Bruins start strong with win over Creek

KEEPING POSSESSION — Brooke’s Garrett Pauls looks to make a move with Indian Creek’s Wyatt Pugh defending during Tuesday’s matchup at Indian Creek. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

KEEPING POSSESSION — Brooke’s Garrett Pauls looks to make a move with Indian Creek’s Wyatt Pugh defending during Tuesday’s matchup at Indian Creek. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

WINTERSVILLE — The Brooke boys’ basketball team played three good quarters against Indian Creek, and it was enough for the Bruins to earn a hard-fought victory over the Redskins.

The Bruins built 10-point advantage at halftime, only to see the Redskins (0-1) storm back and take a one-point lead before Brooke (1-0) righted the ship and made enough of its free throws down the stretch to record a 58-53 victory Tuesday night on the road.

“We were focused on this team,” Brooke coach Cameron Koehler said. “They are really well coached, and they run their stuff really well. Coming off of last season, we wanted to come out and make a statement. We wanted to increase the tempo and flow of the game. We wanted to get into the passing lanes and get some deflections. We wanted to speed them up and make them uncomfortable.

“In the third quarter, we were a little sloppy. We came out flat. We let them back into the game, but we fought through it and we were able to close down the game.”

Brooke led 30-20 at halftime.

“I guess I did not have them ready to play, because we did not play well in the first half,” Indian Creek coach Joe Dunlevy said. “In the second half, we played like we are capable, and we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

Indian Creek battled back to take a 34-33 lead in the third, but Brooke regrouped, regained the lead and won the game. The lead was the only lead of the game for the Redskins.

Nine players scored in the game for the Bruins, but only one reached double digits. Garrett Pauls produced a team-high 13 points, while Joey Georgy recorded nine and Michael Spitak and Justin Pennybacker each picked up eight points.

“They did exactly what we thought they would do,” Dunlevy said.

Three players scored in double figures for Indian Creek. Austin Yaich tallied a game-high 19 points, Austin Judson delivered 13 points and Derrick Eakle collected 11 points.

Brooke outrebounded Indian Creek, 29-23. Justin Shelton, Logan Williams and Aleksey Rasz all collected five rebounds for the Bruins. Yaich pulled down a game-high eight to lead the way for the Redskins.

Brooke committed 15 turnovers, while Indian Creek committed 16.

“They run a lot of flex, and they run a lot of fullcourt man-to-man and half court man-to-man,” Koehler said about the Redskins. “They are aggressive with their pressure. This was a good test for us. We are going to play teams that like to play up tempo. We did a good job of handling it tonight.”

Brooke led 39-34 entering the fourth quarter. The Bruins pushed their lead to 47-37. Indian Creek closed the gap as the Redskins pulled within 56-53 with 12.6 seconds left to play, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the way.

Brooke struggled at the foul line down the stretch as the Bruins converted 17-of-30 shots from the charity stripe on the night.

“Our free-throw shooting is up and down,” Koehler said. “We have seniors who are stepping up and improving. We are not getting to where I want us to be right now.”

Brooke built a 9-2 lead in the first quarter before leading 13-9 at the end of the quarter. The Bruins outscored the Redskins, 17-11, in the second quarter.

Indian Creek outscored Brooke, 14-9, in the third quarter.

“We played with intensity in the second half,” Dunlevy said. “The kids played the way they are capable in the second half.”

The Redskins started the quarter on a 14-3 run to take the lead before the Bruins battled back and took a five-point advantage into the fourth.

“It was a great way to start the season,” Koehler said. “We played with a lot of effort and intensity. It was nice to go into the locker room and see happy looks instead of upset looks.”

Brooke is scheduled to play at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Fairmont Senior.

“They are No. 1 in the state in Class AA,” Koehler said. “They are the two-time defending state champions.”

Indian Creek is scheduled to play Friday at St. Clairsville before playing Saturday at East Liverpool.

Brooke 58, Indian Creek 53

Brooke 13-17-9-19 — 58

Indian Creek 9-11-14-19 — 53

Brooke (1-0): Moore 1 1-2 3, Shelton 1 5-12 7, Williams 1 0-0 3, Cuomo 1 0-0 2, Rasz 1 4-4 6, Spitak 3 1-3 8, Wellman 0 0-0 0, Pennybacker 3 2-2 8, Pauls 5 3-4 13, Georgy 4 1-3 9. Totals: 19 17-30 58. 3-Pointers: 1 (Spitak)

Indian Creek (0-1): Allan 1 0-0 2, Norris 1 2-2 4, Eakle 3 4-4 11, Yaich 5 6-6 19, Judson 3 6-8 13, Crawford 1 0-0 3, Robinson 0 0-0 0, Fante 0 0-0 0, Pugh 0 0-0 0, Waggoner 0 1-2 1. Totals: 16 19-22 53. 3-Pointers: 6 (Yaich 3, Eakle, Judson, Crawford)

Rebounds: Brooke 29 (Shelton, Williams, Rasz 5); Indian Creek 23 (Yaich 8). Turnovers: Brooke 15; Indian Creek 16

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