First Posted: 12/22/2014
LEHMAN – The Lake-Lehman parade started after Dallas scored the first eight points of Thursday night’s Black and Blue Rivalry Trophy boys basketball game.
First-year Black Knights coach Ed Grant sent substitutions to the scorers’ table 21 times and began the second and third quarters with different lineups than what started the game.
In the end, starting point guard Ben Brooks led the way by scoring all 16 of his points in the second half but major contributions by two of the four players rotating in off the bench also played a key role in a rally for a 56-53 victory.
Tyler Long scored nine points while Jacob Corey added eight points and six rebounds while coming off the bench.
The Black Knights (3-3) were playing for the fifth time in seven nights, but for Grant, the ever-changing lineup is part of the equation regardless of how busy the schedule happens to be at the time.
“Every guy is like a mechanical part,” Grant said of the nine-man rotation. “We need every part of that machine to make it work properly.
“The kids buy into that. It’s something we just live buy. Every kid we brought in, whether it was for one minute or two minutes, they fought and clawed.”
Lake-Lehman needed that effort to overcome a series of obstacles.
The Black Knights had trouble handling Mountaineers center Allen Fell inside early and late in the game. They also committed a total of 20 turnovers, including six when Dallas turned up the defensive heat while trying to mount a comeback of its own in the fourth quarter.
Brooks did not score in the first half and was 0-for-3 from the floor before hitting his last three shots, all from 3-point range, over the final 11 minutes.
After scoring the first five points of a seven-point streak in the final 3:02 of the third quarter to send Lake-Lehman into the fourth ahead, 35-33, Brooks added nine more over the final eight minutes.
Brooks erased the last two Dallas leads with his first two 3-pointers, then broke the last tie with his last one with 5:34 remaining.
Long then scored the next four points in an eight-point streak that featured a free throw, an offensive rebound and two assists on 3-pointers from center Connor McGovern.
After trailing by eight twice, Dallas used an 8-1 run to get within a point on two Matt Ross free throws with 12.9 seconds left. Fell scored twice on the inside and slipped a pass to Michael Farrell for another easy bucket during the streak, which also included an assist and steal from Ross.
Brooks then hit two free throws with 7.6 seconds left and Corey controlled the rebound of the final Dallas miss to lock up the win.
Fell led all players with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Ross added 14 points, five assists and five steals for Dallas (1-3). Farrell had eight rebounds and Tanner Gattuso provided four assists and three steals.
A 3-pointer by Ross combined with five points by Fell for the 8-0 start.
Symeon hit a 3-pointer and a spinning drive in transition in the final 27 seconds of the first quarter to bring Lake-Lehman back within 18-14.
Dallas went scoreless for six minutes in the second quarter, turning the ball over on nine of 11 possessions at one point while Lake-Lehman rallied to tie. Fell scored four straight points and Dallas made it to the half with a 24-22 lead.
Fell worked inside for baskets 33 seconds part to keep Dallas in front, 33-27, before the Mountaineers went the final 4:15 of the third quarter without scoring.
“Allen Fell is a big boy and he’s hard to stop,” Brooks said. “Connor (McGovern) did a good job keeping him to the least amount of points that we could.
“We wanted to make sure there were no easy buckets.”
McGovern finished with eight rebounds and two blocked shots. One of the blocks came on a Fell shot that Brian Devine rebounded to protect a three-point lead in the final 30 seconds.