Spring Grove grabs school's first state playoff win
The Spring Grove Rockets made history Friday night.
The team is also moving on in the PIAA Class 5A boys' basketball tournament following their 49-48 win over West Scranton.
It was the first state tournament win in program history for the Rockets, who improved to 21-8 on the season. The Rockets will play in Tuesday's second-round game against East Stroudsburg North, which beat Manheim Central, 58-55, on Friday.
"It's one of those things I've been preaching to this group of guys for a long time," Rockets head coach James Brooks said. "It's one of those things nobody can take away from us."
Eli Brooks sank two free throws with just under 25 seconds to play to give the Rockets the lead for good over West Scranton.
Spring Grove led 15-11 after the first quarter and 28-23 at halftime. The score was 38-35 Spring Grove entering the fourth quarter.
James Brooks said Friday's game was by far the most physical contest the Rockets had played in this season, although Spring Grove found a way to persevere.
Brooks added the road trip to Scranton High School was not smooth either. What's typically a two-and-a-half hour bus ride took the Rockets nearly five, according to Brooks, because of poor weather conditions.
Brooks said his message to the team going into the game was to put that aside and grab the playoff victory.
"It isn't the ideal way to get a W, but we're here," Brooks said. "Let's fight through all this. It'll be a horrible ride home if we don't get the win. Let's make the most out of it."
Eli Brooks scored 26 points for Spring Grove, pulling 1 point behind York Catholic's Jacob Iati for the No. 2 spot on the YAIAA boys' basketball career scoring list. Jake Messersmith added 10 points for the Rockets.
YAIAA career scoring leaders
2,504 - Andrew Nicholas, Eastern York, 2011
2,388 - Jacob Iati, York Catholic, 2008
2,387 - Eli Brooks*, Spring Grove, 2017
2,236 - Adam Miller, Kennard-Dale, 1993
2,216 - Jon Iati, York Catholic, 2003
2,175 - Brian Pearl, York Catholic, 1991
1,929 - Andy Winebrenner, Fairfield, 2002
1,921 - Levi Winters, Northeastern, 2004
1,863 - Austin Tillotson, Eastern York, 2011
1,854 - Four McGlynn, Dallastown, 2011
* - active, points through March 9, 2017