ST. MARYS – A big third-quarter rally by Brookville turned out to be just enough as they outlasted Curwensville 53-51 in the District 9 Class AA quarterfinals Thursday at St. Marys High School.
The No. 6 Raiders (9-14), who trailed 25-19, went on a 21-6 run in the third quarter and then held on after Curwensville’s Austin Jacobson’s put-back attempt at the buzzer rolled out.
It was certainly a tale of two halves for Brookville, which got out-played in nearly ever aspect of the game in the first half, but came out guns blazing in the third quarter.
Nate Shirts, Brookville’s leading scorer on the season, scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, including an old-school three-point play to get the run started.
Ben Cudworth followed suit later in the quarter with a three-point play of his own to tie the game at 29-29.
Shirts gave Brookville a lead it wouldn’t relinquish on a layup off a nifty feed from Tate Canavan on the ensuing possession, as the Raiders went on a 16-2 run in the final 4:26 of the quarter to take a 40-31 lead.
No. 3 Curwensville, however, just wouldn’t go away.
Brett Gardner, who had a team-high 17 points for the Golden Wave (14-9), started the fourth quarter with a three, one of just three field goals by the Tide in the final eight minutes.
They were able to stay close thanks to a parade to the free-throw line over the final six minutes.
Actually, both teams found themselves at the line for much of the fourth quarter. Curwensville converted eight of its nine attempts, while Brookville was unable to put the game away, going just 5-of-10 in the final two minutes.
Trailing 51-45, Tanner Elensky hit a three, part of his 14-point effort, that made it 51-48 with 27 seconds left.
Taite Truman went to the line twice for Brookville, making just 2-of-4 and allowing the Tide’s last-second attempt to tie the game.
It was much the opposite in the first half, as Curwensville opened up a quick 7-2 lead.
Brookville rallied to take a 15-11 lead after the first quarter, but Curwensville followed that up with a 14-4 spurt in the second to take its six-point lead into halftime.
The Raiders managed one field goal in the second quarter, courtesy of Cudworth.
Next up for the Raiders is Karns City in the semifinals. The second-seeded Gremlins escaped with a one-point win over Kane Wednesday.
Nate Shirts 6-10-11-22, Tate Canavan 4-1-2-9, Taite Truman 0-3-6-3, Ben Cudworth 3-2-5-8, Jack Huggins 2-3-4-9, Braiden Smith 1-0-0-2, Shawn Blochberger 0-0-0-0, Totals 15-21-30-53
Brett Gardner 5-5-6-17, Kyle Johns 2-0-0-4, Tanner Elensky 5-3-5-14, Trey Rauckhorst 3-2-4-8, Alex Olson 1-0-0-2, Austin Jacobson 1-0-0-2, Jake Terry 1-0-0-2, Jason Thorp 0-0-0-0, Totals 19-10-15-51
Curwensville 11 14 6 20
Brookville 15 4 21 13
Three-Point Fgs: Brookville – Huggins 2; Curwensville – Gardner 2, Elensky 1