BROCKWAY — Forget gold. It was perseverance that paid big dividends for the Brockway Area High School boys’ basketball team in 53-48 a come-from-behind victory over Curwensville Friday.
The Rovers (8-7 overall, 2-4 Allegheny Mountain League) struggled at times, especially on the glass, allowing Curwensville to take advantage of good shots and second-chance opportunities on offense to build a 12-point advantage midway through the third.
However, Brockway slowly tightened on defense, not only limiting the Golden Tide’s shot selection but also creating some big turnovers to get the momentum moving in the other direction.
It took nearly eight minutes of play, but the Rovers were able to use that to outscore Curwensville, 20-8, and tie the game midway through the fourth.
“We talked (earlier) about just taking it one possession at a time and chipping away at the lead,” Brockway head coach Rick Clark said. “And I thought the guys took that to heart. We tightened up on defense, rebounding a lot better and creating some turnovers.”
After that, the Tide (7-7, 2-4 AML) found itself on the way out as they managed to hold the lead just once after that.
Meanwhile, a big three-pointer from sophomore Alec Freemer gave Brockway the lead for good, 48-45, with just over two minutes to play.
From there, the Rovers got their remaining five points from the line, including its final four from sophomore Jon Wood, who scored a team-high 16 points.
Wood was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line, one of the few bright spots there for either team as they combined to shoot just 27-for-54 (50 percent) from the stripe in the game.
Both teams had 27 opportunities with Brockway holding a slim advantage on made shots with 15 compared to Curwensville’s 12.
While Wood gave the Rovers a final kick, it was senior Noah Vokes, who had 14 points, that opened the throttle, scoring Brockway’s final nine points of the third in a 3:45 span.
The Golden Tide got the lion’s share of its offensive production from two players as senior Josh Terry scored a game-high 22 points, including four threes, while junior Christian Bakaysa added 11.
Terry made the offense go early, scoring 10 points in the first half, nine on threes, to help the Tide take a 28-19 lead to the half.
While he added five more in the third, his final three-pointer with just over four minutes to play in the frame which put Curwensville up 12, basically signaled the beginning of the end as the Rovers began their march to the win.
The two teams will get the chance to do it all over again as Brockway will travel to Curwensville on Tuesday.