When Cameron Tobias’ grandmother passed away last summer, his friend and teammate Luke Weaver was there to help him through the grieving process.
Through the tumultuous time, their bond was extended well beyond the football field or basketball court.
When Philipsburg-Osceola stormed back from an early deficit, it was the duo of Tobias and Weaver that steadied the Rams and guided the team to a 47-36 victory over the Mounties on Tuesday night.
“We’re a young team so any time we fight back like that it’s a huge step,” Weaver said. “We really feed off each other, we’re a complete team and our coach gets us fired up so we know we can bounce back.”
Tobias scored a game-high 17 points, including seven in the first quarter that helped the Rams jump out to a 16-4 lead. Weaver’s night was the perfect bookend, scoring nine critical fourth-quarter points to finish with 15 for the game.
With the Rams (2-1) holding a 26-13 halftime lead, the Mounties fought back, winning the third quarter 13-6 to pull within 32-26 at the end of the frame.
Senior Matt Carpin led the Mounties with 13 points. Fellow senior Alex Gray added eight and Eric Nartatez, also a senior, scored six points after being saddled with early foul trouble.
“We just weren’t making shots early,” said Mounties head coach Dave McKnight of the slow start. “We were a little tight early we told the kids we would have to weather the storm and we came back and won the third quarter, but just couldn’t make the shots to capitalize.”
The Mounties (1-1) began the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run that was capped by a Carpin 3-pointer on the left baseline with 5:05 remaining that cut the Rams’ lead to 34-32.
That’s when juniors Tobias and Weaver took over.
“We just wanted to keep our heads up, stay aggressive and just run our offense,” Tobias said. “Last year we gave up a lead against Tyrone in our gym and they came back and won the game by two points.”
Weaver answered Carpin’s three with a fade away jumper from the top of the key. A few possessions later Weaver pulled up again from nearly the identical spot. This attempt though failed to draw iron but luckily landed in the waiting hands of Tobias who put it quickly in the basket.
That sequence was reversed on the football field where Tobias, the quarterback usually put the ball in the waiting hands of Weaver the wide receiver.
The pair led the Rams on a 9-0 run that Weaver punctuated with a corner 3-pointer with 1:50 left in the game extending the lead to 43-32.
“That was a huge fall-away three right there,” said Rams’ head coach Terry Glunt. “And Cam battled all night. I know he was struggling with his shot a little coming into the game.”
“It was big,” said Tobias. “It was all about teamwork and finding the open guy. It was great throwing to (Weaver) in football and we’re just great friends. Our families know each other well.
“It was good to have him around when my grandmother passed away,” Tobias continued. “He was right there by my side and he’s just a really good friend to have.”
Barbara Tobias passed away over the summer from a brain aneurysm, said her grandson, Cameron.
“He helped me a lot,” Tobias said. “Having him there and knowing that he had my back through anything and that I could trust him at any time just put a smile on my face.”
Penns Valley will travel to Jersey Shore at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Philipsburg-Osceola will host Bellefonte next Tuesday.