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Greencastle hoops fans love their Devils

March 03, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

HERSHEY, Pa. - Why do they do it?

Why do they drive so far, to wear little horns on their heads?

To come with faces painted with a coat of blue-and-gold semigloss?

There is only one answer why so many people from Greencastle and Antrim Township - anchored by a large student contingent - made the trip to the Giant Center on a Thursday night.

The Devils made them do it.

The Greencastle-Antrim boys basketball team played against Susquehanna Township for the Pennsylvania Class AAA District 3 championship.

The Devils didn't pull it off, losing 56-46 to the Indians. Now it's time to sit back and relax, because next week starts the state tournament.

Still, this game was special. It was not only historic, but it was for something else.

Pride.

"This is a big deal," said Greencastle-Antrim senior Scott Ackerman. "It's been a long time since we have been this far, and I'm a senior."

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In fact, it was the first time Greencastle had played for the district title. The Blue Devils were out to become the first area team to win a District 3 boys basketball title since Chambersburg completed the feat in 2001.

And that was saying something.

"I figured that this was going to be a good team, but I didn't think we would come this far," said Ackerman, who sat with the rest of his schoolmates near the Devils' bench.

There wasn't much to cheer about early as Susquehanna Township handcuffed Greencastle's outside shooting to take a 23-18 lead at the half.

But still, there was a lot of optimism.

"I just love basketball and I have Blue Devils' pride," said senior Joe Pilch. "I've been following this since I was a freshman ... and all this is just a bonus.

"We'll come back. We came back from 13 points down on Tuesday and we came from behind to beat these guys before. We'll get it."

Susquehanna Township scored the first five points of the second half and went on to take a commanding lead.

The dream seemed to be slipping away, but the enthusiasm was still there.

"We came an hour but this would be worth a five-hour trip," said Keil Bobitc, with his half-blue, half-gold painted face. "I love Greencastle, but I love Greencastle basketball more."

Just getting to the district final was big, but it would have been a lot more fun if the Blue Devils would have won.

"We've gone to almost every game so far," Ackerman said. "Today, there were three busses that came up to this game. It was like a party. If we win? It will be a bigger party."

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