Altoona guards pave way to win over Trojans

CHAMBERSBURG — Altoona came into Tuesday night’s Mid Penn Commonwealth boys basketball game against Chambersburg with a 2-9 record.

The Mountain Lions apparently enjoyed playing in the CASHS Aux Gym because they thoroughly flummoxed the Trojan defense in taking a 71-66 victory Tuesday night.

Carter Fogal

In Chambersburg’s first 11 games, the most points it had allowed was 57 in a loss to State College. Altoona had 57 points in three quarters.

“We knew they were dangerous and they proved it,” Trojan coach Shawn Shreffler said. “They’ve lost some close games and had some bad breaks.

“Tonight, their guards were phenomenal, their bigs totally neutralized us on the glass and they were exceptional from the foul line.”

Indeed, the game was won at the line. The Mountain Lions (3-9, 2-4 MPC) made 18 of 22 free throws, including 11 of 15 in the fourth period, while Chambersburg (8-4, 3-3 MPC) took only eight and made just two of them.

Altoona guards Ashton Neely (28 points, 10-for-12 at the line) and Jalen Triplin (18 points) were too quick to guard effectively and the fouls against Chambersburg defenders eventually piled up. Cohen Crawford made a trio of threes in the first quarter to vex the Chambersburg defense in another way, too.

The Mountain Lions built their lead to as many as 11 points (50-39) and led almost the whole way through.

The Trojans kept it close only because of a fabulous long-range shooting night. Chambersburg bombed in a season-high 12 threes, led by Carter Fogal (5) and Jacob Bassham, J.J. Kelly and Colton Cornwell (2 each).

Shreffler said, “We gave a great effort, never quit and kept swinging, and we did come back into it multiple times.”

Trailing by 10 to start the fourth period, the Trojans ran off 8 straight on a drive by Aden Swatsburg, a 3-pointer by Stanley Lozius and a trey by Fogal to make it 57-55. After an Altoona foul shot, Fogal dropped in his final three to knot the score at 58 and get the small but vocal crowd going.

But just like that, Triplin knocked down a 3-pointer — his team’s only basket in the fourth quarter — and the Lions held the lead the rest of the way by making foul shots.

Cornwell drove for a score at 2:39 to make it 63-62, but he missed a freebie that could have tied it, and that was as close as Chambersburg could get.

Altoona’s interior players, Zhaad White and Evan Allwine, combined for just 9 points, but they limited the Trojans’ bigs, Kelly and Sedrick Vessah, to just 12 points, including only one putback.

Bassham reached his season high by pouring in 23 points, getting several nice feeds for layups from Fogal, who tied his career high with 15 points.

Chambersburg hosts the Hoops for Harmony this weekend, and the Trojans will play Central Dauphin at 8:30 Friday night and Chester at 8:30 Saturday night.

Altoona 71, Chambersburg 66
Zhaad White 1 0-0 2, Ashton Neely 7 10-12 28, Cohen Crawford 4 0-0 11, Evan Allwine 3 1-1 7, Jalen Triplin 6 5-7 18, Lavell Medley 1 2-2 5. Totals 22 18-22 71.
Jacob Bassham 10 1-2 23, Carter Fogal 5 0-0 15, Konner Whorley 0 0-0 0, Stanley Lozius 1 0-0 3, J.J. Kelly 3 0-0 8, Aden Swatsburg 1 0-2 2,  Colton Cornwell 3 0-1 8, Sedrick Vessah 2 0-1 4, Treyton Sarvis 1 0-0 2, Jermere Jones 0 0-0 0, Talon Brewer 0 1-2 1. Totals 26 2-8 66.
Altoona                    20    22    15    14    —    71
Chambersburg      16    19    12    19    —    66 
3-point shots — Alt 9 (Neely 4, Crawford 3, Triplin, Medley); Chbg 12 (Fogal 5, Bassham 2, Kelly 2, Cornwell 2, Lozius). Shooting — Alt 22-42 (52%); Chbg 26-50 (52%). Turnovers — Alt 11; Chbg 11.

Categories: Basketball, Chambersburg