Down double digits early in the second half, the West Branch boys basketball team made a strong comeback in the third quarter and took a 1-point lead on the third Doug Kolesar trey of the frame.
But after Trenton Bellomy’s steal and layup gave the Warriors a 3-point lead early in the fourth, Mount Union’s Jayvian Brumbaugh drilled a 3-pointer to tie it.
Mount Union took a lead on its next possession and never trailed again, topping the host Warriors 59-55 on Tuesday.
Brumbaugh and Devon Delo led the Trojans with 18 points each, but it was the former’s 3-point barrage in the fourth quarter that was the difference.
Each time the Warriors cut the deficit to a point in the fourth, Brumbaugh took it back to four. He also made a pair of free throws late.
“Brumbaugh hit three 3s (in the fourth) after not making an outside shot all game,” Warrior head coach Danny Clark said. “That was the difference.”
Kolesar was enjoying his own success from behind the arc and was key in getting the Warriors back in the game.
West Branch went to the break down 27-19 after shooting just 7-of-27 in the first half, including 3-of-16 from the 3-point line.
But Kolesar heated up in the third to kickstart the Warriors. He connected on three 3s and scored 11 of his team-high 12 in the frame. Jackson Croyle also had a pair of buckets as West Branch outscored the Trojans 18-9 in the third to take a 37-36 lead — its first of the game — late in the frame and into the fourth.
“We battled back and had a great third quarter to take the lead after being down eight at the half,” Clark said. “That was a big step in the right direction for us.
“We competed well in that second half.”
Zach Tiracorda was the only other Warrior in double figures with 10 points, while Travis Rothrock netted 9. Croyle scored six and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds in his first varsity start.
“That was really encouraging to see,” Clark said of Croyle’s performance.
Mount Union led 12-6 after one quarter despite shooting 5-of-17 from the field.
The Trojans expanded the lead to 27-19 at the half behind Delo, who scored seven in the second quarter and 13 in the first half. Delo also hit a three early in the third that gave Mount Union a double-digit advantage.
West Branch slipped to 9-7 overall and 8-5 in the Inter County Conference.
The Warriors visit Bellwood-Antis Thursday.
Delo 7 2-3 18, Brodbeck 2 0-0 5, Wilson 3 1-2 7, Randolph 1 0-0 2, Brumbaugh 6 3-4 18, Williams 3 0-2 6, Cuff 0 0-0 0, Knable 1 0-0 3, Barksdale 0 0-0 0, Danish 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 6-11 59.
Kopchik 1 2-3 5, Rothrock 4 0-0 9, Croyle 3 0-0 6, Carr 0 0-0 0, I. Tiracorda 1 0-0 2, Bellomy 3 0-0 8, Z. Tiracorda 4 2-4 10, D. Kolesar 4 1-2 12, K. Kolesar 1 1-2 3. Totals: 21 6-11 55.
Three-pointers: Delo 2, Brodbeck, Brumbaugh 3, Knable; Kopchik, Rothrock, Bellmy 2, D. Kolesar 3.
Score by Quarters
Mount Union 12 15 9 23—59
West Branch 6 13 18 18—55