HARRISBURG — Let’s just say that the odds were not stacked in Chambersburg’s favor — except for the fact that the Trojan boys basketball team is developing into a team that can win games in different ways.
— The Trojans were playing at Harrisburg, and Chambersburg hadn’t produced a win over the Cougars since the District 3 final in 2012, a run of 10 games.
— The team was without the services of starter Evan Shreffler and key sub Noah Beidel, plus two other substitutes (Ethan Shreffler and Will Harriger), due to an injury and sickness.
— That left the Trojans short-handed at guard, exactly where you don’t want to be against Harrisburg’s swarm of pesky defenders.
And yet, Chambersburg came home Tuesday night with a very satisfying 63-61 Mid Penn Commonwealth victory at Kimber Gym to stretch its winning streak to six games and its record to 11-2 (5-2 MPC).
“We were confident we could hold our own, if we played as hard as we could,” said Trojan guard Cade Brindle, who played a brilliant floor game. “The guys who weren’t here told us it was next man up.”
And The (next) Man (up) was Joel Torres.
The senior forward poured in a career-high 34 points, hitting a basket seemingly every time Chambersburg needed to stem a Cougar rush. He also did an excellent on the boards, especially at the defensive end.
“The guards were poised in most situations and fed the ball to Joel, who was locked in and focused,” Trojan coach Shawn Shreffler said.
Torres said, “We were ahead at halftime and we expected them to pressure us. Our guards handled the ball well and got it inside. It’s something we’ve worked on in practice. It was a huge win, especially with guys being out sick.”
Brindle was especially effective at getting ball in to Torres, assisting on at least 8 of Torres’ 14 field goals. When Chambersburg broke the press, Brindle frequently drove toward the basket and dished off to Torres before the Cougars could get back.
Shreffler said, “We’re getting better at that, and we’ve been more alert to look for it. Harrisburg can make you look bad at times with their pressure, so you have to make them pay.”
Chambersburg took a 19-13 lead early in the second period on back-to-back hoops by Terell and Tyron Williams, but Harrisburg ran off 10 straight to lead 23-19. The Trojans then ripped off 9 in a row, and ended up leading by 2 at the half.
Five times in the second half, the Coogs got to within one point of the Trojans and three of those times, Torres scored the next two points.
Ahead 51-48 with 2:18 left, Brindle made a spectacular drive from the right side and converted a reverse layup, then made a foul shot for a three-point play. He then assisted Torres for a layup to make it 56-48.
Shreffler said, “Cade’s a creative player, and it showed in a game like this one.”
Brindle said, “Joel had a lot of movement tonight and he was finishing the rock.”
Harrisburg got it to 62-59 on a 3-pointer by Ky’Aire Sumpter with 25 seconds left. The Trojans turned it over, but the Cougars missed a shot and Torres grabbed the rebound and was fouled. His free throw with 6.3 seconds left sealed the win.
Seth Brouse and Brindle did most of the work bringing the ball up against a batch of Cougar guards, with some help from Cota Heckman and Keyshawn Jones.
“It might not stand out to most, but with Harrisburg rotating in all those guards, it wears you down,” Shreffler said. “Cade plays so hard, but he played at a high level the whole game.”
Tyler Collier also had a standout game, contributing 12 points, several rebounds and a pair of huge free throws with 52 seconds left after he corralled an offensive rebound on a missed foul shot.
Chambersburg plays next at Mifflin County on Friday, then hosts the annual Dunks For Drew event on Saturday.
Chambersburg 63, Harrisburg 61
Seth Brouse 1 0-0 2, Cota Heckman 0 0-2 0, Cade Brindle 4 3-4 11, Tyler Collier 5 2-2 12, Terell Williams 1 0-0 2, Tyron Williams 1 0-0 2, Joel Torres 14 6-10 34, Keyshawn Jones 0 0-0 0, Yianni Hronis 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 11-18 63.
Tony James 7 2-3 16, Ky’Aire Sumpter 3 0-0 8, Na’Reece Glenn 3 3-3 12, Amir Stoudt 2 0-0 4, Dylan Crosson 0 1-2 1, Rynell Gantt 3 4-4 11, Nyzier Brannon 0 0-2 0, Nicari Williams 2 2-2 7, Deion Patterson 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 12-16 61.
Chambersburg 15 13 15 20 — 63
Harrisburg 13 13 11 24 — 61
3-points shots — Chbg 0; Harr 7 (Glenn 3, Sumpter 2, Gantt, Williams).