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Trojans have a dozen ways to win

January 13, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

So, Shawn Shreffler ... did you have any idea your Chambersburg boys basketball team - a team with just one returning starter from last year - would be this good, this soon?

"I wasn't sure," Shreffler said Wednesday night, one night after the No. 3 Trojans improved to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth with a 53-41 victory at home against rival Carlisle. "I knew we would be competitive. I wasn't sure how quickly some of the younger guys would come on and make the contributions they have."

It didn't take long at all for the question marks surronding the Trojans to evaporate, and a 12-man wrecking crew of a rotation to emerge. On Tuesday, 37 of Chambersburg's 53 points came from reserves, a staggering 70 percent.

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Senior Jonathan Motichka - the lone returning starter - deserves plenty of credit for showing the way in the early matchups. Motichka, who leads the Trojans at 15.3 points per game, had two of his three best scoring games in the first two games of the season.

"Jonathan really helped get us off to a really good start," Shreffler said. "He provided a lot of leadership and stability, and that's really helped our younger guys."

It seems everybody has followed Motichka's lead, because everybody is making major contributions. Eight other players have reached double figures in at least one game. Sophomore forward Armond Perez has come on of late, reaching double figures in three of the last four games, including a game-high 15 against Carlisle.

"We felt early in the season we had a chance to be fairly deep," Shreffler said. "We got a lot of guys reps in the preseason, and this is an opportunity to play the style of basketball that takes advantage of those 12 guys. ... Early on, we really wanted to push the basketball as much as we could and use our depth to wear teams down, and it was pretty effective. Games may have been tight at halftime, but you really see the difference in the third and fourth quarters.

"If you look at things, perhaps (some of the reserves) should be starting, but it's not really important to what we're doing - trying to create a real team atmosphere. It is about 12 guys."

Best of the week



Boys

Andrew Bentley, Smithsburg - The Leopards' leading scorer (14.3 points per game) and rebounder (8.2 per contest) took most of the lead out of the statkeeper's pencil at Catoctin last Friday with a 21-point, 15-rebound, five-assist, four-steal effort.

Aaron Hill, Chambersburg - One of the Trojans' many roleplayers supporting Motichka, Hill stepped into the starring role Saturday and scored 20 points, and Chambersburg needed every single one of them to hold off Waynesboro, 62-58.

Shane Rife, James Buchanan - He's been a rock in the middle for the Rockets since the start of last season, and his double-double (14 points, 12 boards) helped JB claim a huge Mid-Penn Capital win over Greencastle last Friday.

Q'Monte Matheny, Martinsburg - Scored 21 points last Friday against Jefferson and 25 more Monday against Hampshire. He scored 20-plus in six of seven games prior to Tuesday's loss to Mercersburg.

Jonathan Peckman, Shalom Christian - Scored 14 points and pulled down 16 rebounds last Friday in a victory over New Life Christian. He added 20 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday's win over Calvary Christian.

Shannon Strange, St. James - The Saints' do-it-all leader, Strange had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists Saturday against CHEN, then scorched the nets for 34 points - the third best boys single-game effort this season - in Wednesday's double-overtime win against Maret.

Jordan McBeth, Cumberland Valley Christian - Became the seventh Tri-State boys player to score 30 or more points in a game this season, dropping 30 on Broadfording on Tuesday.

Girls

Alex Baker, Boonsboro - In case it hasn't been said, she can shoot a little. She had two 25-point games this week, against Williamsport and South Carroll, and made eight 3-pointers combined. (Lost in Baker's shooting is the standout season teammate Jerica Hewett is having. Hewett is averaging 14.6 points, an area-best 6.2 steals, 4.7 assists and 2.3 blocks per game - numbers that put her squarely in the player-of-the-year conversation.)

Kayla McCarty, Clear Spring - The Blazers are playing much better basketball this season compared to any season in recent memory. McCarty's 13 points and 12 rebounds helped Clear Spring defeat South Hagerstown last Friday for its first MVAL Antietam victory ever.

Jennifer Willison, Hancock - Just a hunch: No player, boy or girl, is going to post a better double-double than Willison's jaw-dropping 27-point, 23-rebound domination of South Hagerstown on Monday.

Alicia Myers, Greencastle - A Herald-Mail All-Area First Team seleection last season, Myers' 20-point, six-rebound, five-steal effort last Friday against Greencastle gave her three straight games of 20-plus points.

Emily McCoy, Berkeley Springs - Had 17 points and 21 rebounds in Tuesday's victory over Paw Paw.

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