Golden Tide Lose 53-51 Heartbreaker to Brookville in D-9 AA Quarterfinals

ST. MARYS – It was the end of the road for the Curwensville Area High School boys basketball team on Thursday night at St. Marys Area High School.

Curwensville, making its first playoff appearance since 2008, lost a heartbreaker to Brookville in the District 9 AA quarterfinals, 53-51.

Brookville (9-14) will now battle Karns City, a 44-43 winner over Kane, in the semifinals with the date, time and location yet to be announced.

The Golden Tide was the third seed going into playoff action, while Brookville was seeded number six.

A last-second missed shot by the Tide and a follow up lay-up off the miss with just a half second remaining weren’t able to fall through the net and force the game into overtime.

And, once again, one bad quarter doomed the Tide this night. It was the third eight minutes when Brookville outscored Curwensville 21-6 to take a commanding nine point lead into the fourth period, 40-31.

The Tide had built a six point margin at the break, 25-19, before the Raiders came out with their best offensive quarter of the evening, and the worst for the Golden Tide.

Curwensville Head Coach Shane Pentz talked about the third quarter, “Our defense didn’t adjust in the third quarter.  Brookville did some different things with Shirts (Nate) and we lost him a couple of times.  He had a big quarter for them with 11 points. And, on the night, we missed a lot of lay-ups. It just wasn’t our night.”

Curwensville battled the Raiders fairly evenly in the opening frame, leading at one point 11-7, before Brookville went on an 8-0 run to take a four point lead, 15-11, into the second quarter.

Perhaps the best defensive effort of the entire season by the Tide came in the second period, as they limited the Raiders to just four tallies, while scoring 15 for themselves to take the six point lead with two quarters left to play.

With 4:40 left in the third quarter, Tide junior Trey Rauckhorst hit a bucket that kept Curwensville out in the lead, 29-24.  Then the roof fell in as Brookville went on a 16-2 run to end the third stanza up 40-31.

Tanner Elensky and Brett Gardner, both Curwensville seniors, did their part in a fourth quarter comeback bid that fell just two points short.

Elensky had nine in the final eight minutes and teammate Gardner scored seven.

The Tide cut into the Raiders’ fourth period lead and with 4:40 left on the clock Brookville was up by just four, 42-38.

Brookville, however, gained its biggest lead of the night, 49-41, with only 1:27 remaining in the contest.

Curwensville would not go quietly into the night; as they battled back with four foul shots by Gardner and four points from Elensky, including a three-pointer, to cut the margin to 51-48 with just under 28 seconds left.

Jack Huggins made it 52-48 for Brookville on a free throw with 25 ticks left, only to have Elensky hit one of two from the charity stripe with 19.5 seconds on the clock to make it a one possession game at 52-49.

Just one second later Huggins hit another free throw, giving Brookville a 53-49 edge.

Rauckhorst, with 11.7 seconds left, hit a field goal, cutting the Raiders margin to 53-51.

The Raiders, for some unknown reason, then took a pointless shot at their end of the floor, which they missed, giving the Golden Tide life with the rebound.

With only three seconds to go, a Tide field goal attempt fell off the back of the rim and the subsequent follow up lay-up try fell just short of dropping through the net as the buzzer sounded ending a valiant comeback effort by Curwensville.

Gardner paced the Tide with 17 points while Elensky netted 13.

For Brookville, Shirts dumped in a game high 22 and was assisted by Tate Canavan’s 12.

Brookville was 21 of 32 from the free throw line, while the Golden Tide connected on 10 of 15.  The Raiders hit on nine of 17 in the fourth quarter alone that helped seal the victory.

The Tide end the 2013-14 season with a 14-9 record and lose the core of the team as nine seniors dressed for the last time in the loss to the Raiders.

Pentz finished with talking about his seniors, saying, “ I want to give credit to the senior leadership on this team that helped us have a huge turnaround this year.  We went from six wins to 14 wins and made the playoffs for the time in a few years.  These guys fought hard to the last second, just like they have done all year for us.”

Gone from this year’s squad are: Tanner Elensky, Kyle Johns, Austin Jacobson, Alex Olson, Brett Gardner,  Bryce McClure, Josh Shaffer, Nate Kurtz and Jason Thorp.

BROOKVILLE -  53

Nate Shirts 6 10-13 22, Tate Canavan 5 1-2 12,  Jack Huggins 1 3-4 6,  Taite Truman 0 3-6 3,  Ben Cudworth 3 2-5 8,  Braiden Smith 0 2-2 2,  Shawn Blochberger 0 0-0 0, TOTALS  -  15   21-32  53.

CURWENSVILLE -  51

Brett Gardner 5 5-6 17, Kyle Johns 2 0-0 4,  Tanner Elensky 5 2-3 13,  Trey Rauckhorst 3 3-6 9,  Alex Olson 2 0-0 4,  Jake Terry 1 0-0 2,  Austin Jacobson 1 0-0 2,  Nate Kurtz 0 0-0 0,  Jason Thorp 0 0-0 0, TOTALS -  19   10-15  51.

THREE-POINTERS: Gardner 2, Elensky, Canavan, Huggins

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BROOKVILLE 15 4 21 13 53

CURWENSVILLE 11 14   6 20 51

OFFICIALS: Dave Wright,  Bud Bifano,  Kevin Doverspike

Final Golden Tide Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/06 MO VALLEY ppd. 0 – 0
12/09 @ Clearfield 56 – 38 1 – 0
12/10 BROCKWAY 54 – 51 2 – 0
12/13 @ Ridgway 25 – 46 2 – 1
12/16 WEST BRANCH 63 – 52 3 – 1
12/19 @ Harmony 68 – 31 4 – 1
12/20 @ Kane 47 – 54 ot 4 – 2
01/03 DUBOIS CENTRAL 63 – 55 5 – 2
01/08 @ Mo Valley 61 – 44 6 – 2
01/14 @ Elk County 38 – 67 6 – 3
01/16 @ Glendale 55 – 56 ot 6 – 4
01/21 RIDGWAY 41 – 56 6 – 5
01/24 @ Brockway 51 – 41 7 – 5
01/27 @ DuBois Central 55 – 64 7 – 6
01/29 GLENDALE 64 – 53 8 – 6
01/31 JOHNSONBURG 31 – 81 8 – 7
02/04 @ Sheffield 59 – 41 9 – 7
02/05 ST. JOE’S ACADEMY ppd. 9 – 7
02/07 KANE 53 – 48 10 – 7
02/08 MO VALLEY 83 – 53 11 – 7
02/10 HARMONY 51 – 21 12 – 7
02/11 ST. JOE’S ACADEMY 63 – 35 13 – 7
02/12 @ West Branch 69 – 76 ot 13 – 8
02/14 CLEARFIELD 57 – 52 14 – 8
D9 AA Playoffs
02/19 vs. Brookville (@ St. Marys) 51 – 53 14 – 9

 

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