DuBOIS — Leading by three points at the half, Brookville used a strong effort on both ends of the court over the final two quarters to pull away from DuBois Central Catholic on its way to a 65-48 victory in the opening game of the DuBois Holiday Tournament Friday.
The first two quarters was a back-and-forth battle — one that saw the Raiders lead most of the way but never be able to distance themselves from the Cardinals. Brookville pushed its lead to as any as six points — once in each quarter — but each time DCC clawed back within a point.
However, outside of an early 5-2 advantage, Central Catholic was never able to pull even or take the lead again in the game. The Cardinals got back within a point late in the half on a basket by Justin Miknis, but a hoop by Brookville’s Trenton Gilhousen with two seconds left sent the teams into the break with the Raiders up 32-29.
Brookville then opened the second half on an 8-2 spurt to extend its lead to nine at 40-31. The Raiders never looked back from there on their way to the 17-point victory that evened their record at 4-4 and earned them a spot in the championship game.
The Raiders finished the night with a balanced offensive attack, one that saw five players score eight or more points. Bryan Dworek led the way with 17 points, while A.J. Lachnicht (12) and Gilhousen (11) also reached double figures. Jack Krug came off the bench to score nine, while Aaron Park — who was in early foul trouble — finished with eight.
Miknis scored a game-high 19 points to lead DCC, while Thomas Grecco added 16 for the Cardinals (3-5).
“We toyed with a zone early in the first half and had success with and did two different ones, but then they figured it out and started beating it pretty regularly down the court,” said Brookville coach Dalton Park. “So, we made some adjustments at halftime, and it was a pretty good team effort. We had three guys in double figures and two others with like seven or right points, so they spread the ball around well.
“Our guy who usually does the scoring (Aaron Park) didn’t have a great game and other guys stepped up. As a coach, that’s a dream. Bryan (Dworek) really stepped up and we’ve been after him to start attacking the hoop, and he took over the game a little bit today.
“And, Trenton Gilhousen played really good defense when we went man and knew where Miknis was. I know Miknis still had 19 points, but they were a different style than he is use to getting. I thought he had to work a little harder for them.”
Gilhousen scored just 12 seconds into the game to give Brookville a quick 2-0 lead, but the Raiders then went more than three minutes without scoring. During that stretch, Grecco scored five straiht points to put DCC up 5-2.
A three-point play by Park evened the score at 5-5 at the 4:27 mark, while a a 3-pointer by Gilhousen with just over three minutes left in the quarter put Brookville up for good at 8-5.
John Swalligan answered Gilhousen’s trey by scoring for DCC, but the Raiders ended the opening quarter on a 7-3 spurt to lead 15-10. Swalligan had six points on the night.
Miknis opened the second quarter with four straight points to get DCC back within a point at 15-14. That opened sequence repeated itself several times in the quarter, as Brookville went upby a handful of times, only to see DCC get back within a point three more times — the final time coming right before the half.
Miknis scored 10 of his 19 points in the second quarter, while on the other side Brookville had six different players find the scorebook. Lachnicht led that group with seven of his 12 points in the quarter.
Lachnicht opened the scoring in the third quarter when he scored down low of a nice pass from Dworek, withh that hoop sparking an 8-2 run that put the Raiders up 40-31 just 2:31 into the second half. The teams traded scores from there, with Brookville maintaining that nine-point edge (47-38) at quarter’s end.
Dworek led the third-quarter charge for Brookville, netting eight of his 17 points in the quarter, while Miknis had five in the period for DCC.
After Miknis scored to open the fourth, back-to-back baskets by Nick Keth and Krug gave Brookville its biggest lead to that point at 11 points (51-40) just over a minute into the period. Central Catholic countered with hoops by Miknis and Jonathan Kurtz to get back within seven at 51-44.
Brookville then put the game away for good with a 10-0 run that featured old-school three-point plays from both Krug and Lachnicht. Krug scored seven of his nine points in the fourth to help the Raiders finish off their 17-point victory.
“The kids gave great effort the whole game and executed well in the first half,” said DCC coach Dom Varacallo. “Brookville did a nice job of making adjustments in the second half.
“We got to to the spots we wanted but struggled at times to hit the shots we normally make. We will bounce back though. We are a resilient group.”