WINTERSVILLE - The referees blew their whistles early and often.
Forty-seven personal fouls and one technical foul were called during the Brooke and Indian Creek boys' basketball game Saturday afternoon. In the end, the Bruins were able to overcome a rough day at the free-throw line to pull out a 45-39 victory on the road.
"It is always the same type of game when we play," Brooke (6-5) head coach Dave Reitter said. "Both teams play the same way. They play physical. The kids play hard. They play aggressive. It was a great effort by both teams."
Both teams struggled to score throughout the game.
The Redskins led by as many as five points, while the Bruins' biggest lead was 11 points.
"We are getting better every game," Indian Creek (5-9) head coach Joe Dunlevy said. The kids are playing hard. At times, we are playing really well. At other times, we are not. We are trying to find that consistency as the year goes on."
Brooke 45, Indian Creek 39
Brooke 9 16-15 5 - 45
Indian Creek 10 10 11 8 - 39
BROOKE (6-5): Teaff 0 1-2 1, DeStefano 4 0-1 8, Cole 5 2-17 12, Green 1 1-1 3, Dameron 1 2-3 4, Schwertfeger 2 6-12 10, Sole 1 0-0 2, Barnhart 2 1-3 5. Totals: 16 13-39 45.
INDIAN CREEK (5-9): Foldi 2 1-3 7, Roar 2 1-2 6, Haught 1 5-6 7, Huynh 0 0-0 0, Greco 0 1-2 1, Anderson 1 2-2 4, Durbin 3 4-4 10, Woodbury 1 2-2 4. Totals: 10 17-21 39. 3-Pointers: Foldi, Roar.
The Redskins were called for 27 fouls plus a technical foul, while the Bruins were called for 20 fouls. The teams combined to shoot 60 foul shots. Indian Creek converted on 17 of 21 shots from the charity stripe, but Brooke shot just 13 of 39 from the line.
"The foul shooting is unacceptable," Reitter said. "In a tight game, it can make the difference in the game. It is not like we don't practice it. We practice it every day. We do different things. We do different regiments. It becomes a mental thing.
"Today is over with. Tomorrow is a new day."
Two players scored in double digits for the Bruins. Cole Thomas scored a game-high 12 points to lead the way, and Russell Schwertfeger recorded 10 points.
Cody Durbin delivered a team-high 10 points to lead the way for the Redskins.
The foul fest began less than a minute into the game. More than a dozen fouls were called in the first eight minutes of action.
The Redskins scored the first four points of the game and took a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The hosts led 17-12 in the second quarter before the Bruins ramped up their defensive pressure, creating turnovers which led to some easy baskets.
After falling behind by five points, the Bruins ripped off a 13-1 run to take a 25-18 lead. Brooke led 25-20 at halftime.
"We didn't handle it great, but we handled it better than we did the last time," Dunlevy said about Brooke's pressure defense. "We are getting better at it as the season goes on."
Fouls continued to be called at a fast rate in the second stanza. All told, 28 personal fouls were called in the first half. The Redskins were called for 16, while the Bruins were called for 12.
The visitors converted just 11 of 27 shots from the charity stripe in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Creek sophomore Aaron Foldi tied the game at 25 in the third quarter, but the Bruins used three mini spurts to take a 40-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
A basket by Nick DeStefano gave the Bruins a 42-31 lead. Later, a 3-pointer by Blake Roar pulled the Redskins to within 42-38, but that was as close as Indian Creek got the rest of the way.
"The kids played as hard as they can," Reitter said. "You are going to make mistakes. You just have to move on. We are going to enjoy this one today, and then we are going to get ready for the next one."
With the win, the Bruins swept the season series.
"Both teams played last night, so we were in the same position," Reitter said. "They are young kids. Eventually, you are going to have to play back-to-back, especially if you go deep into the tournament. It is a good thing for our kids. It gives them experience doing it. I think it is harder on the coaches."
Indian Creek returns to the court Tuesday at home against Harrison Central.
"It is a Buckeye 8 game," Dunlevy said. "They are close. It is a rivalry. They beat us in a one-possession game the last time."
Brooke is slated to play Friday at home against Weir.