Cleveland Heights vs. Brush boys basketball: Arcs unable to overcome small miscues in 66-62 defeat

Jan. 6—Brush came into its matchup with Cleveland Heights looking to get back in the win column. The Arcs chipped into the deficit, but every time the Tigers were able to push their lead right back in their favor.

They hit seven of their free throws late that kept it as a multi-possession contest. Cleveland Heights took the win, 66-62.

Brush fell to 5-5 on the season.

The Arcs were able to keep pace in the first quarter as it ended in a 13-all deadlock. But the Tigers held them to no field goals through the first four minutes of the second quarter.

But Brush went on a run that cut the game to two possessions before the half. The cat-and-mouse game continued into the second half with both sides going on short spurts.

Coach Chet Mason knew his team had opportunities to take the lead. He highlighted the free-throw shooting struggles for the Arcs, who went 14-for-24 in the game but missed seven from the line in the first half.

"We have to be able to capitalize on the free throws," Mason said. "We lost by four points — we missed more than that from the line in the first half. That's the ball game. We were responding, but it was always something. Some charges here and there, they were playing physically, we tried to match that and just lost a good basketball game."

Brush was able to overcome the deficits despite the struggles from the line. The Arcs trailed by 10 early at the start of the fourth but cut it to a four-point deficit with 2:42 remaining in the game.

They were able to spark a comeback from the diversity of their scoring. Darmani Dammons led the team with 18 points but had 12 at the half.

Aliyy King picked up the scoring in the second half with a total of 16 points, 12 in the second half and Arnell Edmonds had 11. Mason knows while they don't have one guy they can turn to in every situation, they do have many who can handle the task.

"That's something we were preaching at the start of the season: It's going to be a different guy every night," Mason said. "We try to install that in them so that way everyone is ready for when their night comes. You want a guy that is going to be consistent, but it's a luxury to have multiple guys that can do that, too."

But the Arcs saw the little things come back to get them out of a timeout. Cleveland Heights took control of the rebounding edge and were 7 of 8 from the free-throw line to keep the lead.

Mason knows improving on the small things will come with time, but they need to be able to focus on them more if they want to eliminate the up-and-down results.

"Practice is what matters," Mason said. "We have to be able to capitalize on the practice side of things and carry that into the game. We need to change up some of the habits and tendencies. We practice well but need to magnify the little things. Once this team clicks, we can be dangerous. We need to continue to try and string along to get four quarters."

Cleveland Heights also had a trio in double figures, led by Braylyh Irby with 14 points followed by Jay'Quan Stubbs (12 points) and Iyan Bremer (10 points).

Brush aims to snap its two-game skid when it welcomes Rhodes on Jan. 9.