BROOKVILLE – In a thrill-a-minute game, that was the final home game for four Brookville seniors last Friday at “the Devils Den,” ended on an ecstatic note as Brookville somehow managed to down a much more athletic Valley View squad 53-52.
Brookville had seen Valley View overcome a five-point deficit with less than one-and-a-half minutes left in the game to take the lead with 27 seconds on the clock. Despite this Brookville came down court and AJ Eller hit a 25-foot three pointer halfway between the right wing and between the circles, with 15 seconds left, to give Brookville a 53-52 lead.
Valley View then missed a base line jumper and a desperation tip try as time ran out and Brookville escaped with its 12th win of the season against 10 losses.
The last time Brookville did not have double-digit wins in men’s basketball was in 2013. Since then Brookville has won 12 games from 2014 through 2016, 21 in 2017, 15 in 2018 and 21 last season.
That is an amazing span of winning season for a school that plays in a league with six schools in the larger classifications.
Brookville is a Division III school.
Keep in mind that is 12 games every year against schools from D-2 or higher, Franklin has been Division I the past two seasons. That is 105 wins in the past seven years counting this season. Friday’s game was close throughout, although Brookville had the lead most of the game. Valley View did have the lead some point in every quarter.
Brookville got on the board first as Eller scored on an elbow jumper. Valley View countered as Troy Coulter made a three-point play the old-fashioned way to lead 3-2. The Spartans maintained the lead until just under the two-minute mark.
The half time score was tied at as the teams traded baskets throughout the second frame.
Eller started the scoring in the third stanza with a jump shot from the foul line. Following a Spartan hoop, Eller struck for a three-point bomb.
Brookville senior Noah Florkey drained a charity shot.
However, Valley View tied the game at 31 with 1:48 left. Here Eller struck again from long distance. The Spartans again tied the game. Then Brookville’s Tommy Dafler hit a free throw with 49 seconds on the third period clock and Brookville led 36-35. Ben Owens of Valley View scored with 20 seconds left and the third period ended with the Spartans on top 37-36.
Brookville took early control of the final period. Senior Manny Willis scored on a lay-in, Eller made a free throw, Daniel Dominique made a free throw, and Willis hit two free throws. Then at the 4:36 mark Eller scored on a fast break lay-up and Brookville had scored eight straight markers to open the stanza and lead 44-37.
Valley View got a basket and then a free throw. Dominique scored inside and it was 46-40 in Brookville’s favor. A Spartan three-pointer made it 46-43.
With three minutes left Brookville’s Sammy Dafler hit two free throws and Brookville led 48-43. Following two free throws by the Spartans, Brookville’s Dominique grabbed a missed shot and scored inside, and Brookville was on top 50-45 with 2:05 on the clock.
Coulter of Valley View hit a three that went off the glass first and it was 50-48, Brookville, with 1:23 on the clock.
The Spartans then managed a steal and Austin Stidham scored on a fast break to tie the game with 58 seconds to go.
Brookville was trying to get a good shot, but Valley View trapped a Blue Devil, a pass went awry, and the Spartans got the ball and Bromagen scored on the fast break with 27 seconds left. It was 52-50 Valley View.
Brookville came down court. Eller went to his right and let a long shot fly that resulted in sweet string music for Brookville in the form of a three-pointer. It was 53-52 in Brookville’s favor with 15 seconds on the clock.
Valley View set up for a final shot after calling time out and a base line jumper from 12 feet bounced off the rim. However, the Spartans managed to tip the ball back towards the hoop as the buzzer sounded and it bounced off the rim and Brookville had won the thrill packed game.
Stats showed Valley View was 21-of-48 from the field for 44 percent including 3-of-12 behind the arch. The Spartans were 6-of-12 from the foul line. Valley View had 29 rebounds, 15 assists, eight steals, two blocks and 15 turnovers.
Brookville on the other hand shot 49 percent making 19-of-39 tries including 5-of-16 from long distance. The Devils were 10-of-16 from the foul line. Brookville had 19 rebounds, 12 assists, 10 steals, one block and 14 turnovers.
Valley View had two players in double figures in scoring, JT Ferguson with 11 and Coulter with 14.
Blue Devils individual stats showed Eller with 22 points and three steals. Willis had a double/double in his final game on the BHS court with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Willis also had four steals.
Dominique had nine points and four boards. Senior Tommy Dafler had six points and five assists. Florkey had three points and a steal. Sammy Dafler had two points and Jack Stanoikovich had one point.
Senior Fye did not score but he played very solid defense while in the game. His energy when he entered the contest was apparent and he was hustling all over the court.
It was a great way to end the regular season for Brookville.
Brookville will play in the Sectional Tournament at Northmont on Thursday Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. against either West Liberty-Salem or Bethel.