Downsized Trojan boys will try to win a different way

If there was one constant in the Chambersburg boys basketball teams over the past several years, it was the fact that the big and bruising Trojans were going to score plenty of points in the paint and win the rebounding battle.

Shawn Shreffler

Shawn Shreffler

And that style created a great deal of success — such as last year’s 20-8 record, a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division title and a berth in the PIAA Tournament.

For 2019-20, don’t expect the same kind of play from Chambersburg, because the team doesn’t have that kind of size.

But coach Shawn Shreffler believes he has the ingredients to still put together a successful season.

The Trojans open their season Friday against Greencastle-Antrim in the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament. The game is 5:30 p.m. at James Buchanan.

“The last three years, we’ve had really good bigs like Joel (Torres), Tyler (Collier), Ty (Holsopple) and Tyron (Williams),” Shreffler said. “We don’t have that kind of low-post player this year.

“So what we do this year will be a lot different, but the guys are good at what they do. I’ve seen the confidence level rise for our seniors. They know our culture and they are leaders. That allows the other players to just play their roles and be themselves.

“We’ve been good at figuring out who we are and deciding what roles will work for the guys we have.”

Terell Williams

Terell Williams

Two starters return — seniors Terell Williams, a 6-foot-2 forward, and Ethan Shreffler, a 6-0 guard.

Williams scored 8.7 points per game and led the Trojans with 7.1 rebounds per game. He helped Chambersburg to a 930-626 rebounding advantage over the course of the season, which is an amazing stat.

Ethan Shreffler scored 10.6 points per game to lead the Trojans, including bombing in 39 3-pointers, and showed his promise with a 25-point salvo vs. Wilson in a District 3 game. He is fully healed from an injury he played through last year.

“Terell is a tremendous athlete that can just play,” Shawn Shreffler said. “He does so many things that make us better and I expect him to have a really good year. Ethan had a really good offseason and got healthy. He really couldn’t put the time in during practice last year, but now he can and he wants to be more well-rounded.”

Two senior guards are expected to start: 6-2 Aaron Maynard, who was the first player off the bench last year (2.6 ppg, 28 steals), and 6-1 Braden Byers (1.5 ppg).

Shreffler said, “Aaron is as good an athlete as I’ve been around, and does a great job of managing three sports. He does things on the floor that make you go, ‘Wow.’ We got to the final four of a big tournament in Allentown this summer and Braden played a big role with his toughness and defensive tenacity.”

Henry Shearer, a 6-2 senior, is the fifth starter, as a swing man, who scored 2.0 points per game last year.

“Henry plays with a toughness and an edge that is needed in our division,” Shreffler said. “We need hard-nosed players with physicality to be successful.”

Ethan Shreffler

Ethan Shreffler

The next group of five players who should see plenty of playing time include juniors Gus Mace (5-10, G), Carter Sollenberger (6-0, F) and Malaki Blair (5-11, G), sophomore Eli Shearer (6-2, G) and freshman Brant Byers (6-5, F). Seniors Caden Eby (5-8, G) and Trestin Mosima-Hill (5-8, G) will also get some minutes.

Shreffler said, “We had 22 or 23 guys playing with us this spring, summer and fall, so they all got valuable experience at this level. We will try to utilize our entire roster, varsity and JV, depending on what pieces we need, so they will get lots of opportunities to play.”

The Trojan coach believes his team’s biggest strengths are depth at guard, and team chemistry.

“Our guard depth should allow us to play with more tempo,” he said. “I think the guys — especially the seniors — know each other very well. They’ve played together quite a bit, have a lot of basketball savvy and can play off one another well.

“Rebounding will have to be a collective thing, and it is always important to do well with that. But even though we’re not tall, we do have length, which can hopefully be a factor on defense.”

NOTES: Chambersburg varsity assistants are Dennis Chamberlin, Todd Shearer and Kellen Williams; the JV head coach is Barry Williams, and his assistants are Tay Charles, Skyler Roman and Cade Whitfield … The Trojans will also play in the Gettysburg Tournament, and non-league games are against Cedar Cliff, and Greencastle in the Dunks For Drew (Jan. 11) … Chambersburg was 13-3 in the Commonwealth last year and won 11 consecutive games at one point … The Trojans were fourth in District 3 and fell to Butler in the first round of states.