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Wineberg Helps Lift Brockway to the D9 AA Boys’ Title Game

By Chris Rossetti

CLARION, Pa. – For the second straight postseason game, Brockway used a strong start of the second half as the catalyst for victory riding a 10-1 run at the start of the half to a 53-42 win over top-seeded Cranberry in the District 9 Class AA boys’ basketball semifinals Tuesday night at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

“In the early part of the year, we struggled every third quarter,” Brockway head coach Dave Bennett said. “So we changed a few things that we did coming out of halftime to help our mindset, our preparation. I don’t know if that’s what does it or is it our guys mental toughness and awareness of the situation? Against both Karns City (in the quarterfinals) and Cranberry, we were fortunate with our third quarters.”

The fifth-seeded Rovers (12-12), who are at .500 for the first time this year having won seven straight, led by four, 22-18, at halftime but got scoring from three different players – Corey Carr, Quade Lundberg and Jake Wineberg – in the first 3:44 of the second half to put the lead at 12, 31-19.

“Coach tells us to keep attacking the basket and playing defense,” Wineberg, who finished with a game-high 25 points on 7 of 11 shooting and 8 of 8 from the free-throw line, said about Bennett’s halftime message. “If it wasn’t for our defense, we wouldn’t be the offensive team we are able to be.”

Defense was the key the entire night for Brockway, which limited Cranberry (14-9), which loses in the D9 playoffs as the No. 1 seed for the second straight year, to 21.6 percent shooting (11 of 51).

“We were trying not to let them attack the basket and make them shoot shots they aren’t comfortable shooting,” Wineberg said. “We did very good at that tonight.”
Cranberry was frustrated on offense all night long with none of the Berries big guns able to get into any rhythm.

Evan Lutz was 5 of 18 shooting including 2 of 9 from 3-point range but did score a team-high 15 points for Cranberry, and Brendan Zerbe was 2 of 13 from the floor while scoring seven points to go with 10 rebounds.

Dechlyn Sheffer was about the only Berry to get into any type of flow hitting 3 of 5 shots including 3 of 4 from 3-point range to finish with 10 points.

Cranberry was able to get to the free-throw line and stayed in the game shooting 15 of 24 from the line.

But free-throw shooting alone wasn’t enough to help them overcome the hot shooting of Wineberg, who scored 11 points in the first half and 14 in the second while hitting 3 of 6 3-pointers.

“Jake played great,” Bennett said. “He shot the ball well. I thought he took good shots. And at the end of the game, he iced it for us at the foul line. He played a heck of  game offensively.”

While Wineberg was carrying the load on offense – only Corey Carr with 11 points also reached double digits for Brockway – Jarrett Esposito was cleaning up the boards grabbing 12 rebounds to help Brockway hold a 39-34 edge on the glass.

“He is one of those guys who always has a knack,” Bennett said. “He’s always in the right place at the right time, especially for rebounding. He gets to the ball. He had rebounded the ball well all year. He is our leading rebounder, and he did another great job tonight.”

Brockway will take on AML rival Kane in the title game Saturday at Tippin Gym. A game time hasn’t been decided. The Rovers lost to Kane, 49-45, back in mid-January.

“Getting to the finals has always been one of my dreams since I was a little kid,” Wineberg said.  


Score by Quarters

Brockway 13 9 12 19 – 53

Cranberry 6 12 8 16 – 42


Quenton Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Wineberg 7-11 8-8 25, Jarrett Esposito 1-5 1-3 3, Carter Adams 2-8 0-1 5, Quade Lundberg 3-11 0-0 6, Corey Carr 5-8 0-0 11, Noah Vokes 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter Miller 1-1 0-0 3, Hunter Antonuccio 0-0 0-0 0, Tim Brosky 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-45 9-12 53.


Nick Varsek 0-3 2-2 2, Dechlyn Sheffer 3-5 1-2 10, Evan Lutz 5-18 3-3 15, Austin Rex 0-4 4-5 4, Brendan Zerbe 2-13 3-6 7, Tylor Ziegler 0-3 0-0 0, Andrew Gunn 0-0 0-0 0, Caleb McCandless 1-4 2-5 4, Josh Tygert 0-0 0-0 0, Luke McQuaide 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-51 15-24 42.

THREE-POINTERS – Brockway 6-12 (Wineberg 3-6, Carr 1-2, Adams 1-2, Miller 1-1). Cranberry 5-17 (Sheffer 3-4, Lutz 2-9, Varsek 0-1, Ziegler 0-2, McQuide 0-1).