locally owned since 1854

Blue Raiders end season with a win, send out senior Petroski on a high note

By Larry Etter

Press & Journal Staff

717-944-4628
Posted 2/15/19

With 3:59 left on the fourth-quarter clock and his team leading 64-23, Tyler Petroski walked to the Middletown bench, where he was embraced by head coach Chris Bradford.

Petroski, the lone senior …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Blue Raiders end season with a win, send out senior Petroski on a high note

Posted

With 3:59 left on the fourth-quarter clock and his team leading 64-23, Tyler Petroski walked to the Middletown bench, where he was embraced by head coach Chris Bradford.

Petroski, the lone senior on the team that finished 3-18, had just played his final minutes as a Blue Raider, closing out a short career of just two years, and drawing the applause of the small but appreciative crowd Wednesday evening.

Petroski and his underclassmen teammates finished off the season as they had started —  with a victory. The adversity-filled season produced just one other win, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The inexperience of the young players showed throughout the year. With the lessons learned, however, the group exhibited promises of better days ahead.

Of the five seniors on whom Bradford was counting to lead his team in his first year as the program’s mentor, Petroski was the only one who stayed. He finished the season with 280 points to lead the squad — including 17 points in his final game.

As a junior, he was a starter on the junior varsity team, but logged quite a few minutes with the varsity players, collecting 59 points last winter. This time around, he was the undisputed leader.

Wednesday’s opponent, Pequea Valley of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, suffered through a winless campaign. The Blue Raiders dominated the Braves from start to finish.

Petroski started it off by draining a pair of treys around a putback by freshman Tajae Broadie to give the Raiders an 8-0 lead. Pequea Valley’s Tyrell Stoltzfus broke the string with a triple of his own, but the Raiders ran off the next 15 points to overwhelm the Braves 23-3 by the end of the first quarter.

Petroski hit another trey in the run, Broadie scored on another putback, and sophomore Jules Nester registered 6 points to make it 21-3. Brock Welsh, another sophomore, scored off a Jarrod Pugh assist to close out the run.

Freshman A. J. Stains opened up the second stanza with a triple to kick off a 21-6 scoring advantage by the Raiders prior to halftime.

The Braves scored on baskets by Jonathan Carter, Jalen Reeves and Sean Liney, but made just 3 of 15 shots in the 8-minute span. The Raiders, meanwhile, made 10 of 15 shots to increase their lead in the dominating period.

A drive by sophomore T. J. Daniels pushed the lead to 34-7 at the halfway mark. Pugh, Nester and Tony Powell teamed for 12 points in the frame, which ended with a steal and breakaway dunk by Nester and a short jumper by Pugh that gave the home team a 44-9 cushion at halftime.

The shorthanded Braves, who brought just six players, showed some life in the third quarter after both teams got off to slow starts. After the Raiders started off the period with 6 straight points, the Braves picked up their scoring. Antonio Lazar scored 8 points in the frame and the guests outpointed their hosts 12-8 to cut down a bit of the lead. A pair of late goals by Lazar and Liney cut the spread to 52-21 heading into the final 8 minutes.

Following an early bucket by Carter, the Braves got a bit closer at 52-23. But that was it. Powell’s backdoor basket at 7:35 jump started a crushing 12-0 streak by the Blue Raiders that ended on another steal and goal by Nester at 3:59. And that’s when Petroski’s time on the court ended.

A pair of late scores by Liney closed out the scoring and the seasons for both teams.

Nester registered a game-high 18, Powell had 10, Broadie 6, Stains 5, Pugh 4 and Daniels and Welsh with 2 each.