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
READING – Eli Brooks’ Spring Grove career didn’t end as he expected, but the talented senior looked at the big picture.
Brooks scored 16 points, but he and his teammates couldn’t overcome a deep Archbishop Wood team as the Rockets dropped a 71-46 decision in a PIAA Class 5A state quarterfinal game at Santander Arena. Wood will meet Abington Heights in a semifinal game Tuesday at a site yet to be determined.
From the start, the University of Michigan-bound Brooks, who finished the year with 901 points and as the second all-time leading boys' scorer in YAIAA history, had trouble getting into a groove. He drained a three-pointer to begin the game, but he finished the opening half connecting on five of 14 shots.
Yet, he realized how far his program has come in recent years, winning its first state game this year and the special relationship with his father and head coach, James Brooks.
“It is a special relationship and it has been great going about it the right way,” said Brooks about his father and the program. “It is tough to see it end. No one expected us to be here. Everyone was talking about other teams winning games in the tournament.
“We proved a lot of people wrong. It’s hard to believe it is over, but I know I won’t forget it. We made a lot of strides and really came together as a team.”
Brooks had a nifty spin move jumper in the lane during the closing seconds that brought Spring Grove to within 33-24 at halftime, as the Rockets trailed by as many as 15 after briefly leading in the opening minutes.
However, the night belonged to Wood junior guard Tyree Pickron, who had four three’s that lead to 21 points in the opening half and 30 overall. His slam dunk with just under four minutes left in the game punctuated the victory for the Philadelphia Catholic League champions.
Minutes later, Brooks left the game at the 1:33 mark and the Rockets cleared their entire bench. Brooks had one bucket and made three of four foul shots, as well as showing some visible moments of frustrations of having his shots not falling.
Senior Austin Panter had as strong night for the Rockets, as he also closed out his career with 18 points and six rebounds.
“We are proud of what we accomplished,” said coach Brooks. “Eli knew he had to have an unbelievable game to pull this off against a team like that.
YAIAA career scoring leaders
2,595 - Sierra Moore, Delone Catholic, 2012
2,504 - Andrew Nicholas, Eastern York, 2011
2,426 - Eli Brooks, Spring Grove, 2017
2,388 - Jacob Iati, York Catholic, 2008
2,304 - Autumn Lau, Northeastern, 2009
2,258 - Lauren Beckley, Fairfield, 2006
2,236 - Adam Miller, Kennard-Dale, 1993
2,216 - Jon Iati, York Catholic, 2003
2,175 - Barb DeShields, William Penn, 1990
2,175 - Brian Pearl, York Catholic, 1991
2,162 - Kady Schrann, York Catholic, 2011
2,097 - Meredith Cox, Delone Catholic, 2006
2,044 - Meggan Quinn, Red Lion, 2006