SULLIVAN TWP. — For most of the game, things seemed to be falling in place for the Black River boys basketball team.
Then forward Jacob Cole stepped into the spotlight and carried Brookside to a 53-47 come-from-behind victory in Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division play.
Cole scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the final period to erase a 39-35 Black River lead. Brookside (7-15, 6-10) outscored the Pirates 18-8 over the final eight minutes, and it was the only quarter the Cardinals held an advantage. Shooting guard Tyler Horvath added 19 points.
“We couldn’t find a basket (in the fourth quarter), we missed a lot of opportunities and turned the ball over at crucial times,” Black River coach Randy Endsley II said. “Unforced turnovers killed us. It wasn’t a lack of effort, just some miscommunication at times.”
Black River (6-16, 2-14) did not score over the final two minutes after senior Brennan Scheck drained a 3-pointer to make the score 49-47. Following a bucket by Brookside center Cody Mortensen, the Pirates turned the ball over on their next two possessions and missed four shots over the final 90 seconds, including three 3-pointers in the last 14 after Cole had sank a pair of free throws.
In total, Black River had more turnovers (5) then made baskets (3) in the fourth.
“It was a good game the entire time,” said Pirates guard Caleb Poldruhi, who scored a team-high 15 points. “In the end, we just couldn’t hit a shot. We gave up some fouls and they hit a lot of free throws.”
After the Cardinals tied the game 32-32 midway through the third quarter, Poldruhi scored seven points to pull the Pirates ahead 39-35 entering the final period.
“Poldruhi has been steady for two years,” Endsley II said. “He’s a quiet kid, but he leads by his play most nights.”
The lead changed hands or the game was tied on nearly every score over the first 11 minutes, including a 10-10 tie after the first period.
Scheck hit a 3-pointer to give Black River an 18-15 lead with five minutes left in the half, touching off a 34-second spurt where the forward scored seven points to put his team ahead 22-15. He made two free throws after a technical foul was assessed to Mortensen and drained two more on the ensuing possession while scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second quarter.
“(Scheck) did a nice job,” Endsley II said. “He’s been getting a lot of looks lately, and that second quarter he knocked some shots down. Getting to the free throw line helped him out.”
The Pirates took a 28-24 lead into intermission and Poldruhi hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute left in the third quarter to maintain that lead before the fourth-quarter woes struck.
Contact John Urchek at email@example.com.
Brookside 53, Black River 47
BROOKSIDE 10 14 11 18 — 53
BLACK RIVER 10 18 11 8 — 47
Brookside — Dylan Smith 1-0-2, Jacob Cole 8-5-21, Cody Martensen 3-1-7, Tyler Horvath 8-1-19, Exavier Ortiz 0-0-0, Jonathan Wright 1-0-2, Josiah Ortiz 0-0-0, Malachi Sheffield 1-0-2. TOTALS: 22-7-53.
Black River — Kyle Potter 0-0-0, Brennan Scheck 3-4-13, Jonathan Herb 4-0-8, Jay Chidsey 1-0-3, Caleb Poldruhi 7-0-15, Devon McLean 0-0-0, Caleb Simonson 4-0-8, Gavin Ford 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-4-47.
3-point goals — Horvath 2, Scheck 3, Chidsey, Poldruhi. Rebounds — Black River 29 (Herb 10), Brookside 21 (Cole 8). Assists — Black River 10 (McLean 3), Brookside 8 (Smith 4). Records — Brookside (7-15, 6-10), Black River (6-16, 2-14). Junior varsity — Brookside 53, Black River 22.