NEW BETHLEHEM — Brookville guard Dan Ion glided down the court in the fourth quarter after his teammate Kyle Baughman grabbed a rebound and flung the ball up the court to Zane Hackett. Ion went hard to the rim, and Hackett found him for an easy lay-up.
Ion led the Raiders (14-1) with 16 points, and the Raiders cruised to a 53-28 win over Redbank Valley (1-9) in New Bethlehem Monday night.
"We came out sloppy, but after that we settled down," Ion said. "Once we got the rebounds, we were looking to push. We were outrunning them and getting easy baskets."
Brookville's balanced offensive attack played a key role in wearing down the Bulldogs. The Raiders had eight players score, and 13 players saw playing time.
"I think we outmanned them," Brookville coach Bud Baughman said. "They only have 12 kids on their team, and we came out and wore them down a bit. But I give their coach credit: Those kids played hard, and they hustled the whole time."
Redbank Valley led briefly after scoring the game's first basket, but the Raiders went on a 9-0 run and were ahead 15-6 by the end of the first quarter. The Raiders outrebounded the Redbank Valley 27-12 because the combination of Hackett and Jared Heschke was hard for the Bulldogs to stop.
Baughman said that having Hackett (six points, nine rebounds) and Heschke (seven points, six rebounds) to play center is a vital component of Brookville's success.
"It's a luxury to have those two guys," Baughman said. "It's nice because if one of them gets in foul trouble, then you have the other one to take over. I wasn't thrilled with how they played tonight, but they played well enough to win."
This was Brookville's first game since its 56-39 win over Ridgway Jan. 19. The Raiders game against Elk County Catholic Jan. 21 was canceled because of weather. Ion said that while the team struggled early, he didn't feel the layoff affected the team's performance.
"We were disappointed we didn't get to play ECC," Ion said. "But we went out and practiced hard on Saturday and worked to get better. I think we got a little bit better tonight, and that's what we want to keep doing."