Black River's Caleb Poldruhi shoots over Brooklyn's Hunter Smith during the second quarter. (RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE)
SULLIVAN TWP. — The fun began Friday when 5-foot-10 Brooklyn senior Yareh Ramos giggled as he lined up for the opening tipoff against 6-9 Black River center Jonathan Herb.
It ended when the home student section lost its collective mind as Kyle Potter made a putback for a career-high five points.
Everyone — even the Hurricanes — understood the Pirates’ boys basketball program doesn’t have many nights like these.
Doing pretty much whatever it wanted, where it wanted, whenever it wanted, Black River demolished reeling Brooklyn 94-41 in Patriot Athletic Conference cross-division play. The point total was the largest since dropping a school-record-tying 99 against Mapleton on Dec. 19, 1970.
The Pirates (5-11, 2-11) also tied their second-largest margin of victory, but records were an afterthought on a night when multiple role players had career performances against an opponent that has lost by an 84-36 average score during its 16-game losing streak.
“It’s nice to just go out there and be in the lead the whole game and win by a lot,” 5-foot-3 point guard Devon McLean said.
Black River actually trailed the Hurricanes (1-17, 0-14) 5-4 before embarking on a 28-4 run. It held quarter leads of 26-9, 45-20 and 76-30 and harassed with a press that transitioned into 1-3-1 or 2-3 zones.
Guard Caleb Poldruhi was far and away the most athletic player on the floor and finished with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting to go with nine assists and three steals. Herb feasted against an opposing starting lineup that stood 6-0, 5-10, 5-10, 5-9 and 5-6 and reached double-double status with 1:34 left in the first half en route to 23 points and 16 rebounds. Both exited with 0.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
Power forward Caleb Simonson added a career-high 15 points, seventh man Gavin Ford hustled his way to a personal-best 10 and defensive pest McLean had another McLean-like game with one point, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and zero turnovers.
“We decided to be more aggressive and go more full-court press,” Simonson said. “That’s what we’ve tended to play better in the past couple games. Coach (Randy Endsley II) also wanted to pass the ball more and we did to put up, what, 94?”
Black River made 38-of-81 field goals, 12-of-25 free throws and 6-of-25 3-pointers while winning the rebounding battle 52-21. Brooklyn connected on 11-of-46 field goals, 16-of-27 free throws and 3-of-24 3-pointers while committing 18 fouls and 23 turnovers.
The Hurricanes got 13 points from 5-9 Hunter Majewski and nine from 5-6 Tristan Peggs. They also lost two of their tallest players, 6-2 sophomore Deven Brown and 6-5 freshman Tyler Elzholz, with knee and ankle injuries.
The Pirates had no such issues while snapping a two-game losing streak.
“After losing a couple games, we didn’t want to come into this game assuming we were going to win and play down to their level,” McLean said. “We wanted to come in, get a big lead and win by a lot.”
Contact Albert Grindle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black River 94, Brooklyn 41
BROOKLYN 9 11 10 11 — 41
BLACK RIVER 26 19 31 18 — 94
Brooklyn — Yareh Ramos 0-4-4, Hashem Shaheen 0-0-0, Hunter Smith 0-0-0, Tristan Peggs 3-2-9, Hunter Majewski 4-3-13, Deven Brown 0-0-0, Jared Greene 4-1-9, Marcehllo Carrossellia 0-0-0, Stephen Chhan 0-2-2, Gavin Supek 0-0-0, Tyler Elzholz 0-0-0, Ryan Cutright 0-3-3, Chris Wilkowski 0-0-0, Alex Hernandez 0-1-1. TOTALS: 11-16-41.
Black River — Brennan Scheck 3-0-8, Caleb Simonson 6-3-15, Jonathan Herb 10-3-23, Caleb Poldruhi 8-3-20, Devon McLean 0-1-1, Jay Chidsey 2-2-8, Ryan Schultz 0-0-0, Gavin Ford 5-0-10, Kyle Potter 2-0-5, Devin Humphreys 2-0-4, Kobe Crites 0-0-0, Zach Foster 0-0-0. TOTALS: 38-12-94.
3-point goals — Majewski 2,Peggs, Scheck 2, Chidsey 2, Potter, Poldruhi. Rebounds — Brooklyn 21 (Greene 6), Black River 52 (Herb 16). Assists — Brooklyn 6 (Peggs 2), Black River 23 (Poldruhi 9). Records — Brooklyn (1-17, 0-14), Black River (5-11, 2-11). Junior varsity — Brooklyn 38, Black River 35.