Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Second half run at South leaves Brush in first place in WRC

The first time the Brush Arcs and the Willoughby South Rebels met this season was back in December in Brush’s Holiday Tournament. In that game, the Arcs used a late run in the second half to take down the Rebels.

Friday’s rematch at South was no different as the Arcs came back from a 15-point second quarter deficit in the second half en route to a 58-54 win over the Rebels. The win gave Brush sole possession of the Western Reserve Conference standings with seven games to go.

The Rebels jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. Brush made numerous turnovers in the first quarter that allowed the Rebels to reach a double-digit lead early. The Arcs cut the lead to six twice but could not get any closer. The Rebels led 22-11 after the first quarter.

Seniors Brandon Teske and Jack Whitaker led the Rebels with six points each in the first quarter. Arcs freshman DJ Dial paced the Arcs with five points in the first.

Teske and classmate Dan Danford combined on a 9-0 run across the end of the first and early parts of the second quarters, where the Rebels opened a 15-point lead over the Arcs.

Both teams exchanged baskets before South senior Doug Burks delivered a layup off a steal by fellow senior Mark DeLisio with 4:41 left in the half. On the next Rebels possession, Burks drilled a three ball, reopening a 15 point lead at 32-17.

Brush senior Robert Bearden Jr. ended the half with nine of the final ten points for the Arcs. Bearden pulled the Arcs within seven points in the final minute. Brush trailed by 10 points at the half as Burks hit another three in the closing seconds to make it 37-27.

Bearden’s nine points in the second quarter allowed him to lead the Arcs with eleven points overall in the half. Burks finished with eight points in the frame and 10 overall in the first 16 minutes of play.

The Arcs entered the second half with energy as they scored the first seven points of the half. Dial cut the lead to three with a jumper in the paint but Teske answered with a three ball from the corner.

Brush controlled the final five minutes of the quarter as the Arcs outscored the Rebels 10-2 to gain the first lead of the game. With 24 seconds left in the third quarter, sophomore Deion Burton tied the game at 42 with a split of a pair of free throws. Dial put up a floater with four seconds left for the Arcs lead. They led 44-42 after three quarters.

Overall, the Arcs outscored the Rebels 17-5 in the quarter. Bearden and Dial accounted for a majority of the offense with seven and six points, respectively.

Freshman Andre Harris opened the fourth quarter with a three-point play. The shot and the foul opened Brush’s biggest lead at five. Junior Devaniare Conliffe and DeLisio both made pairs of free throws, pulling within one.

Sophomore Tajh Benton knocked down a jumper but Teske had the answer in another three from in front of the Rebels’ bench to tie the game. Sophomore Tyler Williams regained the lead with a jumper for Brush.

Teske answered with the five points for the Rebels as he cut the lead to one again with two minutes left. The Rebels could not answer for the rest of the game.

Bearden made both ends of a one-and-one at the line and Dial made one of three free throws in the final minute to seal the key WRC win on the road.

Six different Brush players scored in the fourth quarter. Bearden finished with a game-high 20 points for Brush. Dial added 13 points, nine in the second half.

Teske scored eight of the 12 points for the Rebels in the fourth. Teske had 19 points in the game, one game after scoring four against Bedford. Conliffe scored 11 points and Burks put up 10.

The Arcs have won two straight games and five of their last six games. They have an overall record of 7-8 and a 6-1 record in the WRC. They will play at Mayfield next Tuesday.

South has dropped two straight games to fall to 8-7 with a 5-2 record in the WRC. They fell to third in the conference behind Madison, who defeated Riverside. South hosts Chardon on Tuesday.

Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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