Valiant effort: Eagles’ comeback bid comes up just short vs. Saegertown

Youngsville’s Gage Hendrickson puts up a hook shot over a Saegertown defender during their game at Youngsville High School, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.

Youngsville’s boys basketball nearly overcame a 13-point halftime deficit, but came up just short in a 46-42 loss to visiting Saegertown Wednesday.

“The first half was some of the first varsity time for some of these guys,” Youngsville coach Jesse DeLoof said. “This was promising to me.”

The Eagles limited the Panthers to just three second half field goals, but early foul trouble had Saegertown in the double bonus less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

“We pressured better in the second half,” DeLoof said.

The Panthers came out on fire from three-point land in the first half. Raef Rhodes led the charge with four total, three in the second quarter and Saegertown hit seven of its eight threes in the first 16 minutes.

“We did not expect them to shoot as well as they did,” DeLoof said. “But we have to work through it.”

The perimeter shooting got the Panthers up 13-2 with just over three minutes to go in the first quarter, but the Eagles ended the quarter on an 8-0 run to close the gap to 13-10.

Youngsville got a free throw early in the second quarter, but a pair of free throws on the other end and Rhodes’ first three of the stanza put the Panthers back up by six. Both teams traded buckets, but back-to-back threes from Owen Chess and Rhodes put Saegertown up 10. Rhodes’ final three and a late free throw gave the Panthers a 30-17 lead at the half.

Youngsville started the second half by trying to slow the tempo and run its offense. The tactic helped prevent Saegertown from extending its lead, but didn’t give the Eagles many points either and the quarter ended with the Panthers up 36-24.

“With as young as we are, we wanted to get the guys more comfortable in the offense,” DeLoof said.

It was Saegertown’s turn to slow things down in the fourth quarter as the Panthers, knowing they were in the bonus, essentially tried to play keep away. The strategy worked well for a while, but Saegertown struggled from the free throw line (8-17 in the quarter) and the Eagles took advantage.

Freshman point guard Joe Mack began taking over midway through the period, connecting on a pair of jumpers to get the Eagles within five with just under two minutes to play. The momentum stayed in Youngsville’s favor as the Eagles got within two twice, but they couldn’t get that tieing bucket and Saegertown hit enough free throws to come away with the win.

The Eagles spent most of the latter part of the fourth quarter subbing offensive and defensive players.

“The guys have really accepted their roles,” DeLoof said. “Noah Myers has really accepted his role and continues to be a role model with his work ethic and team first mindset.”

Gage Hendrickson led the Eagles with 14 points and had four rebounds. Timber Bower had 10 points and Mack had eight points in the loss.

Rhodes (14) and Eli Draa (11) were in double figures for the Panthers.

The Eagles have a tough road test Friday when they travel to Cambridge Springs for a Region 3 contest.

– – –


Barnes 0-0-0-0, Chess 2-4-6-9, Siple 1-2-4-5, Rhodes 4-2-4-14, Fuller 1-2-6-4, Sherry 1-0-0-2, Draa 3-3-4-11, Merkel 0-0-0-0, DeJohn 0-0-0-0, Hayes 0-0-0-0, Ingram 0-1-2-1, Lilly 0-0-0-0, Weed 0-0-0-0, Cummings 0-0-0-0


Mack 3-2-2-8, Bower 3-2-4-10, Proctor 1-2-2-4, Peterson 0-2-2-2, Hendrickson 6-2-2-14, McAvoy 2-0-0-4, Myers 0-0-0-0, Ecelberger 0-0-0-0, Mercado 0-0-0-0, Dell 0-0-0-0, Olewine 0-0-0-0, Wilson 0-0-0-0

By Quarters

Saegertown 13 17 6 10 – 46

Youngsville 10 7 7 18 – 42

Three-point FGs: Saegertown (8) – Rhodes (4), Draa (2), Chess, Siple; Youngsville (2)- Bower (2)

– – –


Saegertown took advantage of a trio of Youngsville players exiting the game, and rallied from an 8-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Eagles, 37-34, in the junior varsity game.

The Youngsville players left with three minutes remaining to prepare for the varsity game.

Nyko Mercado led the Eagles with 11 points and Brady Olewine added nine points in the loss.

– – –


Merkel 4-0-6-9, Jones 0-0-0-0, Barner 0-0-0-0, DeJohn 0-0-0-0, Fuller 2-5-7-9, Hayes 1-1-6-3, Ingram 6-4-7-16, Cummings 0-0-0-0, Lilly 0-0-0-0


Victor 0-0-0-0, Murray 2-2-2-6, Mercado 4-3-4-11, Olewine 2-4-4-9, Upton 0-0-0-0, Dell 1-0-0-2, Mowrey 1-0-0-2, Serber 0-0-0-0, Bies 0-0-0-0, K 1-2-4-4, Reese 0-0-0-0

By Quarters

Saegertown 5 16 4 12 – 37


8 11 11 4 – 34

Three-point FGs: Saegertown (1) – Merkel; Youngsville (1) – Olewine