PITSBURG – Mississinawa Valley overcame an early deficit to Brookville, tying the Blue Devils at 29 to end the first half.
The Blackhawks then took a 43-36 lead into the final stanza and seemed to be in complete control of the game … but they collapsed in the final two minutes, and Brookville stole one away to win the 53rd annual Jet Holiday Tournament by the score of 57-51.
Brookville took control early, going up 13-5 on two fielders and two triples from Dalton Stewart. Stewart would end the game with 21 points and was named the tournament MVP.
The Hawks closed the quarter strong on an old fashioned three-point play and a fielder from Colyn Nelson to trail Brookville 13-10.
In the second frame triples from Trent Perkins and Devin Rinderle knotted the game at 20, and the two teams would go back and forth, ending the half deadlocked at 29.
In the third period Mississinawa was clicking, hitting on all cylinders, showing good patience on offense and breaking down Brookville’s defense to get the ball in the right hands at the right time.
Nelson scored eight of his team-high 17 points as MV worked a 43-36 lead.
The same team that showed they could execute offense with patience and good decision making disappeared in the final stanza, and defensively the Hawks were making mistakes as well.
Brookville found a spark behind MVP Stewart, who fired in two more treys, and the Blue Devils brought it all the way back to tie the game at 51 with two minutes to play.
Still the Hawks had a chance to win with a finish strong … but no one was able to step forward and right the ship.
“These kids … look what they did in the second and third quarters,” Mississinawa Valley boys basketball coach Tim Barga said.
“When the pressure came we lost our patience and made some bad decisions, and we don’t have a leader on this team who can step forward and settle us,” Barga added.
The Blackhawks were unable to score the rest of the way, and Brookville would go on to win the Jet Holiday Tournament 57-51.
“I said yesterday after our win over Franklin Monroe that we would find out if we have matured as a tea, because we had yet put together two good games in a row,” Barga said.
“It’s getting pretty old. We lost to St. Henry in a game we should have won. We had a couple other games like this as well … we can’t keep doing that. Pretty soon we are going to lose fans … we have to find a way to win, and I don’t have a lot of patience … I want it done, and I want it done now,” Barga added.
“We didn’t have a leader on this team last year, and we don’t have one yet this year. We need a leader on the court. We can’t make all the decisions from the bench. We have some smart kids on this team. Someone needs to step forward and whether the other guys like it or not … that’s what this team needs,” Barga said.
“We lose games like this, and then our tournament draw goes down the tubes … right now our focus is on getting better now … we have a lot of games on our schedule where we are equal, and we have to find a way to win those games and carry that into the postseason,” Barga said.
Mississinawa was led by Nelson with 17 points, Perkins had 14 and Rinderle 10.
Ethan Bowman and Rinderle would be named to the all-tournament team.
Score by quarters:
Brookville………13…16…09…21 – 57
Mississinawa….10…19…14…08 – 51
Cody Cox 9, Dalton Stewart 21, Christian Berry 5, Cameren Alber 6, Tyler Scherer 16 – Totals 9-13-4/7 – 57
Ethan Bowman 8, Trent Perkins 14, Colyn Nelson 17, Devin Rinderle 10, Dalton Geesey 2 – Totals 4-18-3/6 – 51
Brookville – 9 (Stewart 5, Cox 3, Berry 1)
Mississinawa – 4 (Rinderle 2, Perkins 2)