BROOKVILLE — What they lack in size the Brookville Blue Devils boys varsity basketball team will have to make up for by using its speed and defensive pressure to force turnovers and create scoring opportunities, and that’s what took place Friday night in a scrimmage with Fort Loramie.
During the six quarter scrimmage the Blue Devils came from behind to post an 83-73 victory over the Redskins.
“We’ve talked a lot about us being undersized and how we are going to have to dictate speed and make teams uncomfortable,” said Brookville coach Jeff Davidson. “We were stagnant in the first quarter. Our defense is going to lead to our offense and that’s the way it’s going to have to be this year.
“These guys bought into it and played really well,” Davidson said. “We have to clean it up a little bit and not foul so much, but that’s how we are going to have to play. Our best offense is transition off of our defense, no doubt about it. When we get down the floor on offense good teams are going to stop us in transition, so we are going to have to spread the floor to make teams work hard to stop us.”
Brookville trailed 20-12 after two quarters and 35-29 after three. That’s when Davidson had his players implement a full-court press, and that tactic paid off.
Braedan Smart scored a layup and under the strain of the full-court pressure the Redskins failed to cross midcourt in the allotted 10 seconds. On the turnover Smart snared a rebound on an initial missed shot and scored.
Smart then sank a pair of free throws and the Devils came up with a steal and scored again to tie the game 37-37 with 4:19 left in the fourth period.
Smart scored back-to-back buckets sandwiched around a Fort Loramie three-point field goal. Jace Wood and Brendan Fisher each buried a three-pointer to put the Blue Devils up 46-45 entering the fifth period.
Fort Loramie committed another 10 second violation under an intense full-court press. Brookville came up with a pair of steals, converted them into layups, Fisher buried a trey and Cole Crabtree made a steal and scored to put the Blue Devils up 64-54.
Brookville led by as many as 12 points in the final period en route to the 83-73 victory.
“Fort Loramie shot the ball really well and we did not until late,” Davidson noted. “A couple of our guys got hot a little bit and when that happens it will free us up and we will get dribble-drive lanes.”
The Blue Devils just got their players back this week that were on the football team.
“It’s a unique situation, but we return all our players from last year with the exception of one that graduated,” Davidson said. “We haven’t gotten any taller, so we are going to have to press and mesh together and coexist and get some guys to score.
“We have three or four that can score and the other two need to be cognizant of that,” Davidson added. “We need to feed the guy that is hot and we have multiple guys that can do that. If we can all coexist, press, and push the ball, we are going to make people uncomfortable. That’s the goal.”
The Blue Devils have two more scrimmages, both at home, one Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m. against Bradford and the second on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 9 a.m. against Minster.
Brookville opens regular season play at home on Friday, Dec. 1 against Carlisle at 7:15 p.m.
Reach Ron Nunnari by email: [email protected].