First Posted: 12/22/2014
LEHMAN – Ben Brooks took a while to get started when Lake-Lehman hosted Dallas Dec. 18 in the Black and Blue Rivalry Trophy boys basketball game.
Once Brooks got started, the Mountaineers could not stop him.
The junior point guard scored all 16 of his points in the second half to lead the Black Knights to a come-from-behind, 56-53 victory over their Back Mountain rivals.
“Since I got the job, I’ve been preaching to him to be the leader,” said first-year Lake-Lehman coach Ed Grant. “He’s the point guard.
“His composure’s getting better every game. He’s the one out there telling everybody, ‘calm down; keep your head’.”
Brooks did not score until making a steal and hitting two free throws 40 seconds into the second half. He did not hit a field goal until 2:32 remained in the third quarter, but then he hardly missed.
With each shot seeming to be bigger than the one before, Brooks went his last three attempts from 3-point range and went 7-for-8 at the line.
“He hit a lot of big shots for us,” Grant said.
Lake-Lehman never led until Brooks scored five straight points, including the first field goal, in an 8-0 run to end the third quarter with a 35-33 advantage.
Brooks drained his next 3-pointer with 6:34 left to erase the final Dallas lead. The last 3-pointer broke the game’s final tie, starting an 8-0 streak to a 48-40 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
When Dallas crawled all the way back to within 54-53 in the final minute, it was Brooks who scored the game’s final two points on free throws with 7.6 seconds left.
“We just battled hard,” Brooks said. “We showed a lot of heart out there. We ran our plays effectively. We got the ball inside.
“ … I think overall we played a great game.”
And, they did it in a game that carries special significance to both teams.
“It means a lot to us and our teammates,” Brooks said. “We wanted this all year. It was a good game to win.”
Mike Symeon added 11 points and Tyler Long provided nine off the bench to lift Lake-Lehman to the .500 mark at 3-3.
Allen Fell led Dallas with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Ross had 14 points, five assists and five steals.