Spring-Ford tops Spring Grove for first PIAA victory in school history

YORK >> Nigel Cooke set the tone for Spring-Ford right from the onset of Saturday night’s PIAA Class AAAA first round game, and he and the rest of the Rams maintained that momentum and tempo for the rest of the night.

Cooke poured in a game-high 20 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Rams in their 74-43 victory over Spring Grove at West York High School.

The state playoff victory for the Rams was the first in school history in only their second state appearance. The other appearance came two years ago.

Spring-Ford started the game as the fifth seed from District 1 while the Rockets were the No. 3 seed from District 3.

“It feels good to get our first state win,” said Cooke. “We just wanted to try to come here and make history for our school.”

Cooke scored nine first-quarter points as Spring-Ford took an 18-9 lead after the first eight minutes of action.

Chucky Drummond followed with 15 points for the Rams while Matt Gnias and Cameron Reid each finished with 12. Cooke made three 3-pointers and also shot a perfect 7-for-7 at the free throw line.

“I try to get our energy going,” said Cooke. “We push the ball, stop the ball and get boards.”

Cooke said the Rams feed off one another, and that is the main reason they function so well as a unit.

Spring Grove junior Eli Brooks faced foul trouble from the beginning and ended up with 13 points, along with Darin Gordon.

The Rams advanced to a second-round meeting against District 1 powerhouse Chester, Wednesday night at a time and site to be determined.

“They (Rams) are a great group of guys and a great group of seniors,” said Spring-Ford coach Chris Talley.

Talley said the Rams have played consistently well throughout the year in winning the Pioneer Athletic Conference title.

“We wanted to represent our league, but more importantly we wanted to represent our whole team and community,” said Talley. “These guys have done it all year. I am not surprised they came out here and got us our first state win.”

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