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Trojans fall in OT

January 08, 2003|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

CHAMBERSBURG, PA - For the Carlisle boys basketball team, Eric Bowers provided a degree of poetic justice.

For Chambersburg, there was no justice at all.

Bowers, who was inserted into the game after starting point guard Buck Hodge fouled out with 24.7 seconds left in overtime, calmly drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to propel the Thundering Herd to a 75-73 Mid-Penn Commonwealth victory, marking the Trojans' sixth league loss of the season, all by five points or less, and four by two points apiece.

"We called that play," Carlisle coach Joe Stasyszyn said. "When Hodge fouled out, Bowers was the only shooter we had left to put in. We called his number, and he came through for us. We practice that play every day at the end of practice."

It was Hodge who saw to it that overtime was required, hitting an off-balance 3-pointer, drawing a foul and completing the four-point play with 16.7 seconds left in regulation, completing a 7-1 Carlisle run over 37 seconds.

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But Chambersburg had two opportunities to help itself late in the game, and failed from the free throw line on both occasions. Up by three with 28 seconds left in regulation, Chambersburg's senior point guard Bryan Bender hit just one of two free throws, setting the stage for Hodge's heroics. Bender missed both attempts from the line when Hodge fouled out in OT, leaving the Trojans up by just one.

"He's the one who wants the ball in his hand," said Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler. "There's nobody else we'd want (at the free throw line)."

Carlisle's first lead of the game came early in overtime, as the Herd overcame a 14-point halftime deficit on some phenomenal shooting from beyond the arc. Overall, Carlisle nailed 11 of 19 3s, including six of nine in the final 12 minutes. Overall in that same 12 minutes, the Herd connected on 21 of 27 shots, including 10 of 11 from the line.

"In every game we've won this year, we've shot the ball well," Stasyszyn said. "The kids have stepped it up all year in the fourth quarter of close games."

Chambersburg (5-7, 1-6) appeared to have the game well in hand in the first half, using a 14-0 run in the second period - behind eight points from Chas Rahauser - to establish its largest lead of the game at 33-17. But Mike Repass began to assert himself inside for Carlisle, hitting 17 of his game-high 19 points after the intermission.

Still, the Trojans enjoyed a nine-point edge entering the fourth quarter, and led by six with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

"I told the kids that if they're will to fight and scrap, let's keep doing it," said Shreffler in reference to the string of heartbreaking league losses. "I still believe in these guys."

Jonathan Motichka led the Trojans with 17 points, with Levar Hage adding 16, Rahauser 12 and Bender 11. Hodge and Richard Rayborn each had 16 for Carlisle.

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