BROOKVILLE — Brookville head coach Bud Baughman sat on the bleachers where the student section normally sits, with his tie down and a distraught look on his face. Anyone who took a quick glance at Baughman Thursday night would have thought that the Raiders lost their home game against Harmony.
Brookville (17-1) beat Harmony 52-45, but Baughman wasn't happy with how the Raiders played.
"I would probably say that we played very poor for the most part," Baughman said. "We weren't patient offensively, we rushed too many shots and had too many situations where we passed the ball once and shot. Defensively, we also struggled. I'm not happy at all with how we played. In fact, I think it is the worst game we have played all year."
The Raiders took a 9-2 lead over the Owls and appeared to have complete control. Brookville continuously cycled the ball inside to Jared Heschke and Zane Hackett, who did well scoring and on the glass.
After the first quarter, the Owls forced the Raiders to take jump shots, and Harmony slowly climbed back into the game.
"Defensively, they're very talented, and we don't have the size to match up with them," Harmony head coach Terry Kruise said. "We thought if we could get to the free-throw line, it would help us out a lot."
Harmony was more aggressive offensively than Brookville and shot more free throws. The Owls were 13-of-17 from the line, while the Raiders were 3-of-7.
"We definitely need to get to the line more," Baughman said. "I'm not sure exactly why we didn't tonight. I looked up at one point, and we had eight fouls, and they had one. I haven't quite figured that out yet."
By the end of the third quarter, the Raiders' lead, which had been in double digits for much of the game, was cut to nine with three seconds remaining in the quarter. Brookville's Dan Ion pushed the ball up the court and made a three-point shot from half court to give the Raiders a 43-31 lead.
"I don't know if that shot helped out that much, but the kids got a kick out of it," Baughman said.
Harmony cut the lead to 47-43 in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get any closer, as the Raiders pulled away to earn the win.
"I was happy that our kids continued to fight," Kruise said. "When you fall behind by 10 or 11 points, it's hard to stay confident, but our kids did, and they kept fighting."
The Raiders were led in scoring by Hackett (14 points), Kyle Baughman (11) and Ion (10).