The Brookville Raiders have already made history, now they’re just looking for the icing on the cake.
They will take the court for the final time this season at Hershey’s Giant Center at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Loyalsock with the PIAA Class 3A state championship on the line. D9and10sports.com will have an audio broadcast of the game starting at approximately 2:15 p.m.
“Blessed to have this moment,” said star senior Jace Miner following the Raiders’ 46-44 semifinal win over Bishop Guilfoyle. “There are many kids that want to be here today, be where we are. You just have to enjoy it. We are blessed by the glory of God that we are here to show what we’ve got. We’ve got one more. I really think we aren’t done.”
The Raiders were one of a handful of teams to open play on Dec. 11, just hours before the COVID-19 shutdown hit, and started the season 2-0 on that day.
First to start, last to leave, and it’s a moment they are relishing.
Miner, a Wichita State baseball commit, has played the role of hero for much of Brookville’s run, including a steal and layup in the closing moments of the Raiders’ stunning quarterfinal win against WPIAL champion Ellwood City.
Against Guilfoyle, it was Hunter Geer who put on the cape, draining a jumper with just over a minute to play, which proved to be the game-winning bucket.
In their subregional win against Chestnut Ridge, the Raiders trailed by 10 in the third quarter, only to outscore CR by 20 the rest of the way.
Before that, the Raiders rolled to a District 9 title win over Kane.
Coach Dalton Park’s squad has experienced a wave of emotion since then, and they now have an entire town behind them as they seek to make history.
Miner checks in at 18.8 ppg, followed juniors Danny Lauer (9.5 ppg.), Geer (9.2 ppg.) and Griffin Ruhlman (8.9 ppg.), and senior Robert Keth (7.8 ppg.).
The Raiders are the first District 9 team to advance to the PIAA Championship game since 2013 when Johnsonburg lost to Vaux in the Class 1A title contest. They are also the first non-Class 1A D9 team to make it to the championship game since 1992, when Punxsutawney fell to Steelton-Highspire, 58-49, in Class 4A
They will be facing a Loyalsock team that has been quite impressive in getting to Hershey.
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The District 4 champion Lancers are coming off an 83-70 win over Math, Civics and Science in the semifinals.
The Lancers are coached by legendary coach Ron Insinger, who is the state’s all-time wins leader with 1,065 victories
The Lancers were still playing when the COVID-19 shutdown hit last season, and are looking to finish off a historic run of their own.
Adris Ali leads the way at 19.8 ppg., while his brother Saraj checks in at 16.2 ppg. Senior guard Dominic Jennings checks in at 12.1 ppg. and senior guard Eli Gair makes it four Lancers averaging in double figures at 11.5 ppg.
Julian Wilson, a 6-8 senior center averages 7.4 ppg.
“The kids are excited, I’m really happy for the kids,” Park said after the semifinal win. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”