Second half surge leads Park over Brooke

WELLSBURG – If a basketball game was a story, it would have two parts broken down into four chapters.

Wednesday night, the Brooke boys’ basketball team won the first part of the game, while Wheeling Park won the second part. In the end, the Patriots did enough to rally past the Bruins, 48-44.

Wheeling Park doubled up Brooke, 36-18, in the second half to spoil the Bruins’ Senior Night.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Brooke (10-9) head coach Dave Reitter said. “They played as well as they could. They battled to the last minute. The fans should be very proud of the effort they gave. They didn’t back off.”

The Patriots (14-5) were able to erase a 15-point deficit in the second half en route to pulling out their second victory over the Bruins so far this season.

“The kids kept battling,” Wheeling Park head coach Michael Jebbia said. “At halftime, we told the kids to stay the course. We told them eventually we are going to make shots.”

The Patriots played without two starters – Retajje’ Goodwin and Luke Saseen.

“Without them, we had other kids step up,” Jebbia said. “That shows the character of these kids. They are fighters.”

The visitors from Ohio County outscored the hosts 11-6 in the third quarter and 25-12 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

Two players scored in double digits for the Patriots. Ryan Reinbeau recorded a team-high 18 points, while Elijah Bell tallied 13 points.

“Ryan Reinbeau came up big in the second half,” Jebbia said. “He is our leading scorer, and he was 0-7 in the first half. He scored 18 points in the second half. That was huge. If he doesn’t do that, we don’t win the game.

“Everybody contributed.”

Ryan Schwertfeger recorded a game-high 21 points to lead the way for the Bruins.

Also, Anthony Barnhart tallied eight points, Nick DeStefano finished with seven and Aquil Dameron delivered six.

“In the second half, I think we played to protect the lead instead of to extend the lead,” Reitter said.

DeStefano netted a foul shot to give the Bruins their biggest lead of the game at 27-12 with 5:33 left to play in the third quarter.

The Patriots slowly cut into their deficit from that point. Wheeling Park scored the final four points of the quarter to pull within 32-23 entering the fourth quarter. It was the first time the visitors’ deficit was single digits since the score was 17-9 with 3:31 left to play in the first half.

“I don’t know if the press hurt us,” Reitter said. “We made some lazy passes. We did not catch some passes. We were catching those passes in the first half. We didn’t execute.

“In the first half, we were set and ready to shoot. In the second half, we were not set.”

In the fourth quarter, Reinbeau buried a 3-pointer from the corner, and Bell tallied two free throws to increase the Patriots’ run to 9-0 and to make the score 32-28 with 6:08 showing on the scoreboard clock.

Later, Bell sank another pair from the charity stripe to pull the Patriots within 36-35 with 4:11 left to play in the game, and then Reinbeau made two from the line to give Wheeling Park its first lead of the game at 37-36 with 3:14 remaining to be played.

Schwertfeger hit two shots from the free-throw line to regain the lead for the Bruins at 38-37 with 2:49 left, but Reinbeau made all three foul shots from the line after being fouled on a 3-pointer to put the Patriots up 40-38.

Schwertfeger answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key giving Brooke a 41-40 lead with 2:25 left to play in the game, but it was the last time the boys from Brooke County held the lead.

“Schwertfeger hit some big shots for them,” Jebbia said. “Savion Johnson changed the game. He was able to get some steals, and he hustled.”

A foul shot by Reinbeau capped a 6-0 spurt which give Wheeling Park a 46-41 lead with 9.4 seconds left in the game. Schwertfeger responded with another 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left making it 46-44, but Reinbeau sealed the deal with two foul shots with 2.9 seconds showing on the clock.

Brooke’s seven seniors are Noah Teaff, DeStefano, Dameron, Schwertfeger, Joey Staffileno, Ethan Sole and Barnhart.

Wheeling Park’s next game is Friday night at Morgantown. The Bruins and Patriots will meet for a third time this season Saturday night at Wheeling Park.

Wheeling Park 48, Brooke 44

Park 4 8 11 25 – 48

Brooke 1214 6 12 – 44

WHEELING PARK (14-5): Reinbeau 4 9-10 18, Smith 1 3-4 5, Bell 1 11-16 13, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Bledsoe 3 0-0 6, Moffett 1 2-2 4, Cummings 1 0-0 2. Totals: 11 25-32 48. 3-Pointers: Reinbeau.

BROOKE (10-9): DeStefano 3 1-2 7, Loughrie 0 0-0 0, Cole 1 0-0 2, Green 0 0-0 0, Dameron 2 2-4 6, Schwertfeger 5 6-9 21, Sole 0 0-0 0, Barnhart 3 0-0 8. Totals: 14 9-15 44. 3-Pointers: Schwertfeger 5, Barnhart 2.