NEW KINGSTOWN — Chambersburg picked a really good time to play perhaps its best game of the season.
The Trojans, in dire need of a big win in the final week of the regular season to corral a playoff berth, broke to an 8-0 lead, never trailed, and knocked off Cumberland Valley 52-44 in a Mid Penn Commonwealth boys basketball game at the CV Dome on Tuesday night.
“I thought for three quarters, we played really well,” Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler said. “We didn’t close it out the way we wanted, but we can learn from that.”
The Trojans (15-6, 11-4 MPC) kept alive their slim hopes for a Commonwealth title. Central Dauphin would have to lose against State College and Chambersburg would have to beat Harrisburg on Friday.
It also boosted its chances of qualifying for the District 3 Class 6A playoffs, moving from No. 11 to No. 9 (the top 12 get in).
Senior forward Terell Williams likely played his best game of the season, too.
He scored a career-high 21 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and a variety of strong drives through CV’s thicket of tall players. He rebounded well at both ends. He made several slick passes that resulted in key baskets. And he even took a charge.
The Trojans had trouble getting any inside baskets against the Eagles (17-4, 11-4 MPC) in a loss earlier this season. But while CV had a few blocked shots Tuesday, Williams was able to find room to drive to the basket.
“The game plan was to space the floor more than last time,” Williams said. “It allowed me to get some 1-on-1’s on their big (Sam Sherry). In the second half, they had No. 40 (Ben Drury play closer to me. But when they doubled down, I looked for the open man and we got some easy baskets.”
Shreffler said, “We worked on our spacing at the offensive end and it worked very well. Terell was really hard to guard tonight. He was patient and chose his spots (to drive) well. He didn’t force it.”
Chambersburg led 37-29 after three periods thanks to a three-point play by Carter Sollenberger with 10 seconds left. Then a layup for Eli Shearer and a baseline jumper by Braden Byers opened the fourth and bumped the lead to 12 at 41-29.
But there was a stretch from about 4 minutes left (41-31 lead) to 50 seconds left when the Trojans found some trouble — they committed four turnovers and missed 5 of 6 free throws, including the front end of three 1-and-1’s.
Fortunately, the Eagles were only able to trim the lead to seven because they had a few turnovers and made only 1 of 4 free throws in that stretch.
Grant Kuffe made two foul shots to make it 44-37, and CV pressed desperately on the in-bounds play. But Williams got control and threw a length-of-the-court pass that Ethan Shreffler laid in for a safe lead.
Chambersburg closed it out by hitting 6 of 6 free throws from that point on.
The Trojans zipped to an 8-0 lead on a layup by Williams, and 3-pointers from Sollenberger and Shreffler. Cumberland Valley tied it at 19-19, but never held a lead.
Williams said, “I felt a difference when we came out and saw that the gym was full. We had a little extra juice. That good start made a big difference.”
Chambersburg’s defense also played well, holding CV’s three big men to 23 total points, including only 8 for Harris Vorwald, who had 39 last Friday in a win over CD East.
Shreffler said, “Their size creates problems, so we had to do all the little things, like pressure the passer, and the kids did well on that. And Malaki Blair did a good job filling in for Aaron (Maynard, out sick). He played well on defense against No. 22 (Vorwald).”
Ethan Shreffler scored 12 points and Sollenberger had eight, plus took a pair of charges.
Jack Istvan led CV with 14 points.
Chambersburg 52, Cumberland Valley 44
Braden Byers 2 0-4 4. Ethan Shreffler 3 4-5 12, Henry Shearer 0 0-0 0, Terell Williams 8 3-5 21, Malaki Blair 1 1-2 3, Eli Shearer 1 0-1 2, Carter Sollenberger 3 1-1 8, Brant Byers 0 0-0 0, Gus Mace 1 0-0 2, Caden Eby 0 0-0 0, Trentin Hill 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 9-18 52.
Jack Istvan 4 4-4 14, Harris Vorwald 4 0-0 8, Ben Drury 4 0-3 8, Sam Sherry 3 1-4 7, Max Krevsky 1 1-2 3, Ben Parsons 0 0-0 0, Reilly McMullen 0 0-0 0, Dylan Levis 0 0-0 0, Nolan Gilbert 1 0-0 2, Grant Kuffe 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 8-15 44.
Chambersburg 15 10 12 15 — 52
Cumberland Valley 9 12 8 15 — 44
3-point shots — Chbg 5 (Shreffler 2, Williams 2, Sollenberger); CV 2 (Istvan 2). Shooting — Chbg 19-45 (42%); CV 17-35 (48.5%). Turnovers — Chbg 16; CV 15.