LANCASTER — The Red Tornado, once they got the game rolling to their liking, simply had too much offense for Chambersburg to stop.
McCaskey received a brilliant game from sneaky quick Makai Ortiz-Gray and held off the inevitable Trojan comeback effort to score a 70-64 victory Tuesday night in a first-round District 3 Class 6A boys basketball game.
The loss ends Chambersburg’s fine season with a 16-7 record. The Red Tornado (16-8) will face No. 1 seed Wilson on Friday night in the quarterfinals.
“It was a constant scrambling trying to find a defense or a combo that worked against them,” Trojan coach Shawn Shreffler said. “It seemed once we got our footing, they would exploit something else.”
The 70 points is 10 more than any other team scored against the Trojans this season.
The first quarter ended with McCaskey ahead 13-12 and Shreffler felt good about where his team sat. Braden Byers opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers and Chambersburg held its own.
But in the second quarter, the Red Tornado took off, and the game took an about face. McCaskey pushed the ball whenever possible, and so did the Trojans, making for an entertaining quarter with 38 points scored. But the Red Tornado emerged with a 37-26 advantage.
Shreffler said, “We wanted to play at a pace we were comfortable with and we did in the first quarter. But we had to sit Turtle (Terell Williams, with 2 fouls), and that hurt. Then the pace changed to a pace they were more comfortable with.”
Ortiz-Gray was a real problem. He hit a three in the first period, then scored on a pair of slick drives. In the second quarter, he continued to work his way through the defense, scoring on four heavily-contested layups for 18 points by halftime.
“We thought we could minimize his impact on the game, but I was nervous about his ability to get to the rim,” Shreffler said.
Ortiz-Gray had to sit early in the third period with his fourth foul, but Samir Gordon picked up the slack, scoring nine inside points in the quarter.
But, trailing 47-36, Chambersburg made its move, scoring 12 of the next 17 points to cut the Red Tornado lead to 52-48 at the end of three. Eli Shearer scored on three fast-break baskets for the Trojans, and Carter Sollenberger had four points, including a neat spin move.
Shreffler said, “I said at halftime we needed to get it to under five by the end of the third, and then lock down on them in the fourth. I challenged them to go down fighting.”
That the Trojans did.
A 3-pointer and drive by Ethan Shreffler left the McCaskey lead at 56-53. But then came a crippling sequence of eight consecutive Red Tornado points, with three straight baskets made by wide-open players under the hoop when Chambersburg tried to pressure the ball.
Shreffler said, “We never got the pace back to where we wanted it, but we did a better job of playing at that speed. When we got it back to three points, I felt really good. But we couldn’t turn them over.”
Down 64-53, the Trojans got threes from Williams, Shreffler and Gus Mace, but McCaskey made 6 of 8 foul shots down the stretch and the closest Chambersburg got was 68-64 with less than 20 seconds left.
“That’s kind of been our MO all year — fighting back,” Shawn Shreffler said. “My memory of this team is that they are not perfect; we were always juggling, mixing and matching things. But the one constant was the fight these guys showed. We always gave ourselves an opportunity to win.”
Ethan Shreffler led Chambersburg with 15 points, while Williams and Sollenberger each had 10 and Mace had 8. Ortiz-Gray totaled 27 for McCaskey, Gordon had 15 and Elijah Terry 12.
McCaskey 70, Chambersburg 64
Braden Byers 2 0-0 6, Ethan Shreffler 4 4-4 15, Aaron Maynard 1 0-0 2, Henry Shearer 1 2-2 4, Terell Williams 4 1-1 10, Malaki Blair 0 0-0 0, Eli Shearer 3 0-0 6, Carter Sollenberger 4 2-2 10, Brant Byers 1 0-0 3, Gus Mace 3 0-0 8. Totals 23 9-9 64.
Elijah Terry 5 1-1 12, Makai Ortiz-Gray 8 10-12 27, Isaiah Thomas 2 0-0 5, Samir Gordon 7 1-2 15, Carter Gingerich 3 1-2 9, Jonathan Byrd 0 0-0 0, Da’vion Scarborough 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 13-18 70.
Chambersburg 12 14 22 16 — 64
McCaskey 13 24 15 18 — 70
3-point shots — Chbg 9 (Shreffler 3, Brad.Byers 2, Mace 2, Williams, Bran.Byers); McC 5 (Gingerich 2, Terry, Ortiz-Gray, Thomas). Shooting — Chbg 23-54 (42.5%); McC 22-40 (55%). Turnovers — Chbg 11; McC 11.