SHEFFIELD — Black River found itself undermanned and far away from home Friday night as it traveled to Brookside for a Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division game.
The Pirates also found themselves in a position they haven’t been in too many times this season, holding the ball in their hands with a chance to win the game.
The game-winning shot eluded the Pirates as they wound up on the losing end of a 51-50 score but Black River coach Randy Endsley was still happy with the performance from his team that was without starting forward Caleb Simonson, who missed the game due to illness.
“We’ve been ht hard with illness so to come out and battle like we did tonight I’ve extremely pleased,” Endsley said. “They followed the game plan, we wanted to be more aggressive but it just came down to free throws.”
The Pirates (2-7, 1-7) were 7-of-21 (33 percent) from the free-throw line.
After trailing 33-26 at the half Black River battled back to score 15 of the first 19 points of the third quarter taking a 41-37 on a 3-pointer with Jay Chidsey with 1:33 left in the period.
Chidsey, who finished with 12 points was one of three Pirates in double-figures joining Caleb Poldruhi, who also had 12 points and 6-foot-9 senior center Jonathan Herb, who scored a team-high 15.
Herb, who is also coming back from an illness, did most of his damage in the first half when he had 11 points and 10 rebounds. He finished the game with 14 boards.
Brookside (3-7,2-6) was led by Connor Baughman, who scored all of his team-high 15 points in the first half.
Defense was the story of the fourth quarter as both teams were held to under 10 points.
Poldruhi’s layup with 1:18 to play made it 49-48 Brookside lead. On the next possession the Cardinals Jacob Cole made a pair of free throws to extend his team’s lead back out to three, 51-48.
Pirates junior guard Devon McLean scored with 23 seconds to go to make the score, 51-50. After a Brookside timeout McLean, who was a leader on defense all night for Black River, stole the inbound pass giving his a chance to win.
A missed 3-pointer by Chidsey and an inbound pass the hit the bottom of the backboard spelled doom for the Pirates.
“We talk about free throws every day in practice, we shot 21, they shot seven, but we only made two more than they did,” Endsley said. “Overall we did a good job tonight but when you face a good team like Brookside you’ve got to make your free throws.”
Note: Junior Devin Humphreys scored a team-high nine points as the Pirates fell 44-19 to Brookside in the junior varsity game.
Contact Todd Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brookside 51, Black River 50
BLACK RIVER 19 7 16 8 — 50
BROOKSIDE 16 18 9 9 — 51
Black River — Jay Chidsey 4-1-12, Brennan Scheck 2-1-6, Jonathan Herb 6-3-15, Caleb Poldruhi 5-1-12, Devon McLean 2-1-5, Jake Zachayasz 0-0-0, Ryan Schultz 0-0-0, Gavin Ford 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-7-50.
Brookside — Tyler Horvath 2-1-5, Cody Mortensen 1-1-3, Dylan Smith 4-0-8, Connor Baughman 6-1-15, Jacob Cole 3-2-8, Exavier Ortiz 1-0-3, Jonathan Wright 2-0-4, Josiah Ortiz 2-0-5, Malachi Sheffield 0-0-0. TOTALS: 21-5-51.
3-point goals — Chidsey 3, Poldruhi, Scheck, Baughman 2, E. Ortiz, J. Ortiz. Rebounds — Black River 43, Brookside 29. Records — Black River (2-7, 1-7), Brookside (3-7, 2-6). Junior varsity — Brookside 44, Black River 19.