Bruins Take Next Step, Down Monarchs in OT

Brooke improves perfect mark to 4-0

Photo by Cody Tomer
John Marshall’s Abby Blake (24) looks to get around Brooke defender Ashley Arca during Wednesday night’s rivalry game at the Moundsville Fieldhouse.

Photo by Cody Tomer John Marshall’s Abby Blake (24) looks to get around Brooke defender Ashley Arca during Wednesday night’s rivalry game at the Moundsville Fieldhouse.

MOUNDSVILLE — Coach Ryan Scherich and his Brooke Bruins were focused on taking the next step Wednesday night and they accomplished just that with their backs against the wall.

The Bruins rallied from five points down with 50 seconds to go in the game to force overtime and walk out of the Moundsville Fieldhouse with a 65-62 win over John Marshall.

The Monarchs held a 54-49 advantage but Brooke (4-0) ended the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run that culminated with Chloe Fox draining a game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left in the contest to send it to the extra period.

John Marshall (0-3) looked to have regained its momentum with 22 seconds left in overtime as back-to-back steals led to points and a narrow one-point edge. However, Fox again faced the pressure with coolness and composure as she sunk a pair of free throws to help give her squad the comeback victory.

“I told them before the game to take the next step,” Scherich said. “We haven’t beaten John Marshall in a long time and that was a big thing to just take the next step.

“We beat the teams early in the season that we should have beaten but this was our first true test and the girls rose to the occassion.

“That 3-pointer to send it to overtime was nothing but the bottom of the net. There was no doubt about it.”

The Bruins also received a double-double from Hope Bowman, who collected 29 points and 16 rebounds. Brooke won the battle of the boards 33-26.

“We’ve been preaching about boxing out and rebounding,” Scherich said. “The girls are getting better at it each and every game.”

The clutch sharp-shooting from Brooke began late in the first half as Marissa Elliott sank a trey at the buzzer to knot the score at 23-23 at the break.

Coach Brock Melko’s group came out in the second half with a 14-9 run to create a 37-31 cushion but the Bruins responded by scoring the final 10 points of the frame to go into the fourth with a 41-37 lead.

Bowman came alive in the third with 11 points and four rebounds to lead Brooke.

Brooke continued to grow its lead early in the fourth as it secured a 49-45 advantage, but a 9-0 run for the Monarchs gave them a 54-49 edge and what looked to be their first win of the season, until the Bruins made their last-minute run.

“I just go back to our mindset starting the game,” Melko said. “For whatever reason, I think we felt that we could show up and just go through the motions and we would win. I tried to tell them that they were a 3-0 team and they had gotten better, but maybe this is a lesson that we needed. We can’t have an off switch. We can’t give our C-effort in the first half and then say we are in a game and try to flip the switch. That’s not how it works.”

In the first half, both teams exchanged buckets and boards as they looked evenly matched. John Marshall’s Shay Straughn and teammate Avery Derrow led all scorers at the half with seven points.

Straughn finished the game with 27 points, while Abby Blake provided 16 and Derrow turned in 10.

Fox tallied 15 points and five boards, while Ashley Arca added 10 points in the win.

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