By Dan pompili
The Youngstown Christian Eagles looked like they might have a real tug-of-war going on against Brookfield in the first half of Friday night’s game. Both teams traded runs as the momentum shifted back and forth.
But the second half showed the Warriors’ strength as they pulled away cleanly for a decisive 70-49 victory on the Eagles’ home court.
After a 10-2 Brookfield run in the first 3 minutes, led by Jeremy Quinlan’s back-to back 3-pointers, Eagles coach Dolph Carroll read his starters a litany on the sidelines and subbed in four players off the bench. The result was a 17-8 swing in the Eagles’ favor, during which they dropped three 3-pointers.
That run carried them within four minutes of halftime, with Youngstown leading 19-18.
But the Warriors (8-1) went on an 11-2 run that brought them to the half with a 29-21 lead.
“We struggled a bit offensively, with getting into a flow, but once we got some movement we were okay,” Brookfield coach Bill Kovach said. “We scored a lot off our defense tonight. We went into a zone press and that really got our offense moving.”
Brookfield picked up right where it left off in the third quarter, starting the second half with a 17-5 spurt.
Four consecutive Eagles turnovers only added to Youngstown Christian’s’s frustrations, but made little difference in the game’s outcome, as Brookfield carried an 18-point lead into the final period.
Brookfield answered the Eagles’ 17 points with 20 of their own and called it a night.
“The difference in the second half was we didn’t let them have more than one shot and we got the rebounds,” Kovach said. “We didn’t rebound very well in the first half.”
Brookfield senior Jimmy Quinlan put up only seven points on the night, although Kovach praised his play, calling him a “floor general” and “a coach on the court.”
“He makes a huge difference in production,” Kovach said.
But it was Collin Harkulich, with 17 points, and Quinlan's brother Jeremy, with 16, who led the Warriors' charge.
Youngstown Christian’s Daylen Williams led all scorers with 23 points and Jayquan Yanno helped added 10.
After the game, Carroll was complimentary not only to Brookfield, but his own team as well.
“We made some mistakes that hurt us down the stretch. That’s a good team and they’re fun to play,” he said of the Warriors. “We’ve got nowhere to go but up. This is probably the best 3-4 team I have. We’ll be OK. We’re still very inexperienced, but we’re learning how to play together.”