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Indians cruise through a-bruisin' to take down Dev

January 06, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The only thing more stifling than the heat generated by the overflow crowd inside the Greencastle-Antrim gymnasium Friday night was the defense of the Blue Devils and their rivals, No. 6 Waynesboro.

With points at a premium, the Indians battled their way inside and, more often than not, to the foul line. Behind forward Kevin Kline's game-high 18 points, Waynesboro fought off Greencastle 46-42 in a Mid-Penn Capital slugfest.

"What we brought was toughness. We brought more physical play that, to be quite honest, I wasn't sure we had," Indians coach Tom Hoffman said. "It was going to come down to possession by possession in the half court. When it turned into a halfcourt, bruising game, I wasn't sure how we would respond. To their credit, they showed me a new element, and one they'll need again."

Waynesboro (8-3, 3-2) made just 12 of 31 field goals (38.7 percent), but the Indians' constant forays into the paint resulted in 39 foul shots. And while Waynesboro was equally cold from the charity stripe - the Indians made just 19 of those 39 freebies (48.7 percent) - it still made enough to hold off a Blue Devils squad that went 17-for-55 from the field (30.9 percent).

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A pair of made free throws by Nick Adams gave the Indians a 39-34 lead with 1:16 left. Jaren Gembe came back down the floor and made a 1-on-1 move to get into the lane before drilling a 13-footer with 1:08 left to make it 39-36.

Greencastle (5-7, 2-2) stole the ball from Waynesboro on the Indians' next possession, and Gembe got free on the left wing for a 3-pointer, tying the game at 39 with 58 seconds left and bringing the Blue Devils fans to their feet.

But the game turned for good 18 seconds later, when Waynesboro's Terrell Rickard drove the lane and was fouled by Dameatric Scott, who picked up his fifth foul. A frustrated Scott picked up an additional technical foul.

"Those situations, we have to take them and learn from them," said Greencastle coach Garon Gembe of the technical foul. "If we want to play in big games later in the year, we have to make better decisions and stay out of those situations."

Rickard made 1 of 2 foul shots and Matt Anderson - selected to shoot the technical foul shots - missed both of his attempts. But Waynesboro grabbed the offensive rebound, and Kline got free inside, scored the basket and got fouled with 36 seconds left. He missed the free throw, but his basket made it 42-39.

"Kevin is just a basketball player," Hoffman said. "Just about everything we do, we like him to have touches. He's shooting 70 percent from the field, and he also finds open guys."

Rickard made 1 of 2 free throws with 32 seconds left and Zach Helman made 1 of 2 freebies with 16 seconds left to give Waynesboro a 44-39 lead. Jaren Gembe finished his night off with a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left to make it 44-42. Gembe scored 11 of his 17 points in the last 2:30.

With 7 seconds left, Rickard sealed the win by sinking two free throws to make it a two-possession game at 46-42.

"Terrell is just a super player and a great shooter," Hoffman said. "There's no one we'd rather have at the line in that situation. We were confident in him to make the big ones. It was an ugly night at the line, but he made the two that counted."

Jaren Gembe missed a long 3 at the other end and the clock ran out on the Blue Devils, who just could not get enough shots to drop.

"I thought I saw more balls go in and out than I saw all last year combined," Garon Gembe said. "Our shooters got shots, maybe we were a little rusty, or maybe it just wasn't meant to be."

Greencastle took just eight foul shots - and made only three of them - compared to Waynesboro's 39. Four Blue Devils - Scott, Treavor Gelsinger, Ty Thrush and Jordan Gembe - fouled out. But Garon Gembe took the high road with regard to the officiating.

"Obviously, I'm the losing coach, so sure, I wish we could have gotten a couple more (calls)," he said. "But the officials called a great game. They do their best and that's all you can ask."

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