Second-quarter surge sends Steelers past Eagles
OIL CITY, Pa. – It happened in the blink of an eye.
The Youngsville Eagles were hanging right with the Farrell Steelers in their District 10 Class 2A semifinal game late into the second quarter. But then, lightning struck.
The Steelers went on a 17-2 run in the final 2:30 before halftime and never looked back on their way to a 73-47 victory.
“That’s what they do,” send Youngsville coach Jesse DeLoof. “You think you’re in the game and then they’ll go on a big run and they’re up 20.”
The run also coincided with star Gage Hendrickson picking up his second foul.
“It was happening as Gage got his second foul,” noted DeLoof. “Credit to them. That’s a good team. They have all the pieces. We missed shots and we turned the ball over in spots that we usually make plays, but I thought that was them speeding us up. We do that to teams and tonight they did that to us.”
Youngsville led throughout much of the first quarter, thanks in large part to the play of Brady Olewine.
The junior guard scored Youngsville’s first eight points of the game, including a pair of 3’s. The Eagles led 10-8 after a Hendrickson jumper, but Farrell went on a mini 7-0 keyed by Ben King and Eric Hopson.
The Eagles answered back, as Dominic Dell converted a transition layup and Joe Mack went 1-of-2 from the line to make it 15-13 after one.
“It was a very physical game,” noted DeLoof. “The refs were letting us play on both sides. That’s playoff basketball.”
The first four minutes of the second quarter were methodical, as Hendrickson and Olewine hit jumpers and King and Brian Hilton did the same for Farrell to make it 22-17.
That was the score when the Steelers went on their surge.
“Part of it was we have to make those shots we normally make and part of that is them speeding us up a click faster than we’re used to,” DeLoof said. “They took us out of our comfort zone.”
The lead swelled to as much as 35 in the third quarter as King got hot from distance, but the Eagles didn’t go in the tank.
Instead, they came out strong in the fourth quarter. Hendrickson scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and Owen Procter and Mack also hit shots in the fourth.
It might have been too little, too late in terms of the final outcome, but DeLoof noted that they were still playing for what’s to come.
“This was building for practice the next two days for a win on Friday,” he said. “We weren’t content with getting here. We weren’t content to just be playing in this game. We came here to win, but we needed to finish the game playing hard to get us in a position where we could win on Friday.”
Olewine finished with 13 points for the Eagles, while Hopson and King led a very balanced Farrell attack with 16 points each.
The Eagles qualified for the state tournament with their quarterfinal win over Rocky Grove, as District 10 takes four teams in Class 2A. They will meet Cambridge Springs for a third time this season in the consolation game on Friday (site, time, TBA). The Blue Devils fell victim to a 17-0 third-quarter run by Lakeview in their semifinal game en route to a 56-37 final.
“We’re excited to play Cambridge Springs again,” DeLoof said. “The last one against them is one we’d like to have back. We wanted them in the title game, but we’ll take it in the 3/4 game.”
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Hendrickson 8-1-1-19, Mack 2-2-4-6, Kesterholt 0-1-2-1, Olewine 5-1-2-13, Peterson 1-0-0-2, Dell 1-0-0-2, Bower 0-0-0-0, Procter 1-0-0-2, Totals 18-7-11-47
Hopson 7-2-2-16, Muhammad 3-0-0-6, Hilton 3-0-0-10, King 5-2-2-16, Rain 1-0-0-2, Driver 3-0-0-6, Butler 1-0-0-3, T. Holden 2-0-0-5, J. Holden 2-0-0-5, Wade 1-0-1-2, Hartley 1-0-0-2, Stewart 0-0-2-0, Scarbrough 1-0-0-2, Totals 31-4-7-73
Youngsville 13 6 8 20 – 47
Farrell 15 24 18 16 – 73
Three-point FGs: Youngsville (4) – Olewine 2, Hendrickson 2; Farrell (7) – King 4, J. Holden, T. Holden, Butler