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Victory can't elude Trojans

January 20, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Think Chambersburg's boys basketball team doesn't know how to create suspense? The Trojans have lost on buzzer-beaters three times this season, and Saturday night at the Tri-State Shootout, they even turned a 28-point lead into a nailbiter.

But this time, Chambersburg wound up on the winning side.

Irv Sleighter scored 15 points - all on 3-pointers - as a new addition to the starting lineup, and the Trojans built a 49-21 lead in the third quarter, then watched as No. 3 St. John's at Prospect Hall scored 39 fourth-quarter points before holding on for an 81-75 victory.

"(St. John's) got hot, and they didn't miss many," a relieved Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler said. "A lot of their shots were contested. ... they just really took momentum over, and things went their way."

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"We just made a couple real hard (shots)," Vikings coach Bruce Kelley said. "I guess it balances out, we didn't shoot well early. The guys felt anything we threw up in the fourth quarter would go in."

No wonder. Everything the Vikings threw up did.

Behind Guyvans Richards (25 points) and Jered Lyons (21 points), SJPH (11-5) stormed back from a 60-36 deficit at the start of the fourth. Richards' 3-pointer with 46 seconds left capped a 14-0 run and pulled the Vikings within four, 77-73.

St. John's made six 3-pointers in all in the final eight minutes, almost all of them tightly contested, and turned the final quarter into an up-and-down affair, using its quickness to create turnovers and easy layups as momentum completely shifted.

"I really have no idea," Kelley said when asked when his team believed it could win. "Truthfully, probably when we cut it to four with a minute left did they start believing. The good news is we didn't quit, our leaders wouldn't let us wallow. The bad news is, it's a six-point loss on the road, and we've been struggling onn the road lately."

After Chambersburg made one of two free throws with 36.2 seconds left, St. John's finally missed with 28 seconds to play. The Trojans grabbed the rebound and made 2 of 4 foul shots from there to hang on.

"The whole style of game just changed," Shreffler said of the final minutes. "I guess the kids could have looked at it as, 'Oh, here we go again.' But they hung in there."

Sleighter's shooting helped the Trojans (9-8) build the lead. He made three straight 3s to end the first quarter, giving Chambersburg a 20-10 lead. Levar Hage added 14 points inside - including the sealing dunk with nine seconds left - to balance Chambersburg's attack, which executed near-flawlessly in the first 20 minutes.

"Chambersburg deserved to win, they played so well in the first three quarters," Kelley said. "I just wish we'd had more time."

St. Maria Goretti outscored Scotland 20-2 in the fourth quarter, as the Gaels came back from down as many as 13 points in the second half for a 66-54 victory that could be a turning point for the Gaels' season.

"This might be the first time we've been a good second-half team," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "It helped our confidence to know we can come back like that."

Derrick Davis had 21 points and Joey Breslin added 20, as both made key play after key play down the stretch. Goretti (9-11) finished the game on a 17-0 run to stun Scotland, ranked No. 3 in Pa. Class A.

Scotland lived and died by the 3-point shot, making eight for the game, but none down the stretch.

"The shots they were making in the first half started hitting the front of the rim in the second half, and I thought they were a little fatigued," Robertson said.

Trinity, the No. 1 team in Pa. Class AAA, withstood a late charge from No. 2 Martinsburg, as junior guard Mike Walker lit up the Bulldogs for 39 points -- including seven 3-pointers -- in an 80-72 victory.

Martinsburg (8-3) cut the lead to one, 67-66, on Brandon Barrett's driving layup with 2:45 to play, but Walker's final 3 of the game with 1:55 left proved to be the final dagger.

"Every time we got close, Walker nailed a 3," Bulldogs coach Dave Rogers said. "Some of them had to be from NBA range."

Forward Chris Crane added 28 points for Trinity (15-0), which used its inside-outside game and precise execution in the halfcourt offense to build an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter.




Goretti 66, Scotland 54


ST. MARIA GORETTI (66)

Breslin 20, Herman 10, Spierenburg 5, Davis 21, Nelson 2, Tornetta 3, Kellinger 3, Hazenstab 2. Totals 27 9-16 66.

SCOTLAND (54)

Parker 9, Savoy 6, Anthony 3, Peterson 14, Wright 9, Brown 4, Oxendine 6, Ruffin 3. Totals 17 12-17 54.

Goretti 14 15 17 20 - 66

Scotland 19 21 12 2 - 54

Three-point goals - Scotland 7 (Parker, Anthony, Peterson 3, Wright, Oxendine 2), Goretti 1 (Davis). Technical - Goretti bench.

Trinity 80, Martinsburg 72


MARTINSBURG (72)

Horst 22, Sowers 8, Barrett 10, Johnson 16, Franks 4, Richmond 8, Clise 4. Totals 26 14-21 72.

TRINITY (80)

Crane 28, Kindler 4, Walker 39, Morris 5, Cassidy 2, D. Hirsch 2. Totals 29 16-21 80.

Martinsburg 23 18 9 22 - 72

Trinity 22 22 17 19 - 80

Three-point goals - Martinsburg 6 (Horst 2, Sowers, Johnson 3), Trinity 7 (Walker 7).

Chambersburg 81, St. John's-PH 75


ST. JOHN'S-PROSPECT HALL (75)

Lyons 21, Richards 25, Sontz 8, Monroe 11, Dorsey 8, Blizzard 2. Totals 28 10-13 75.

CHAMBERSBURG (81)

Hage 14, B. Bender 8, Oyler 12, Motichka 12, Sleighter 15, Banks 8, Shoemaker 3, Rahauser 5, Baker 2, Sheep 2. Totals 25 22-30 81.

St. John's-PH 10 11 15 39 - 75

Chambersburg 20 19 21 21 - 81

Three-point goals - SJPH 9 (Lyons 2, Richards 2, Sontz, Monroe 3, Dorsey), Chambersburg 9 (B. Bender 2, Motichka, Sleighter 5, Rahauser).

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