Despite a monster 44-point effort from Michigan recruit Eli Brooks, the Spring Grove boys' basketball team will enter the PIAA state playoffs on a two-game losing streak.
The fourth-seeded Rockets (20-8) lost the District 3 Class 5-A third-place game to sixth-seeded Milton Hershey (20-5) on Wednesday night at Lower Dauphin, 87-76.
That followed a 78-58 setback vs. York County rival Northeastern in a semifinal battle on Monday night at the Giant Center.
Brooks' effort included a 15-for-16 effort at the foul line and three 3-pointers. The 44-point outburst was not a career high, however. He had 46 points on Jan. 11 in a 63-60 win vs. Central York. For the year, Brooks is averaging just shy of 30 points per game.
Austin Panter added 13 points for the Rockets.
Spring Grove will now enter the state playoffs as the fourth seed out of District 3 and will face the District 2 runner-up on Friday, March 10. That will be the loser of the District 2 championship between Abington Heights and West Scranton. That game is set for Friday.
New Oxford 57, Hershey 54: At Milton Hershey, John Wessel poured in 24 points to power New Oxford to a win in the District 3 Class 5-A ninth-place game. Ben Lehman added 10 points for the 13th-seeded Colonials, who improved to 14-11. Hershey, seeded No. 15, dropped to 13-13. A 31-21 edge over the middle two quarters powered New Oxford, which clinched the No. 9 seed out of District 3 and will now face the District 12 champion in the first round of state action on Friday, March 10.
Schuylkill Valley 52, Littlestown 40: At Milton Hershey, the Thunderbolts dropped the District 3 4-A fifth-place contest. Sixth-seeded Littlestown finished at 16-10. Eighth-seeded Schuylkill Valley improved to 17-10 and garnered a state playoff berth. Avery Eyler (18) and Logan Collins (16) combined for 34 of Littlestown's 40 points.