The O.S.A.A. fifth-ranked Cascade Christian Challengers boys basketball team rolled into Brookings on Friday sporting an undefeated 5-0 season. They left with a loss.
The 21st-ranked Brookings-Harbor Bruins surprised some folks across the state by humbling their Farwest League counterparts, 67-59. After all, BHHS came in with a 2-3 record. Was the Medford team was looking past Brookings?
Or did the Bears simply have an extra helping of Honey Nut Cheerios that morning? Hmmm.
Whatever the case, coach Jess Beaman’s boys came to play, and play they did.
Evan Fronckowiak fired the first salvo for BHHS hitting a quick triple after the tipoff to put 3 on the chalkboard. He got some help from teammates Derek Tuttle and Jason Vanginderen who bucketed a few balls along the way.
Fronckowiak had a stellar night finishing with 21 points.
Challengers Donminic Lewis added a three-ball as he scored the majority of CCHS’s points to pull his team ahead by quarter’s end 13-12. Lewis led all scorers on the night with 28.
The Challengers came out hard again in the second frame flexing on Brookings, 20-14, with Lewis hammering the hardwood putting down some fast-break layups. As the clock ticked down toward intermission, the Bruins clawed their way back closing the gap to 23-20 before the Challengers banked in two more to make it 26-20 at the break.
As the third period got underway, CCHS coach Brian Morse’s, valley boys went to work in earnest jumping out again to another large lead in the opening minutes getting up on the Blue and Gold, 43-31.
BHHS didn’t panic getting their mojo back while narrowing the gap to five points at the end of three, 53-48.
Brookings took to the floor for the final period and made it count.
Fronckowiak, Tuttle and Logan Holler all took turns whittling away at the undefeated team leaving the Challengers looking for answers tethered for a time to 49 points on their side of the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, the Bruins continued to pound the ball into the paint blowing by the Challengers, making shots around the perimeter and taking full advantage of scoring opportunities from the free-throw line making 23 of 30.
The Bruins built a 63-54 lead with less than 2 minutes to play.
Understanding that an upset was at hand, BHHS slowed down the tempo protecting both their lead and the ball. Going the distance, the Bruins carved out a huge win, 67-59.
With the victory, the Bruins improve to 3-3 in Farwest League play while the Challengers drop to 5-1.
Top scorers for BHHS were Fronckowiak with 21, Tuttle with 17, Vanginderen with 14 and Holler with 12.
Brookings-Harbor travels to Douglas on Tuesday and returns home to play Sutherlin on Friday. Game times are 7 p.m.