Spring Grove evades Waynesboro late; Brooks still chasing 2K
Check out some of the top plays from Saturday's showcase between teams in the YAIAA and Mid Penn. Matt Allibone, GameTimePA.com
Waynesboro gave them a run, but Eli Brooks and Co. were too much in the fourth quarter as Spring Grove pulled away late for a 72-61 victory Saturday at the Mid-Penn/YAIAA Showcase at Gettysburg.
Spring Grove led, 46-43, going to the final stanza and pushed its advantage out to 64-52 with 3:09 to play before a late Indian spurt cut the deficit to 67-61 with just over a minute to go.
The Rockets (12-5) connected on 5-of-6 from the foul line in the final 66 seconds to salt the game away.
"Waynesboro plays hard and they run the court well," Spring Grove coach James Brooks said. "They're well-coached, and they gave us a tough ball game."
Waynesboro (10-6) was originally scheduled to face Gettysburg, but when Susquehanna Township pulled out of the event earlier in the week, the slate had to be adjusted.
"We could've refused to play, and there's always a risk of a loss when you play," Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman said. "But we wanted the challenge of trying to beat Spring Grove."
The Indians trailed, 30-24, at halftime, but started the third quarter with a 7-0 run. The teams traded the lead 10 times in the frame and tied the score twice.
Brooks had a modest game, by his lofty standards, as he put in 22 points to go with 10 boards and five assists. He entered the game carrying averages of 30 points and 14 rebounds.
"Eli is a great athlete and a great player. He's the best player I've coached against in my 17 years here," Hoffman said. "Our guys made him work hard to get the ball and work hard to get his shot off when he got the ball. But I think what goes unnoticed with them is how good his supporting cast is and how well they fill their roles."
Austin Panter posted 18 points and seven rebounds, while Drew Gordon, fresh off a career high 20 points in Friday's win over New Oxford, had 13 points and six rebounds and Jon Sager contributed nine points.
"Even when guys aren't scoring, they're setting screens, playing defense and rebounding," James Brooks said. "Eli and I have talked a lot about doing what the team needs and not necessarily trying to score all the points. To reward the other guys when they play hard."
A night after spraining his ankle, Brooks played the entire game until checking out with 15 seconds left. His status was a game-time decision Saturday.
"I didn't feel great at the start, but once I got it loosened up, I was fine," Eli Brooks said. "Drew, Jon and Austin all played well and they know that when they run the court that they'll get the ball and have a chance to score."
Brooks' 22 points leaves his five points shy of 2,000 for his career and he'll take his next crack at Red Lion on Tuesday when the Rockets return to YAIAA Division I play.