BROOKVILLE — One night after securing an Allegheny Mountain League playoff spot, the Johnsonburg Rams traveled to Brookville to face the Raiders to start their four-game week.
Yes, hurry up and end the regular season.
While the Rams are off until this Thursday’s AML semifinals at Ridgway, the Raiders are back to work Wednesday night at Redbank Valley.
Then it’s Friday at home against DuBois followed by Saturday afternoon’s makeup home game with Bradford.
So, the Raiders grinding out a 47-43 win over the Rams Tuesday night set a positive tone to the busy schedule ahead.
If the Raiders win out, they’ll claim the top seed in the three-team District 9 Class 3A playoffs that also consists of Moniteau and Kane. The first round of that playoff will be sometime late next week with the winner facing the top seed the following week.
Those games will be at a neutral site and the schedule will be announced some time this weekend.
An 18-6 run to start the game and clutch defense and foul shooting at the end kept the Raiders (12-9) ahead the entire night against the Rams (15-7), whose zone defense kept things off-balance for the Raiders at times.
Johnsonburg had the ball down 45-43 with 18.1 seconds left, but Miner’s steal and subsequent foul by the Rams put him on the line with 6.8 seconds remaining.
Miner missed the free throw, but Logan Byerly rebounded the ball then was tied up with the possession arrow pointing the Raiders’ way. The Rams fouled Robert Keth with 3.4 seconds left and Keth nailed both shots to clinch the win and set the final.
Keth made 5 of 6 free throws and led the Raiders with 13 points. Miner had 12 points and five rebounds while Aaron Park scored eight points. Byerly and Jack Krug both scored six points with Krug collecting a team-high seven rebounds.
The Raiders shot it well from the field, making 17 of 33 shots (52 percent) while sinking 12 of 18 free throws.
Johnsonburg’s Austin Green scored 13 points with eight rebounds and Cameron Stelene came off the bench to score 11 points. The Rams were just 17-of-44 from the field (39 percent).
Brookville’s 18-6 run out of the gate was huge as six different Raiders scored. Park’s basket with 2:35 left in the first gave the Raiders their largest lead at 12 points.
The Rams climbed back into the game and hung around the rest of the way, getting as close as 20-16 following Garrett Gregori’s 3-pointer at the 6:05 mark of the second quarter. But the Raiders pushed it back to nine points at 30-21 by halftime.
The Raiders led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but the Rams climbed back again with Stelene’s two free throws cutting it to 43-41 with 2:35 remaining.
Stelene’s putback got the Rams back to within two again at 45-43 with 30 seconds left, but that’s the last points they managed to score the rest of the way.
Brookville won the junior varsity game, 50-25 to improve to 16-1. Griffin Ruhlman and Hunter Geer each scored 12 points while Jamison Rhoades and Ian Pete scored seven and six points respectively.