CHAMBERSBURG — In the first few minutes of Friday night’s Central Dauphin at Chambersburg boys basketball game, the Rams zoomed to an 11-2 lead before coach Shawn Shreffler called a time out.
Little did the Trojans know at the time how difficult it would be to catch up.
It took Chambersburg until midway through the third quarter to even reach 11 points, and Central Dauphin survived a late Trojan run to walk away with a 37-25 Mid Penn Commonwealth win at CASHS Field House.
It wasted an excellent defensive game for the Trojans (5-2, 3-1 MPC). After the first quarter, CD (4-2, 3-1 MPC) scored only 24 points.
But the Rams were even better at the defensive end — closing off lanes, intercepting passes, getting a hand on shots (at least 10 times). Even better, CD held Chambersburg to a ghastly shooting percentage of 18% (7 of 39).
Shreffler said, “CD is a really good basketball team and they’ve got a lot of length. Because of that, they took away a lot of easy, clean baskets. Every shot was contested, inside and outside.”
Ryan Smith scored seven points in CD’s run to start the game, which included four drives to the hoop. Chambersburg’s defense cut that off, making it harder for Central Dauphin to score from that point on, but the Trojans were never able to mount a rally.
Until, that is, players off the bench somehow pried the lid off the basket. The second team had entered midway through the third quarter; Shreffler left them in and it almost paid off.
Entering the final period down 27-11, Chambersburg ripped off the next 10 points. A teardrop by Malaki Blair was the first Trojan basket since early in the second quarter.
It was followed by a 3-pointer by Gus Mace, a drive by Brant Byers, another bomb from Mace and a pair of free throws by Carter Sollenberger. Suddenly, it was 27-23 with just over two minutes to go.
“I was really pleased with our second unit,” Shreffler said. “They came in and performed well and made it a game. That will help us moving forward. It was important early in the season to give them opportunities and they got a quality experience tonight.”
Unfortunately, the spell was broken on the Rams’ next trip up the court. Smith’s in-bounds pass from in front of his bench found a wide-open De’von Haggans underneath for a layup with 1:34 remaining, and CD closed the game out by hitting eight consecutive free throws.
Chambersburg’s bench ended up out-scoring the starters 18-7, led by Mace with 6. Smith (13) and Rance Russo (10) led CD.
Shreffler said, “It’s a long season and we’ll just have to continue to work. The second unit made some plays that will help their confidence. There have been some games we’ve performed really well, but we have to become more consistent.”
Central Dauphin 37, Chambersburg 25
De’von Haggans 2 0-0 4, Andrew Renaldi 2 0-0 6, Ryan Smith 2 8-8 13, Rance Russo 3 4-10 10, Darrien Berrios-Rivera 2 0-0 4. Totals 11 12-18 37.
Braden Byers 0 2-2 2, Ethan Shreffler 0 0-0 0, Aaron Maynard 0 0-0 0, Henry Shearer 1 0-0 2, Terell Williams 1 1-2 3, Malaki Blair 1 0-0 2, Eli Shearer 1 1-2 4, Carter Sollenberger 0 2-2 2, Brant Byers 1 2-4 4, Gus Mace 2 0-0 6, Trestin Hill 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 8-12 25.
Central Dauphin 13 8 6 10 — 37
Chambersburg 2 6 3 14 — 25
3-point shots — CD 3 (Renaldi 2, Smith); Chbg 3 (Mace 2, E.Shearer). Shooting — CD 11-29 (38%); Chbg 7-39 (18%). Turnovers — CD 18; Chbg 17.