When Berlin Brothersvalley’s offense struggled on Wednesday night against WestPAC South foe Rockwood, the Mountaineers defense kept them in the game and they defeated the Rockets 30-26.
“Offense was ugly, but I thought both teams played solid defensively,” said Berlin coach Tanner Prosser. “Both teams played really hard and we had a nice crowd tonight. It wasn’t pretty basketball, but at least people got to see a lot of high school kids compete hard and play for their schools.”
Despite a height disadvantage, Berlin outrebounded Rockwood in the first half.
“I thought our big kids did a great job,” Prosser said. “They have some size on us and both their post players are good scorers and good rebounders. I thought we played them solid all night and made them take some tough shots. We were able to hold them to one shot most of the time. When someone gets the ball down so close to the basket, if they miss, they have the best shot at getting the rebound, but our guys did a great job at getting the bodies on them.”
Rockwood coach Jim Miller said his team’s offensive struggles were the tale of the game for the Rockets.
“You can’t shoot 23 percent from the field and just 50 percent from the free-throw line and expect to win the game,” the Rockets coach said. “I don’t think we could have played any better on defense.”
With the game tied at 26-all, Berlin senior Zac Cooney scored on a layup with 29.8 seconds remaining to put the Mountaineers in the lead. After a Rockwood timeout, Drew Glotfelty forced a Rockets turnover and Coach Miller called another timeout. The Rockets fouled Jacob Snyder and he proceeded to hit both ends of the 1-and-1 to set the margin of victory.
“They were a good team and we just went out and tried to play our best,” said Cooney, who finished with eight points. “They played good defensively and we didn’t put up very many points. Our defense held them to just 26 points or we would have been done.
“When that shot went up to put us ahead, I was thinking ‘I can’t believe I made that.’ It was a little bit of luck. Anyone on the team could have taken the shot. It just happened to be me.”
“He works his butt off,” Prosser said.
“You like to see a kid like that, get to make a play like that.”
Both teams were held to single-digit scoring in all four quarters.
Berlin led 8-3 after the first and held a 15-10 advantage at the half.
The Mountaineers outscored the Rockets 8-7 in the third.
Rockwood’s Ethan Keefer scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter, but it was Sam Gary’s lone basket, which helped the Rockets pull even with 2:31 left in the game.
“I thought when we tied it there in the fourth, that the momentum would carry us,” Miller said. “But we made some dumb fouls and it got away from us.”
Snyder finished with a game-high 12 points for Berlin (7-3,
Luke Miller topped the Rockets with 11 points while Keefer added 12 rebounds for Rockwood (3-4, 2-3).