Spring Grove shakes off slow start for senior night win
Check out GameTimePA's top 5 plays from Jan. 30- Feb. 4. Video by Lindsey Smith
Spring Grove boys' basketball coach James Brooks didn't like what he saw early in Monday's regular-season finale against Greencastle-Antrim.
So just 90 seconds into the game, Brooks called a timeout and laid into his team.
It worked: The Rockets responded and defeated Greencastle-Antrim, 67-62, on senior night at Spring Grove.
The Blue Devils (15-7) sped to 9-0 lead and held a 16-11 margin after one quarter. The visitors led for most of the first half until Spring Grove finished the second quarter strong to take a 32-27 lead into halftime.
"We didn't come in focused at the start tonight," Brooks said. "It's senior night and our guys were a little too amped up. I had to call timeout to calm them down and get them refocused on the game."
Spring Grove (17-5) pushed the lead to 44-34 on Eli Brooks' old-fashioned 3-point play with 1:09 left in the third quarter, but the Devils scored the last two hoops of the frame and trailed by six heading for the final stanza.
Greencastle got as close as 55-51 midway through the fourth quarter, but a 10-2 run by the Rockets put the game out of reach. Brooks scored six points during that run, and Austin Panter added the other four.
"Greencastle is a good team," James Brooks said. "They have a lot of talent over there and they're well-coached. It's not surprising that they've had the season that they've had with winning their division and going to districts."
Eli Brooks shot 12-of-22 from the field for 32 points. He also set a career high with 23 boards and assisted on six Spring Grove baskets. Panter put together a quality night with 18 points.
"It took us until the second quarter to get ourselves going tonight," Panter said. "They're a very good team and they made it tough on us."
Casey Hoover paced the Devils with 19 points and Ian Gelsinger added 17.
Spring Grove returns to action Saturday in the YAIAA tournament quarterfinals when the Rockets take on Delone Catholic at 6 p.m. at Red Lion. It's a rematch of their matchup on Saturday, when Spring Grove earned a 63-49 win.
"Delone will play us competitively, just like they did on Saturday," James Brooks said. "We'll need to take them seriously and stick to what we do. We're healthy, for the most part, and that's always important going into the postseason."
Greencastle, meanwhile, opens the Mid Penn Conference tournament Feb. 14 with a semifinal against Mechancisburg at 7:30 p.m. at Big Spring.