Berlin Brothersvalley got the three-peat on Wednesday night against rival Meyersdale.
The Mountaineers had beaten the Red Raiders twice during the regular season and held off their stubborn southern neighbors 62-46 in a District 5 Class A first-round game.
Berlin won 84-56 and 82-32 in the earlier games, so it was the closest the Red Raiders have gotten.
“I didn’t really want to see them again to tell you the truth,” said Berlin coach Tanner Prosser, whose top-seeded team will face No. 4 Shade on Friday in semifinal action at Somerset High School.
“We played well enough to win at this point in the season and survived and move on.”
First-year Meyersdale coach Aaron Beiler was pleased with his team’s perseverance.
“I thought the kids played hard and we had a good game plan coming in,” Beiler said.
“I felt we competed and it was a very respectable basketball game. I thought tonight we came out with 100 percent effort and the first two times we played them, we were kind of lackluster. I don’t think we really understood the effort that it takes to play with a team the quality of Berlin. I’m really proud of my kids for the effort they put in tonight.”
Berlin’s Jake Snyder led all scorers with 24 points, including five 3-pointers. Teammate Zac Cooney added 12 points and Nick Stockwell grabbed eight rebounds.
“It was a tough game for us and it was nice to get the win,” Cooney said. “To beat any team three times is nice, but when it’s a rival like Meyersdale, it’s even better and a good way to start off the playoffs.
“We have five guys that are capable of scoring and can make plays for us.”
The Mountaineers (21-2) dashed out to an 8-0 lead before Nick Cerrata got Meyersdale on the board at the 4:38 mark, but Berlin ended the first with a 14-4 lead.
The Berlin defense kept pouring it on in the second quarter forcing 10 turnovers and turning them into points on the other end of the floor helping the Mountaineers build a 34-14 halftime advantage.
“We were able to create some things and get some easy buckets which got us the lead early,” Prosser said.
“I think that took a little bit of pressure off of us.”
Berlin stretched its lead to 26 points to open the third quarter before the Red Raiders (7-15) were able to narrow it to 18, but trailed 50-30 heading into the fourth. Meyersdale outscored the Mountaineers 16-12 in the fourth.
“We didn’t play our best in the second half,” Prosser said. “Tonight I thought we got a lead and had a couple of poor possessions and they made some nice shots and did a good job of going to the basket. We did enough to win.”
Cole Clark topped the Meyersdale scoring with 16 points, including 10 in the second half while Jason Ritchey came off the bench to add 13 points and Jacob Knott grabbed seven boards.
“We didn’t play great tonight and our kids know that,” Prosser said. “It was our first playoff game and it was here at home. There may have been some nerves. We will have to play better on Friday night, I know that.”
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at @CoryIsenbergTD.