Potters come back to take Brooke

WELLSBURG, W.Va. — The inexperienced Brooke Bruins built a 16-point lead midway through the second quarter and were ahead 33-17 at the half, but went stone cold in the last 10 minutes of the game and lost to East Liverpool, 45-42, Saturday night.

First-year coach Cam Koehler’s club saw the lead whittled to 42-37 after three quarters and in an unusual circumstance failed to score a point in the fourth quarter. The Bruins had several layups and close shots roll off the rim as if it had a lid on it.

“It is pretty incredible,” said Koehler, whose club lost it’s home opener and now is 0-2 to start the season. “We had two games back-to-back with the exact same situations, the exact same scenario play out.

“I really haven’t put a finger on it yet. The guys are so new and inexperienced at the varsity level that its hard to tell right now. “We’re just preaching to learn from our mistakes. Move forward. Understand where we’re going wrong in game situations and grow from there and when we’re in that situation again come out with a W.”

Meanwhile, the Potters came out in the second half and began chipping away at the Brooke lead, but neither team scored in the fourth quarter until the 3:34 mark when Logan Dawson sent to foul shots through the hoop.

The Potters scored only eight points in the fourth quarter themselves and six of them were from the free throw line. They tied the game at 42-42 with 2:15 left on the only field goal of the period by Robbie Davis, who cut down the lane on a baseline inbounds play for a layup.

“We started out slow last night against Indian Creek and we started out slow again tonight so its in the preparation, something we’re not doing right to get ready for the game,” said East Liverpool coach Nate Conley, whose team improves to 2-1.

“It was just a gut check at halftime,” Conley said. “We’re a good basketball team we didn’t come out ready to play. We came out and played really aggressive defense the second half. I think we held them to only nine points that whole second half.

“I’ll be honest we didn’t execute offense that well in the second half. We missed a lot of chances. It was a six-point game for a very long time. We finally were able to execute some of our stuff. What a great win. A fun win.”

East Liverpool sophomore, Gabe Roach got hot in the third quarter scoring 13 of the Potter 20 points and while he scored only two points in the fourth period — both foul shots — he set up the offense by driving to the basket and kicking the ball out to the open man. He led all scorers with 20 points.

“Gabrial has a lot of work to do but he has what it takes to be really good if he wants to put the work in,” Conley said after his team won it’s second game in as many nights.. “You saw it tonight. A few times he looked spectacular and then he’s going to make sophomore mistakes.

“We’re going to be up and down all year and I just hope we’re more up than down. We’re going to continue to get better and if we’re going to continue to get better it’s nice to get better after a win like this.”

With the score still tied at 42, Roach went to the foul line with 1:55 left in the game, but missed the front end of a one-plus-one situation. However, teammate Aaron Bombich, who led the Potters with eight rebounds, grabbed the most important rebound of the game. It allowed the Potters to slow the offense and run the clock all the way to 39 seconds before Bombich was fouled.

He was able to cash in on the first free throw and added the bonus to give East Liverpool its first lead of the game at 44-42.

After a Bruin time out, Nick Leonard missed a shot with 12.5 left on the clock and Roach got the rebound and was fouled. He made the first one, but missed the second with Brooke junior Joey Georgy getting the rebound and calling time out. It was Georgy’s 11th rebound of the game.

The Bruins were able to get off a three-point shot at the buzzer that would have tied the game, but it bounced off the front of the rim.

The only senior dressed for Brooke, Chris Yachini, led the Bruins with 15 points. Junior Justin Shelton scored 10.

Both teams play Tuesday as East Liverpool hosts Edison and Brooke travels to Oak Glen.

E.LIVERPOOL:  5-12-20-8–45

BROOKE:         13-20-  9-0–42

EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Dawson 1 3-4 6, Roach 7 5-8 20, Bombich 3 2-2 8, Reckenwald 1 1-2 3, Jackson 1 1-2 4, Davis 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 15 12-18 45.

Three-pointers: Dawson, Roach, Jackson; Rebounds: 31 (Bombich 8); Turnovers 13.

BROOKE SCORING: Shelton 3 2-2 10, Yachini 6 2-3 15, Cuomo 3 0-0 7, Leonard 0 4-4 4, Pauls 1 0-1 2, Georgy 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 15 8-10 42.

Three-pointers: Shelton 2, Yachini, Cuomo; Rebounds: 26 (Georgy 11); Turnovers: 13.