GOTW: Brookfield at Girard, 1/16

High School Boys’ Basketball Game of the Week
Friday, January 16, 2015 at 7PM
Brookfield (9-2, 6-1) at Girard (9-2, 6-0)

Last Three Meetings
Dec. 9, 2014 – Girard, 57-54
Jan. 29, 2013 – Brookfield, 76-64
Jan. 31, 2012 – Brookfield, 54-49

Series History: Within the past 14 years, the Warriors and the Indians have met three times in the post-season. The last coming in the 2008 Sectional Semifinal when Girard topped Brookfield, 56-26. In 2002, the Warriors knocked off the Tribe, 60-54, in the Sectional Semifinal round. The year before, the Indians opened their last run to the Regionals by defeated Brookfield in the Sectional Finals, 57-49. In 2001, Girard advanced to the Regional Semifinals were they met Villa Angela-St. Joe’s (58-36 loss).

Last Meeting: On December 9, Girard received contributions from Dylan O’Hara (19 points) and Chaston Williams (16 points) to edge Brookfield, 57-54. In the contest, the Warriors were led by Davon Sims – who scored 17.

Noteworthy
Three years ago, both Girard and Brookfield’s basketball programs each had a coaching change. The results have been staggering as Craig Hannon has won 78% of the games that Girard has played in his time (45-13) while Bill Kovach has had similar marks by posting a 43-16 record (73%).

In their return to the All-American Conference, the Warriors have been playing at a high level since the season began. Winners of five straight, Brookfield will look to exact revenge on Girard after their December 9th loss (57-54).

Brookfield, as a team, connected on seven 3-point baskets in their 58-51 win over Champion on Tuesday. Sims scored 15 (four 3-pointers) and Jacob Jackson poured in 15 more for the victors.

The Indians jumped out to a 6-0 start after posting wins over the likes of McDonald (68-48), Brookfield (57-54), Fitch (56-54) and Newton Falls (57-56). Girard has rebounded from a rare two-game skid to win three in a row including a thrilling 59-58 victory over Liberty on Tuesday. The Leopards held a 32-26 halftime lead but thanks to a strong fourth quarter which saw the Indians outscore their rivals (18-12) – Girard prevailed behind Dylan O’Hara’s 25 points. Tyler Kilbourne and Chaston Williams added 13 and 12 respectively.

Girard has played exceptional defense this year allowing just one of their eleven opponents to score 60-points or more (Niles, 78). Brookfield has been almost as stingy as they’ve allowed just two teams to top the 60-point plateau (Liberty, 61 & LaBrae, 60) but no school to score more than 61.

Coaching Nugget
When Kovach took over Brookfield, the Warriors had only won 1 playoff game in the previous seven years. Over the past two seasons, Kovach’s Warriors have won 3.

Last year, Girard won 2 playoff games for the first time since 2001. Under Craig Hannon, the Indians have registered a 2-2 mark in the post-season. Before his arrival, Girard had won two playoff contests in the previous five years.

All-American Conference’s Blue Division
Girard, 6-0 (9-2)
Brookfield, 6-1 (9-2)
Newton Falls, 3-3 (6-4)
LaBrae, 2-4 (4-6)
Liberty, 2-4 (3-7)
Campbell, 2-4 (3-6)
Champion, 1-6 (2-9)

Rankings
Points Scored: Girard, 60.3; Brookfield, 60.1
Points Allowed: Girard, 53.3; Brookfield, 53.3

Upcoming Schedule
Brookfield
Jan. 20 – at Liberty (3-7)
Jan. 23 – Campbell (3-6)
Jan. 24 – at Springfield (9-0)

Girard
Jan. 20 – Champion (2-9)
Jan. 23 – at Newton Falls (6-4)
Jan. 24 – vs. Warren JFK (at Covelli Center)

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