February 22, 2013

Sibling revelry at McDaniel, Gettysburg

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The Brooks brothers were well suited to lining up on opposite sides.

Almost 150 years after the Crittenden brothers fought on opposite sides of the Civil War,   two more brothers, Derek and Wes Brooks battled in Gettysburg.

This battle wasn’t about freedom, though, this was a story of a younger brother getting a crack at his oldest brother.

Derek, a senior at Gettysburg; Sean, a sophomore at Washington College; and Wes, a freshman at McDaniel grew up in front of the hoop in their backyard.

In the spring, the trio would play for hours, as the neighborhood kids cycled in and out.

Often times they would lower the rim to around seven feet, so that everyone could dunk, and the game would get physical.

“I beat them up most of the time,” Derek said. “I didn’t ever take it easy on them. But that’s what you’re supposed to do.” That is the role of the older brother.

Then in the summers, the Brooks family would head down to the Jersey Shore, and the boys would play in the sun every day. Sometimes challenging others to play three-on-three.

“Those games were great, because we all know how each other like to play,” Derek said.

Derek played one year of high school basketball with Sean, when he was a senior and Sean was a sophomore. Sean and Wes shared the backcourt at North Penn for two seasons.

After playing with each other so often, the brothers are cognizant of how to attack each other. “He would always try to drive on me or post up,” Wes said.

On Saturday, in a more organized setting, Derek wasn’t able to do that. The matchup was confined mostly to guard skills.

Wes might be the better shooter and ball handler, but Derek is the better passer.

“He has the best IQ. I always watched what he looked for on the floor. He is really smart like that. It was cool to watch him to do that,” Wes said.

Their strengths were on display last weekend. Wes lit it up from outside, while Derek had seven assists.

As the Brooks brothers guarded one another on the floor, Cari and Codi McMaster, juniors on Gettysburg and McDaniel’s women’s basketball teams watched from the stands.

The McMaster sisters sat together in the student section, sharing an iPod and teasing each other when Derek or Wes did something good.

Derek scored the first two points of the game, and Cari repeatedly tapped Codi’s shoulder encouraging her to cheer. Codi would just shake her head.

The McMasters' view on Saturday's game.

Derek scored all of his five points in the first half, but Wes doubled that, without missing a shot. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, including two three-pointers. He finished the game with 12 points.

At the half, McDaniel led Gettysburg 37-21, and Cari and Codi got set to join their teams in the locker rooms.

They unplugged the earbuds, and kissed each other on cheek.

“I love you.”

“Have a good game.”

Codi and Cari watched Wes and McDaniel go on to defeat Gettysburg and his big brother Derek by a score of 75-50, from opposite sides of the gym.

“It was a good feeling, but I felt bad kind of ruining his senior day,” Wes said.

In a much closer game, Cari and the Bullets defeated her twin sister and the McDaniel Green Terror 43-41.

Women’s Top 25

No. 5 Montclair State, currently 26-0 overall and 16-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference will continue to pursue a perfect season when they face William Paterson on Feb. 23. Montclair State defeated William Paterson by scores of 62-41 and 75-62 in their two regular season match-ups. A win would give the Red Hawks an automatic bid to the Division III NCAA Tournament, which begins March 1.

No. 10 Catholic moved up three spots after back-to-back wins over Goucher and Moravian. Catholic is 25-1 overall and finished 13-1 in the Landmark Conference. The Cardinals will play Scranton on Saturday for the conference title. They defeated Scranton both times they played in the regular season.

No. 13 Messiah dropped three spots after a 75-69 loss to Widener. The Falcons recovered with a strong 69-54 victory over Alvernia. They are currently 23-3 overall and 16-2 in the Commonwealth Conference. They will face No. 19 Lebanon Valley on Saturday. The Dutchmen lost to Messiah both times in the regular season.

Men’s Top 25

No. 11 Catholic moves up from No. 13 after defeating Goucher and Moravian. They also defeated Merchant Marine by a score of 65-57 on Feb. 20. The Cardinals are currently 23-3 and 12-2 in the Landmark Conference. On Saturday they will face Juniata who they lost to on January 9th and then defeated on Jan. 30. 

No. 18 Ramapo dropped two spots after a close 61-60 loss to William Paterson. It was the Roadrunners second loss in four games. But they responded with a win in their next matchup against William Paterson, crushing them 83-58. The Roadrunners are back in action Friday night against Rutgers-Newark whom they beat on Dec. 12 and then fell to on Feb. 6. Ramapo is 22-4 overall and 15-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

No. 14 St. Mary’s (Md.) dropped seven spots in the Top 25 after a close 72-71 loss to Salisbury. The Seahawks responded with a 89-80 win over Mary Washington who they face again tonight. The Capital Athletic Conference championship is slated to take place Saturday. 

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Rob Knox

A former Division III Sports Information Director at Lincoln University, Rob Knox also worked at ESPN, Kutztown and at the Delaware County Daily Times. He was named the CoSIDA Rising Star Award College Division winner and won three writing awards for various game stories including the 2007 Division III sectional triple-overtime matchup between Guilford and Lincoln. In the past, he has also written articles for SLAM magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, a graduate of Lincoln and is from Chester, Pa.
2012-13 columnist: Pete Barrett
2011-12 columnist: Brian Lester