The Brockway Rovers overcame a five-point, fourth-quarter deficit to hand the Elk County Catholic Crusaders a 58-56 setback in an AML game played on Tuesday evening at the Aaron J. Straub Gymnasium on the Elk Catholic Campus.
The game was a nip-and-tuck affair all the way, as both teams had leads of five or six points at different times during the game. The final period proved to be the difference in the game, as the Brockway Rovers were able to outscore the Crusaders 22 to 16 to pull out the big victory.
"Brockway played a very good ball game against us tonight," said Coach Aaron Straub of the Crusaders. "Nick Anderson went to the hoop very well tonight for the Rovers and Evan Hatfield shot very well for the Rovers.
"We had four poor practices going into tonight's contest and it showed, as we didn't seem to have the determination needed to win the ball game. We are a team that prides itself on our defensive play and to give up 22 fourth-quarter points is unacceptable.
"Brockway made quite a few shots on baseline drives tonight, while we were driving the baseline but weren't making the shots. We had a five-point lead late in the game and were unable to put the game away, as Brockway battled back to take it away from us.
"Ricky Pearsall turned in a great effort for us tonight despite being out sick for the past few days. We will have to regroup and rebound from this loss."
Tyler Herzing, Darren Simons and Ben Daghir were in double figures for the Crusaders on Tuesday, as Herzing finished the night with 19 points, Simons with 15 and Daghir with 10. Others scoring for the Crusaders were Ricky Pearsall with five, Mitchel Haberberger with four, Luke Daghir with two and Eric Wehler with one.
Brockway was paced by Cody Anderson with 19 points and Evan Hatfield with 14 points, Nick Anderson with nine, Fabio Fortunato and Ray Serafini with six each, and Kyle Braun with four.
Herzing and Simons opened the scoring in the game as Herzing hit a field goal and Simons a trey to put Elk on top 5-0. Brockway cut it to 5-2, but B. Daghir made it 7-2. Brockway scored the next seven points to take a 9-7 lead over the Crusaders. Herzing tied the game at 9-all, then Anderson hit a trey and Hatfield a field goal for Brockway to make it 14-9. Herzing's field goal near the buzzer made it 14-11 at the end of one.
Hatfield put the Rovers up 16-11 at the start of the second quarter. Haberberger scored for Elk, but Anderson hit a trey for the Rovers, 19-13. Simons and Herzing scored field goals, then Simons hit two foul goals to tie it at 19-all. B. Daghir gave Elk a 21-19 lead with his field goal. Braun and Simons traded buckets at the end of the quarter to make the halftime score Elk 23, Brockway 21.
Herzing put the Crusaders up by four at the start of the second half. N. Anderson and Herzing exchanged field goals, 27-23, then Brockway ran off six straight points to take a 29-27 lead. Herzing turned a three-point play to put Elk back on top, 30-29. Anderson and B. Daghir exchanged buckets, followed by an exchange by Anderson and Herzing to make it 34-33 Elk. Simon added a field goal and Luke Daghir two foul goals to make it 38-33. N. Anderson and Haberberger exchanged fielders to make it 40-35 before C. Anderson hit a foul goal at the end of the period to make it 40-36.
N. Anderson cut the lead to 40-38 at the start of the final period. Wehler hit a foul goal to make it 41-38. Hatfield and Pearsall exchanged field goals, then Anderson and B. Daghir exchanged a couple of points, 45-42. Hatfield hit a trey to tie it, but Herzing added a foul goal and Pearsall a trey to make it 49-45. A trey by C. Anderson was followed by a trey and foul goal by Simons, 53-48. Brockway scored the next six points to take a 54-53 lead. At the 1:30 mark, Elk regained the lead, 55-54, on a layup by B. Daghir. A try by Fortunato gave the Rovers the lead for good at 57-55 at the 1:10 mark. Herzing made one of two foul shots to cut it to 57-56, but the only other point in the game came with one second left on a foul goal by Anderson to make the final score 58-56.
Elk Catholic slipped to 5-3 on the season and will travel to Sheffield on Friday night to take on the Sheffield Area High Wolverines. Game times are 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Elk Catholic had 24 rebounds, with Pearsall leading the way with six, followed by Simons and Herzing with five each and B. Daghir with four. Brockway had 20 rebounds, with C. Anderson leading the way with six.
Elk had eight turnovers in the game compared to 14 for Brockway. Elk had nine steals, with Herzing leading the way with six.
Brockway Area 58
Kyle Braun 2-0-0-0-4, Nick Anderson 4-0-1-3-9, Fabio Fortunato 1-1-1-2-6, Ray Serafini 2-0-2-2-6, Cody Anderson 4-3-2-4-19, Evan Hatfield 4-2-0-0-14. Totals 17-6-6-12-58.
Elk Catholic 56
Ricky Pearsall 1-1-0-0-5, Tyler Herzing 8-0-3-5-19, Ben Crowe 0-0-0-0-0, Eric Wehler 0-0-1-2-1, Ben Wortman 0-0-0-0-0, Michel Haberberger 2-0-0-0-4, Darren Simons 3-2-3-3-15, Ben Daghir 4-0-2-2-10, Luke Daghir 0-0-2-2-2, Josh Gebauer 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 18-3-11-14-56.
Score by quarters
Brockway 14 7 15 22 58
ECCHS 11 12 17 16 56