Polar Bears pull out win at James Buchanan

MERCERSBURG – James Buchanan’s varsity boys basketball team fell to Northern York on Friday night, 65-51, in a Mid Penn Colonial game.

James Buchanan (3-4, 1-2 MPC) fought throughout the game and kept it close, but could not overcome Northern York’s all-around offensive attack.

“We knew we were going to see pressure,” James Buchanan coach Matt Piper said. “We knew we were going to see the (Nate) McGill kid and another couple shooters. We just tried to control the tempo and get into our offense.”

Junior forward Tyler Weary led the Polar Bears (5-1, 3-0 MPC) with 17 points, followed by junior guard McGill, who had 13.

James Buchanan struggled to get into its offense from the beginning of the game, scoring only four points in the first quarter.

“In the first half our offense wasn’t clicking,” James Buchanan junior forward Rylan Good said. “Usually we go inside and kick it out, but that wasn’t working. Shots weren’t falling. That’s about it. We just need to pick it up from the first half of every game.”

Despite being outscored 14-4 in the first quarter, James Buchanan slowly chipped away. The Rockets outscored Northern 16-15 in the second quarter and 16-14 in the third quarter.

It wasn’t enough, as Northern outscored James Buchanan 22-15 in the final quarter.

Good led his team with 17 points, nine of them coming from beyond the 3-point line. Caden Stoner also chipped in with 12 points, all coming from beyond the arc.

Piper said he thought the struggles were both offensive and defensive.

“It was a mixture of both, honestly,” Piper said. “I think we struggled offensively and defensively in the beginning and then played a little bit better defense, and then our offense came on. We’ve just got to have more peaks and less valleys.”

James Buchanan doesn’t play again until January 3, when it plays at Shippensburg at 7:30 p.m.

As for the game plan for the next couple weeks, coach Piper has one word on his mind.

“Rest. Enjoy our families, and then we’ll get back at it, back to our practices,” Piper said. “Keep moving forward and keep getting better.”