ST. MARYS – In a span of just 10 seconds and only a minute to play, Coudersport went from being down one to up three on its way to a 72-67 for a nail-bitting win over Brockway at St. Marys High School.
From the start of the match, the odds seemed stacked against D9 darling Coudersport when Brockway exploded to an early 11-2 lead. But as they did throughout the game, Coudy answered back to take the first quarter 17-14. The Falcons still led at halftime 31-27.
In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Brockway took a 67-66 lead with just over a minute to play on an Alec Freemer three-pointer.
Brockway, which stayed close thanks to 12 made three-pointers in the contest, closed within a point, 48-47, at the end of three quarters thanks to 10 points from Carter Adams.
The game then went back-and-forth in the final eight minutes until the late flurry by Coudersport.
In the second half, things really opened up for both teams. It was a three-point parade for Brockway, as the Rovers hit an astounding 12 threes in the game. John Wood and Carter Adams had four each, including two apiece in a 20-point third quarter for the Rovers.
Coudy was able to answer nearly all of those three-pointers on the other end with solid offense of their own. At the end of three, the Falcons led 48-47, setting up what would be a wild fourth quarter.
It’s going to be hard to top the performance of these two teams in the game’s final eight minutes for the remainder of the district postseason. In all, there were at least seven lead changes and four ties to close this one out.
“We knew going into the game that Brockway is a good team, and very well-coached and they were going to scrap,” Coudersport head coach Brian Furman said. “On top of that, they really shot the ball well tonight and hit some threes. As far as the fourth quarter in particular, every possession was important. Our guys gutted it out and made foul shots. That was really the difference down the stretch.”
The Rovers took their first lead since the first quarter when Zane Puhala hit a pair of free throws to put Brockway up 51-50 with just over six minutes remaining. Coudersport answered on the next possession and the game swung back-and-forth that way for the next five minutes. Noah Vokes had eight points in the fourth for the Rovers, but it was a freshman on the other side who really took the praise in that final frame.
Hayden Keck, who had just four points entering the quarter, had eight points, including two big three-pointers, and paced Coudy’s offense.
Coudersport took the lead for good with just under a minute remaining. After John Wood hit a three-pointer to put Brockway ahead 67-66, Keglovits answered with a tough layup to give the Falcons a one-point lead.
Green then stole the ball on the subsequent inbounds pass, and made his free throw. After his second attempt missed, Owen Chambers scooped up the rebound and banked it back in for two points.
In a few seconds, Coudy had pulled ahead 71-67 to cap it all off.
The Falcons, who only lost three times this season, have only been tested a handful of times this season, and no team has really been able to go shot-for-shot with them like Brockway did on Tuesday. In fact, Brockway was only the second team to score more than 60 points against Coudy this season.
Coudersport was led all night by Chambers. Chambers was D-9’s second-leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 24.7 ppg, and certainly answered the call against Brockway. Chambers had a game-high 30 points, including going 10-for-12 at the free-throw line.
Even though Chambers had 30, it was the hardest 30 he’s had to earn all season. Coudersport’s win sets up a rematch with Ridgway in the Class AA Championship at a date and time still yet to be announced. The two teams played a hard-fought contest earlier this month, with Ridgway narrowly pulling off a 59-57 win in an instant classic.
Coudersport also goes on to defend their district title in the championship match, something that Ridgeway has proven previously will be hard to reclaim.
Furman knows that his team will essentially have to play a perfect game to have a shot against D-9’s only unbeaten team, and that starts with executing every foul shot, transition and possession flawlessly.
“They are awful good, as shown by them being 25-0,” he said. “When we played them down there we shot the ball real well, and we are going to have to do that again. But we are also going to have to limit our turnovers, that is the key.”
Brockway’s season isn’t over either, as the Rovers play Clarion in the winner-moves-one-loser-goes-home consolation game.
AT ST. MARYS
Carter Adams 6 2-4 18, Vokes 7 0-0 14, Wood 4 0-0 12, Puhala 3 5-5 11, Freemer 3 0-0 9, Esposito 1 0-0 3.
Owen Chambers 9 10-12 30, Keck 5 0-0 12, Green 4 3-6 12, De. Keglovits 5 1-2 11, Ricke 3 1-2 7. Totals: 25 15-22 72
Brockway 14 27 47 67
Coudy 17 31 48 72
Three-point goals: Brockway 12 (Wood 4, Adams 4, Freemer 3, Esposito 1), Coudy 5 (Keck 2, Chambers 2, Green 1); Total fouls: Brockway 16, Coudy 14; fouled out: Vokes (B)