For two quarters the Garaway Pirates and Alliance Aviators were neck and neck in their boys basketball game held at Alliance High School on Friday, Nov. 30. The two teams locked horns and kept the game tight throughout. In the end Garaway’s balanced attack proved to be too much as the Pirates rolled to a 76-62 victory to open up the new year.
Alliance took an early lead, led by Demarco Brooks and Trevor Strata, the latter knocking down seven quick points in the opening period to spot Alliance to the lead. The Pirates quickly responded and pushed out to a 17-16 lead through the first quarter. The game remained tight throughout the second period as the Pirates inched out to a five-point advantage at 42-37 at the intermission, but it was still anyone’s ballgame.
Garaway came out of the locker room and promptly went inside, where Ethan Roden scored twice around a Gus Jackson and-one for a 46-40 lead, and Eric Miller’s put-back added to the advantage. However, an Aviators run drew them back to within 48-46 on a Brooks drive, and again it was game on.
That seemed to inspire the Pirates, who went to work on putting this one away. The third period ended with an 8-0 Garaway run. Miller canned a triple, Corey Troyer hit two free throws after a steal, Brevan Raber scored on a lay-up and Brooks was T’d up, allowing Troyer to split a pair of free throws that gave Garaway a 58-48 bulge through three quarters.
That lead grew to 13 to begin the fourth when Miller knocked down his fifth 3-pointer on the night, and the Pirates were smelling blood in the water.
The Pirates then found some easy pickings as Alliance began to unsuccessfully press in hopes of getting back into the game. Brooks and Strata continued to score, but Garaway got lay-ups off an Austin Fearon steal and two Troyer lay-ups that came when Garaway easily beat the press.
Roden would score on a nice move inside, Fearon would complete an and-one, Troyer would again score easily as the Pirates beat the press again and Braden Yoder would finish the scoring with a lay-up. The lead would grow to as many as 17 points, and only a last-second, meaningless trey would make the score as close as it was. Defense, ball-handling and consistent play from their big four made it a winning night for Garaway, and the Pirates were celebrating a fine start to the beginning of the new season.
Miller led the Pirates with 17 points and six rebounds as well as dropping home five 3-pointers on the night. Troyer knocked down 16 points and added four rebounds, Fearon scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added five rebounds, and Roden added 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting while adding four boards. Yoder added seven points, Austin Monigold tacked on five and Raber added two to round out the scoring for Garaway.
Alliance was led by Brooks, who racked up a game-high 19 points, while Strata added 16 including the huge outburst in the opening period.
The Pirates shot a stellar 22-of-31 from the field, adding a fine 9-of-20 performance from beyond the arc while making 5-of-6 free throws. Garaway’s defense limited Alliance to an 18-of-40 effort from the field, although the Aviators were 6-of-12 on 3-pointers, and Garaway used a solid team rebounding approach to lead the rebounding race 27-17.
The Pirates would then follow up that win with another, churning out a 68-56 victory over Inter-Valley Conference North Tusky Valley. The Pirates improved to 2-0 on the strength of another solid effort from several players.
Fearon led all scorers in the game with a beautiful 23-point effort with Roden adding 15 and Troyer pitching in with 11. Sam Ray paced Tusky Valley with 18.