Rovers' range too much for Raiders

DUBOIS — The Brockway Rovers deep threats, combined with a strong fourth quarter from Clay Anderson, was too much for the Raiders to handle in their 56-40 loss in the consolation game at the DuBois Holiday tournament Saturday.

The Raiders faced the Rovers for the second time Saturday and gave them a much stronger effort than their 69-24 loss in the championship game of the Brookville tip-off tournament on Dec. 8.

"I know the first time we played them, they came out and shot lights out from the start and we got in a big hole against them. I think my guys just folded up and didn't play that first time around," said Kevin Wolfe, Raiders varsity coach.

"This time we kind of gave them that lead again, not necessarily from outside shooting, but they did get an 8-0 lead on us again from shooting the ball well. But my guys hung in there and made a run and got back in the game and made it a competitive ball game. We just had some stretches of some bad basketball again, which is what we've been preaching to them over and over again. We have to eliminate those stretches and keep ourselves in the game," he said.

Brockway had four different players hit triples down the stretch, with four from downtown in the second half. Andersons' 10 points, of his game-high 16, in the fourth quarter was the nail in the coffin for the Raiders.

"He (Anderson) started getting into the paint there and getting some shots and creating some easy bunnies for some of his teammates. He played a nice game," said Wolfe.

Despite the loss, Nate Shirts had another strong performance in the tournament with 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Tate Canavan was the next highest contributor for the Raiders with eight points.

Shawn Blochberger provided a spark off the bench with seven points and six boards. Zach Byerly added six points and seven rebounds, while Jack Huggins tallied six points, four rebounds and two assists.

"Byerly plays hard most of the time and he's pretty physical, and Shawn (Blochberger) plays very similar to that. They both gave some good minutes," said Wolfe.

Cody Jose and Jake Perrin each contributed 12 points for Brockway to help its winning cause.

Brockway opened the night with eight unanswered points from Kyle Titler, Anderson, and Perrin.

A steal from Shirts and a nice find to Canavan broke the silence for the Raiders.

With one minute left in the second quarter, Canavan was able to cut the Rover lead to three, 17-14, with a pair of made free throws.

The Rovers ended the second half with one of their best weapons in the form of a triple from Andrew Serafini.

"We had a lot of missed opportunities; and I thought that was key in the first half. We probably could have been leading at halftime, had we made some of our bunnies," said Wolfe.

Byerly helped Brookville pull to within four again, 20-16, to start the second half with a strong take to the hoop that drew the foul.

He connected on both free throws to continue Brookville's hope of a comeback. Brockway answered once again with its long-range weapon off a triple by Jose, followed by one from teammate Perrin.

After a score from Shirts, Jose hit another trey to extend the Rover lead to 29-18.

A bucket from Canavan cut the Rover lead to seven, 35-28, to end the third quarter with Brookville still having a glimmer of hope.

Huggins opened the final stanza with a dish to a cutting Shirts, who made a solid head fake then scored to put the game within five of a tie.

Perrin fired back with a score to push the lead back to seven. After the Perrin score, the fourth quarter belonged to Anderson. Anderson used his speed and court savvy to score 10 fourth-quarter points and helped push the Rovers' lead to 51-38 with 1:19 left in the contest.

"The fourth quarter we got down, and the kids starting panicking a little bit and we started forcing some shots maybe a little earlier then we needed them and took some chances and gambled. Of course that snowballed and let them push that lead up further, and you have to scramble and take any shot you can get, and when they're not falling, it just doesn't happen," said Wolfe.

Blochberger scored the final two points for the Raiders with 17 seconds left in the game, but it was not enough, as the Rovers went on to win 56-40.