Spring Grove's Eli Brooks is having another standout season in his senior year. Hear what his teammates and an opponent have to say about playing alongside and against the University of Michigan recruit. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Spring Grove junior Drew Gordon scored 15 of his career-high 20 points during the Rockets' game-ending run that erased a 14-point, third-quarter deficit to beat New Oxford, 67-58, on Friday.
Gordon's 3-pointer with three minutes to go in third quarter ignited his team's 37-14 finish to secure the YAIAA Division I home victory.
Until that point, the Colonials held a comfortable advantage for most of the game. The Colonials led, 20-8, after the opening stanza and pushed the margin to 32-12 midway through the second quarter.
Spring Grove (11-4, 8-2) ended the second quarter on an 11-4 run to shave the halftime lead to 36-23, but New Oxford kept firing away from beyond the arc in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Jaren Rex staked the Colonials to a 44-30 lead before Gordon's heroics began.
New Oxford (9-7, 4-6) led 58-56 following Ben Lehman's free throw with 2:34 to play, but then Gordon started the game-deciding, 11-0 run with a 3-pointer at the 2:01 mark.
"I started to heat up and then guys found me and I was in rhythm," Gordon said. "We needed to play more aggressively and with more passion than we did early in the game, and we did that in the second half."
Rockets coach James Brooks said he was impressed with the fight that his team showed.
"It was a good team win tonight. We didn't start well, but the guys stepped up and made plays," Brooks said. "Our guys are tougher-minded than I think they realized. They got down, but they didn't give up."
While disappointed with the result, New Oxford coach Sean Bair said he was pleased with how his team played.
"Spring Grove is a really good team, and we were right there with them all night," Bair said. "We got good looks all night, but they didn't fall late."
Spring Grove senior Eli Brooks tossed in 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to push his career point total to 1,973 points. He'll have a chance to reach the 2,000-point milestone on Saturday when the Rockets play Waynesboro (10-5) in the Mid-Penn/YAIAA Showcase at Gettysburg at 5:10 p.m.
Assuming Brooks can suit up, that is. He left Friday's game with a sprained ankle with 15 seconds left in regulation, and his coach deemed him "questionable" for Saturday.
The University of Michigan commit had scored more than 40 points in three of his last six games entering Friday's game.
"I thought we did well on Eli tonight, except for a few possessions," Bair said. "Their other guys really stepped up and did what they needed to do for them to get the win."
New Oxford buried 10 shots from beyond the arc, and Jordin Brown led four Colonials in double figures with 18 points. John Wessel (13 points), Trevor Floyd (12 points) and Lehman (10 points) joined Brown in double digits.
The Colonials also return to the court in the Mid-Penn/YAIAA Showcase on Saturday. They will take on Palmyra (13-2) at 6:35 p.m.