DuBOIS — The phrase “Stop, drop and roll” is used to teach elementary-school children what they should to if their clothes happen to catch fire.
However, the DuBois Area High School boys’ basketball team tweaked that into something more like “Stop, swap and score” to help it catch fire and notch a 60-56 victory over Warren in its final home game of the season Wednesday.
The Beavers (9-12) were selective on offense, patiently swinging the ball back-and-forth until finally finding the open man for a wide-open shot and, more often than not, it seemed to work just fine.
Junior Jonathan Cruz was the biggest recipient as he banged down six 3-pointers, four in the first half, on his way to a game-high 23 points against the Dragons.
“We were definitely selective about getting the ball to the people that we wanted to shoot,” DuBois head coach Scott Creighton said. “Jon Cruz was on fire, especially in the first half. It seemed like he hit everything. And one of the things about him is that, when he shoots, we typically have rebounders in position so, even if he misses, we have a good chance of getting a second shot.”
However, even with that, the Dragons used their own long-range shooting to keep pace and never trailed by more than six, thanks to a big effort by junior Devin McMeans who finished with 22 points of his own.
But, the Beavers’ patience didn’t stop at the 3-point line and, when Warren was forced to slide out to pick up Cruz, DuBois simply pushed the ball inside where sophomore Chase Husted took advantage of his size to drop in 13 points.
Husted was also got some help from junior Justin Manduley who was able to slice through the defense several times and also finish in double figures with 10.
While those three all finished in double digits, DuBois’ other two starters, junior Alex Beers and senior Kenny Garvey, weren’t lost in the mix as they finished with eight and six points, respectively.
In fact, the DuBois starting five accounted for all of the Beavers’ points.
All five scored in the first quarter, helping the Beavers to lead much of the time before Warren’s Aidan Morrison scored four unanswered points to give the Dragons a 16-15 lead after one.
Cruz took the reigns for the Beavers in the second, scoring nine, but the game went to the break tied at 30-30.
Manduley and Husted took the game inside in the third as DuBois took a 47-42 lead after three but Warren stepped up early in the fourth, tying things at 52-52 with just under four to play in the game.
However, DuBois got the last push moments later, going on a 8-2 run to build a six-point advantage before Warren hit a shot at the buzzer to set the final.
DuBois wrapa up the season when it travels to Brookville Friday.