By Steve Wilaj
In the deciding third quarter of Brookfield’s 64-55 victory against Youngstown Christian on Friday night, what was happening off the court was just as important as what was happening on it.
With the Warriors making a strong push coming out of the half, the Eagles’ monster inside presence Tymere Dubose sat on the bench due to foul trouble.
Brookfield head coach Bill Kovach said Dubose’s absence was vital in outscoring the Eagles 14-5 in the third period after the game was tied at the half.
“Their big guy got in foul trouble and we got some nice scores inside,” Kovach said. “We got the ball inside more and Seth Wallace kind of had his way.”
Wallace led the Warriors (4-0) with 16 points and six rebounds and shot 7 of 10 from the field. He didn’t mind not having to battle with the 6-foot-6 Dubose during that third quarter.
“We wanted to attack him and get him out of the game as soon as possible so it could make things a little easier,” Wallace said. “So in the third we were able to get some consistency on offense and strong drives every time.
“That led to some stops on defense.”
The Eagles (1-3) were paced by Darien Townsend’s 22 points and were hitting on all cylinders offensively in the first half.
Kovach and his staff made some halftime adjustments.
“We talked a lot at halftime about slipping screens and doubling down on Dubose,” Kovach said. “It was really important that we doubled down on him and caused a little havoc underneath.”
Dubose still finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. However, YCS head coach Dolph Carroll realized foul trouble proved costly.
“I think we had two starters on the bench when they made that run,” Carroll said. “They’re a very good basketball team and well-coached. So they made their run and we answered back, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Eagles cut the deficit to 60-55 with 48 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, but got no closer. They shot 47 percent overall, but finished with 15 turnovers.
“We’re going to play hard regardless of what the score is,” Carroll said. “But we just have to get better and get some more experience and repetition.”
Brookfield shot an astounding 64 percent from the field. Caleb Hunkus had 13 points, Jamar Tarver added 10 and Devon Sims scored nine.
However, the Warriors were set back by 16 turnovers.
“We’re a young team playing with a lot of sophomores and juniors,” Kovach said. “We really have to cut down on our turnovers and mistakes.”