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Carlisle rides Trojans to marathon win in 3 OT

February 05, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg High's gym turned into a fun house on Friday. That's what tight basketball games can do.

"All the ups and downs. . . . It's a rollercoaster. That's what makes basketball exciting," Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler said.

Ups? There were some. Downs? There were many of those too. The toughest part was when the ride all ended.

The No. 5 Trojans punched their ticket two points short when Carlisle reserve John Fidel came off the bench to hit a 10-foot half-hook in the lane with 4.7 seconds remaining to lift the Thundering Herd into the playoffs with a 75-73 triple overtime Mid-Penn Commonwealth victory.

The short jumper, created by Jordan Stasynszyn's baseline drive as time dwindled down was the dagger in the heart of Chambersburg, putting a sour end to its Senior Day festivities and leaving the Trojans hoarse. Emotions ran so high after the game, there was a scuffle between the two teams during their congratulatory handshakes.

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"I'm proud of these kids. Um . . ." said Shreffler, fighting a loss for words. "It was one of those games that if we win, my heart goes out to Carlisle. Both teams came and gave it all they had."

It was a major test for both teams. Carlisle (12-12, 7-9) needed a win to reach .500 in the PIAA to earn a berth in the District 3-AAAA playoffs. The Trojans entered the game as the No. 10 seed, with the seedings being finalized after Friday's games.

"People wanted to put us down and say we wouldn't come back," Carlisle coach Joe Stasynszyn said. "We lost six games in the beginning of the year. We came back and we won in a hostile environment."

Carlisle won out in the highly physical game by snuffing out Chambersburg's offensive flow while using its own motion offense to patiently open up shots.

Chambersburg, starting its five seniors and with Jonathan Motichka on the bench, jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead. It would be the biggest lead for either team the rest of the night.

Colby Nitterhouse carried the Trojans in the early going, scoring seven of his game-high 32 in the first quarter. But Carlisle's defense hindered Motichka, allowing him just one basket - a 3 - to go with 12 of 14 from the foul line.

It became a battle of wills with 11 ties as the teams tied at 53-53, 65-65 and 67-67 before reaching the third overtime. Chambersburg lost Jared Olson, Alan Bender and Motichka along the way to fouls, leaving the Trojans working the clock to shorten the overtime periods.

The two teams traded baskets through the first three minutes of the period. After Nitterhouse hit a tough fading baseline jumper to knot the game at 73-73, it came down to the Thundering Herd's patience.

Carlisle worked the clock to the final 12 seconds with a pass to Jordan Stasynszyn in the right corner. He drove the baseline, looking for the layup, and then passed between two Chambersburg defenders to Fidel, who lofted the winning shot.

The Trojans took two timeouts in the final 4.2 seconds and settled for a Nitterhouse halfcourt attempt which clacked off the rim on the buzz to end the game.

Jordan Stasynszyn led Carlisle with 22 points, including five 3-pointers, while Rich Rayborn added 17.

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