been our leading scorers all year and they are going to be aggressive. They both score a lot of points in the paint. The rest of the guys really struggled.”
|The Bucks won the junior varsity contest 55-45 behind Robert Miller’s 15 points.|
Contact Chad Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brookside 50, Buckeye 47
BROOKSIDE 11 10 11 18 — 50
BUCKEYE 9 15 9 14 — 47
Brookside — Cameron Drew 3-0-7, Mitto Agosto 1-0-2, Kelvin Jones 4-3-11, Alex Robinson 2-4-9, Tim Crnko 1-3-5, Christian Gray 1-0-2, Nathan Keith 6-2-14. TOTALS: 18-12-50.
Buckeye — Matt Cox 1-0-2, Jeff Miller 6-4-16, Chris Vogt 1-0-2, Garrett Beck 7-6-23, Cory Inman 0-0-0, Mike Bacho 1-0-2, Curtis Kinney 0-0-0, Ryan Grauel 0-0-0, John Tighe 1-0-2, Nick Prest 0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-10-47.
3-point goals — Drew, Robinson, Beck 3. Rebounds — Brookside 33 (Jones 13), Buckeye 23 (Miller 8). Assists — Brookside 7 (Jones, Crnko 2), Buckeye 6 (Inman 3). Records — Brookside (6-13, 5-9), Buckeye (11-7, 8-6). Junior varsity — Buckeye 55, Brookside 45.