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HOOPS: Spring Grove boys top York

DICK VanO'LINDA
505-5403/@ydsports

SPRING GROVE — Spring Grove's Eli Brooks knew that York High wasn't buried, even after Brooks' team built a 20-point lead in the York-Adams Division I game on Thursday night.

"We knew they were going to come back, all good teams do that," said the Rockets' junior, whose jump shot from the right wing gave his team a 40-20 advantage with 7 minutes, 15 seconds to play in the third quarter.

Just as Brooks predicted, and like the year before, the Bearcats stormed back. Coach Troy Sowers' team pulled to within three points (55-52) with 2:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, unlike last year's game on the Spring Grove floor, the Bearcats weren't able to complete a comeback victory this time. Spring Grove refused to relinquish control, responding with six straight points en route to a 65-57 victory.

Brooks delivered the final two points of the game with a breakaway dunk that drew a huge roar from the crowd. He finished with 28 points, 21 of them coming in the first half.

Darin Gordon and Grant Wierman complemented Brooks with 16 and 11 points, respectively, and sophomore Drew Gordon contributed eight points, including a perfect 6 for 6 at the foul line. Wierman started the run of six points with a layup following a cut to the basket. Drew Gordon delivered the pass to Wierman.

"That layup was huge," Eli Brooks said. "We needed a big hoop at that point. Each and every one of our players did his role tonight."

The victory gave the Rockets a regular-season sweep of the Bearcats.

"We hadn't beaten York High (the past two seasons)," said Spring Grove head coach James Brooks, who is in his third season. "Last year when we played here, they came back from 15 down and beat us by three. This year, we were able to beat them in there, and we have a lot of confidence when we play here."

Brooks knew that the Bearcats would be paying special attention to his son.

"There's a lot of emphasis in shutting down Eli, but we have other people who contribute. I love these guys," the coach said.

Sowers loved what he saw from his team — in the second half.

"We played like our lives depended on it," Sowers said. "We played great on-the-ball defense, and our full-court man was full-court man. They (Spring Grove) wanted the game a lot more than we did in the first half. We can't start playing with passion and intensity once we get down by 15."

Four players finished in double figures for the Bearcats. Trey Shifflett led the way with 16 points followed by Montrel Morgan (15 points), and Jacquez Casiano and Kris Johnson (11 points apiece).

Spring Grove's Liam Flaherty, #22, tries dribbling past York High's Jayden Iturmendi during the Rockets' 65-57 victory Thursday night, Jan, 21, 2016, at Spring Grove High. Randy Flaum photo - raflaum@comcast.net
Spring Grove's Eli Brooks goes in for a lay-up during the Rocket's 65-57 victory over York Thursday night, Jan, 21, 2016, at Spring Grove High. Randy Flaum photo - raflaum@comcast.net
Spring Grove's Eli Brooks, right, and teammate Darin Gordon go after a rebound during the Rockets' 65-57 victory Thursday night, Jan, 21, 2016, at Spring Grove High. Randy Flaum photo - raflaum@comcast.net
York High's Elliott Wilson, left, and Spring Grove's Grant Wierman go after a loose ball during the Rockets' 65-57 victory Thursday night, Jan, 21, 2016, at Spring Grove High. Randy Flaum photo - raflaum@comcast.net

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Eastern York 69, Susquehannock 49: At Glen Rock, each team had four players double figures, but the Golden Knights proved to have the deeper bench. Brougen Nicholas and Jared Achtenberg led all scorers with 15 points each for Eastern. They were joined in double digits by Jared Woods and Evan Springer, who scored 11 points each. Susquehannock was led by Adam Hedgeland’s 13 points. Teammate Jordan McMillion scored 11 points, while Josh Stoneberg and Nick Tannura ech added 10.

Dover 59, Kennard-Dale 40: At Dover, the Eagles triumphed behind double-digit efforts from Najah Fink (20 points), Jerry O'Neal (13) and Brady Bowman (11). Kyle Wooldridge paced K-D with 15 points.

Bermudian Springs 53, York Tech 45: At York Springs, Trevor Kasulin had a team-high 15 points for Bermudian, while Quinton Nace added 12. For Tech, Ty Brown had a game-high 17 points.

Covenant Christian 54, Christian School of York 53: At York, CSY couldn't overcome a 33-point outburst from Covenant's Joseph Lowe, which included seven 3-pointers. Anthony Torreullas led CSY with 18 points, while Sean Graybill and Jesse Brittell each added 11.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

York Catholic 53, Bermudian Springs 32: At York Catholic, Jania Wright led the Irish with 20 points. Teammate Katy Rader knocked in 12 points. For the Eagles, MacKenzie Farley scored 17 points. York Catholic improved to 9-1 in York-Adams Division III and 14-4 overall.

York High 48, Spring Grove 40: At York High, Chyna Steele had 19 points and Madey-Zania Redman added 12 to pace York High to the win. Abbie Marquette (12) and Morgan Hagerman (10) each hit double digits for the Rockets. York High improved to 12-7 overall and 6-4 in York-Adams Division I. 

Susquehannock 49, Eastern 37: At Wrightsville, Ashley Stone led the Warriors by scoring 13 points. Teammate Taylor Tannura knocked in 10 points. For the Golden Knights, Hannah Myers scored 23 points, including a 10-for-11 night from the charity stripe. Susquehannock improved to 12-0 in York-Adams Division II and 17-2 overall.

Christian School of York 48, Covenant Christian 20: At York, MeKenzie Smith scored a game-high 13 points for CSY, while Kaitlyn Hess had 10. CSY improved to 12-4.

Reach Dick VanO'Linda at sports@yorkdispatch.com.