Brookaide's Dylan Smith takes a shot Friday night Jan. 11. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
SHEFFIELD — A week ago Brookside senior Jacob Cole had the chance to make a late-game free throw that would have given his team the lead in a game the Cardinals eventually lost in overtime.
So Friday night was sweet redemption for the 6-foot-1 guard.
Cole stepped to the line with 36.2 seconds remaining and made a pair of free throws that proved to be the game winners as Brookside held on for a 51-50 Patriot Athletic Conference win over Black River.
The win was the second in a row for Brookside (3-7, 2-6 PAC) after enduring a seven-game losing streak.
“It’s a great feeling to get this win,” Cole said. “We had another close game when I missed a free throw that would have put us up one. I was in the same situation again this time and I was confident in my shot.”
Brookside led 33-26 at the half but the Pirates (2-7, 1-7) picked up the defensive pressure in the second half, holding the Cardinals to 18 points.
On Black River’s final possession, an inbounds pass hit the back of the backboard denying it the chance at a final shot. But the Pirates lost the game at the free throw line, attempting 21 free throws to Brookside’s seven, but missing on 14.
Black River was led by Jonathan Herb, who had a double-double before halftime and finished the game with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The Pirates were also missing three players due to illness.
“We’ve been hit hard with illness, so to come out and battle like we did tonight I’ve extremely pleased,” Black River coach Randy Endsley said. “They followed the game plan, we wanted to be more aggressive but it just came down to free throws.”
Brookside trailed by six points in the first half and again by five late in the third quarter, but each time the Cardinals defense stepped up to give their offense a chance to find its stride.
“We got into foul trouble and that kind of took us away from what we wanted to do,” Brookside coach Cory Emerine said. “Credit to our guys for sticking with it, valuing each possession and getting the win.
The Cardinals’ were led by Connor Baughman, who scored all of his 15 points in the first half.
In the second half the Cardinals defense sagged down on Herb, Black River’s towering 6-foot-9 center, with Malachi Sheffield, Cody Mortensen and Cole tasked with keeping the ball out of the big guy’s hands.
The plan worked as Herb was held to four points and four rebounds over the final 16 minutes.
Caleb Poldruhi and Jay Chidsey each scored 12 points for Black River.
“We are starting to get healthy and get back to where we were the first two games,” Emerine said. “It stinks to have injuries, so to be getting into this stretch of the season with 14 guys healthy helps a lot.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brookside 51, Black River 50
BLACK RIVER (50): Caleb Poldruhi 5-1-12, Devon McLean 2-1-5, Jay Chidsey 4-1-12, Brennan Scheck 2-1-6, Jonathan Herb 6-3-15. Totals 19-5-50.
BROOKSIDE (51): Exavier Ortiz 1-0-3, Jonathan Wright 2-0-4. Tyler Horvath 2-1-5. Josiah Ortiz 2-0-5, Cody Mortensen 1-1-3, Dylan Smith 4-0-8, Connor Baughman 6-1-15, Jacob Cole 3-2-8. Totals 21-5-51.
Black River 19 7 16 8 — 50
Brookside 16 17 9 9 — 51
Three-point goals: Black River (Chidsey 3, Poldruhi, Scheck), Brookside (Baughman 2, E. Ortiz, J. Ortiz). Field goals: Black River 19-49 (39 percent), Brookside 21-47 (45 percent). Free throws: Black River 7-21 (33 percent), Brookside 5-7 (71 percent). Rebounds: Black River 43, Brookside 29. Turnovers: Black River 18, Brookside 17. Total fouls: Black River 16, Brookside 22. Technical foul: Mortensen.
Junior varsity: Brookside, 44-19.