BROCKWAY — One of the biggest problems when tinkering with a fuel mixture is finding the right blend.
Getting it either too rich or too lean will have decided effects on an engine’s performance.
That same basic premise can also be overlaid onto basketball as the Brockway Area High School boys basketball team showed in a 67-54 win over Curwensville Friday.
Through the first eight minutes, the Rovers (4-5 overall, 1-2 Allegheny Mountain League) ran like a top, ripping off 24 points on their way to a 13-point advantage.
But after that, a couple of fouls seemed to put a little too much air in the mix, not to mention the Golden Tide’s sails, as the game started to turn.
“I think the fouls in the second quarter took some of our defensive aggressiveness away,” Brockway head coach Rick Clark said. “I think that led to guys getting a little lax and not communicating at times which allowed them to get some easy buckets and kind of creep back into the game.”
By midway through the third quarter, Curwensville (0-7, 0-2 AML) had not only erased the deficit, but took its first lead since early in the first quarter.
While Brockway never found that perfect mix again, it was able to get enough of a push from Jon Wood and Zane Puhala down the stretch to get it to the wire.
Wood, who scored a game-high 26 points, and Puhala, who had 24, accounted for 12 of the Rovers’ 16 fourth-quarter points while also picking up several turnovers on defense to help Brockway score the victory.
In all, six Brockway players put up points, including four in the fourth quarter while also getting some big contributions from everyone that hit the floor.
“I was proud of the way the guys really dug down defensively in the last quarter and a half,” Clark said. “Our bench played big and gave us some big minutes when we needed them.”
Curwensville enjoyed its own success during the third quarter, largely in part to the 3-point shooting of Ty Terry who canned three 3-pointers in the game, five in the game, to lead the Tide with 15 points.
Dakota Bloom, who also put down a pair from outside the arc, and Christian Bakaysa also finished in double figures with 12 points each.
While Curwensville had the hot hand early and grabbed the lead out of the gate, the Rovers were able to get things going behind Wood, Puhala and Alec Freemer who combined to score 22 of their first-quarter points, leading to a 24-11 advantage to open the second.
While the Tide fell behind by as many as 13 twice in the early part of the second, they were able to get Brockway into some foul trouble and took advantage as Bakaysa went 6-for-10 from the line in the frame to help cut the margin to 10 at the half.
Curwensville kept the momentum moving in its favor in the third behind three 3-pointers from Terry helping the Tide on a 14-3 run to finally retake the lead at 45-44 with 2:30 left in the quarter.
The lead then changed hands several times before Wood scored the final four points of the frame to give the Rovers a 51-48 lead to start the fourth.
Brockway pushed that to 55-48 before baskets by Bakaysa and Avery Francisco cut the margin back to three with about 6:40 left to play.
From there it was all Brockway as some foul shots, including a technical, allowed the Rovers to retake the momentum and push the margin to 10 before finishing with the 67-54 victory.
Both teams will be in action again Tuesday as Brockway will host Ridgway while Curwensville will travel to DuBois Central Catholic.