HERSHEY, Pa. – Loyalsock used their strong long-range shooting and interior scoring to capture their first boys basketball state title in school history, topping Brookville 75-53.
(Archived Photo from 2019-20 by: Jared Bakaysa)
The Raiders fought hard early but were ultimately bested by Loyalsock’s high-flying offense that shot 57% from the field and 64% from three-point land. After trailing 8-3 early, Loyalsock rallied to take a ten-point lead into the second quarter. The Lancers expanded their lead to as many as 20 in the second quarter and finished the period up by 14. Brookville had their best run of the game early in the third, cutting Loyalsock’s lead to 10, but the Raiders would get no closer as the Lancers recaptured their offensive spark to see off the Raiders’ comeback.
Dom Jennings led all scorers with 21 points for Loyalsock. The Ali brothers put together solid performances, with Saraj Ali scoring 20 points with seven rebounds and Idris Ali scoring 10. Elija Gair also scored 18 for Loyalsock. Brookville was led by a pair of 19-point games from Jace Miner and Griffin Ruhlman.
Brookville had the early advantage, with Ruhlman and Miner finding their way inside to take a quick 8-3 lead. The Lancers swiftly fought back, with the Ali brothers finding similar success down low to go on a 9-0 run to take the lead. Midway through the quarter, Loyalsock continued their run, with Jennings hitting a deep three and Idris Ali and Gair Scoring on driving layups to up the Loyalsock lead to 19-8 with 1:00 remaining. Ruhlman and Gair exchanged buckets to end the period, with Loyalsock taking a 23-13 lead into the second quarter.
Two well-constructed Loyalsock possessions early in the half resulted in threes from Jennings and Idris Ali, increasing the Lancers’ lead to 16. Loyalsock continued to do damage inside, with the Ali brothers and Julian Wilson scoring to up the Lancers’ lead to 20. Brookville battled back in the second half of the quarter, with two Miner layups highlighting a 9-2 Raiders’ run. The scoring streak brought Loyalsock’s lead down to 14 at the half, with the Lancers leading 38-24.
Two Brookville buckets against the Loyalsock press cut the Loyalsock lead to ten, and another layup by Lauer brought the deficit down to eight with 6:00 left in the quarter. Loyalsock also got into some foul trouble early in the third, with Saraj Ali and Jennings receiving their third personal foul. Two tough post layups by Saraj Ali boosted the Lancers’ lead back up to 12. After a bucket by Danny Lauer, a monster contested dunk by Saraj Ali kept the Lancers lead at 12 with 2:30 remaining in the period. Loyalsock outscored Brookville 5-2 over the final two minutes, providing the Lancers with a 51-38 lead heading into the final quarter.
A big early three by Jennings increased the Lancers’ lead to 17 with 6:30 left in the game, forcing Brookville to increase their tempo and employ a full-court press in an attempt to get back in the game. Loyalsock was able to take advantage of Brookville’s press, using smooth passing to up their lead back to 20 with 5:00 to go. The Lancers continued to maintain their lead, keeping their advantage at 20 with 3:00 left. Loyalsock kept hitting their foul shots, allowing the Lancers to cruise through the final three minutes, securing a 75-53 victory for Loyalsock’s first Boys Basketball state title in school history.