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Indians get first win while paying tribute to Balistrere

December 13, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Hosting neighbor and arch-rival Greencastle-Antrim and still searching for its first win of the season Friday night, Waynesboro needed to win this Mid-Penn Colonial Division boys basketball game for even more reasons.

"We play tomorrow, too, and we play Monday and we play Tuesday," Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman said. "You don't want to go into the first game of a four-game stretch with a loss.

"A whole lot was riding on tonight, including for me, personally, Coach Balistrere and all that stuff."

Former Waynesboro basketball coach Tom Balistrere, Hoffman's longtime friend and role model, died of heart failure Wednesday at the age of 60.

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Minutes after a pregame moment of silence for Balistrere, Cory Livengood hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Indians a 5-4 lead and Waynesboro never trailed again on its way to a 52-42 win.

Livengood, a sophomore forward, canned two more treys and finished with 13 points. His older brother, Scott, a junior guard, scored seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and shot 9 of 10 from the foul line. And senior point guard Earl Hewitt, who dominated in transition, had a team-high 15 points for the Indians (1-3, 1-1).

"It was a fun game to be a part of," Hoffman said. "It was our first victory of the year, it was our first league victory and it was a great victory over our rival.

"We're seven or eight miles apart and there's a lot of history between us. It's always a dogfight. It's just a typical backyard, intense rivalry."

The Blue Devils were called for three technical fouls, including two back-to-back midway through the fourth quarter that allowed Scott Livengood to stretch the Indians' lead to 44-36 with 3:30 left in the game. And Greencastle (2-4, 0-2) never got any closer.

"That certainly impacted the game. It was a five-point game," said Greencastle coach Garon Gembe, who was called for one of the fouls. "But that's not why we lost.

"We struggled offensively all night. We just couldn't get any kind of rhythm going."

The Blue Devils shot 30.4 percent (17 of 56) from the field and were never able to take advantage of their 6-foot-10 junior center, Clayton Marquiss, who had two points. Erick Burkholder and Adam Wiestling led Greencastle with 15 and 10 points.

"Waynesboro did a great job taking away our inside game," Gembe said. "We just couldn't get Clayton the ball. Their defense took that away from us."

Greencastle, which trailed 24-14 midway through the second period, cut its deficit to three points three times, including early in the fourth quarter as Burkholder's putback made it 36-33.

But Waynesboro never relinquished the momentum, due largely to Hewitt, who twice answered with buckets to make it at least a two-possession game.

"We didn't allow them to get back because we had the crowd behind us," Hewitt said. "If you have the crowd behind you, you can keep going."

Having an old coach in the sky seats probably helped as well.

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