Decorated General

McLane's final shots makeds Devils die hard

McLane's final shots makeds Devils die hard

March 24, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Greencastle-Antrim's dream season ended with a dream shot. But it wasn't the Blue Devils who made it.

Drew Astorino pulled up and drilled a 16-foot fadeaway jumper with two seconds left, lifting General McLane to a 57-55 victory in front of 8,756 fans in Friday night's thrilling PIAA Class AAA state championship game at Penn State University's Bryce Jordan Center.

Greencastle (20-12) rallied from nine points down in the final three minutes to tie the game on Treavor Gelsinger's two free throws with 1:05 left.

General McLane (28-4) held the ball for the final shot, calling a timeout with 15.1 seconds left. The Lancers got the ball to Astorino on the right wing. He drove to his left, elevated and dropped in the last of his team-high 18 points.


"It was a great shot, a fadeaway," Blue Devils senior guard Jaren Gembe said. "We're going to let him take that, and to his credit he made it."

"Astorino took over the game," Greencastle coach Garon Gembe said. "We tried to limit his touches, but he made a great play and a great shot."

General McLane became the first team to win PIAA state titles in football and boys basketball in the same school year.

The Lancers looked like they would pull away after taking a 53-44 lead with 3:05 left. But Greencastle roared back with an 11-2 run to give itself a chance.

Jordan Gembe started the run with a 3-pointer with 2:58 left. After Steve Roach answered with two free throws to make it 55-47, Dameatric Scott - who led all players with 24 points and eight rebounds - made two straight 3s to cut the lead to 55-53 with 1:49 left, forcing a Lancers timeout.

"We tried to give it our all at the end," an emotional Scott said. "We just tried to pull it out. I don't know what else to say. It's heartbreaking. I'd rather lose by 100 than by two."

"He's just such a talented player, and he can make big plays at any time," Garon Gembe said. "When he got the opportunity to make some big threes, he stepped up to the plate."

Gelsinger tied the game with his two free throws on a 1-and-1 situation after making a steal near halfcourt and drawing a foul. General McLane smartly took the air out of the ball for the final minute and made its last shot count.

"I would have liked to have had that last shot at the end, but it was a great game," Garon Gembe said. "We had a great season and we lost to a great team."

Greencastle opened the game with a 9-2 run, and although General McLane answered with its own 9-2 run, the Blue Devils never trailed until the fourth quarter. Scott had 14 points and seven rebounds in the first half, and Greencastle took a 31-25 lead into halftime.

"That was a great start for us," Garon Gembe said. "It gave us confidence that we could play with these guys. We believed that before the game, but the first half sealed the deal."

The second half got off to a rough start for the Blue Devils. Jaren Gembe picked up his third and fourth fouls on tough calls in the first 2:11, and the point guard had to go to the bench.

Yet Greencastle persevered with Gelsinger and Jordan Gembe at the point, and Scott capped a long possession with an inside basket at the end of the third quarter to give the Blue Devils a 43-41 lead entering the fourth.

Gelsinger also held the Lancers' top scorer and rebounder, Shawn Walker, to 10 points and five rebounds. Walker averages 19.5 points and 11.3 rebounds.

"The two calls, I didn't agree with them, but that's the way it is sometimes," Jaren Gembe said. "My teammates did a great job. Treavor handled the ball and made some great passes. ... He does it all for our team."

"I thought Treavor played absolutely great," Garon Gembe said. "The stat line doesn't always tell the tale, but when you see Walker scored just 10 points tonight, that shows just how good Treavor is."

General McLane finally took control with a 12-1 run over the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, setting up a finish for the storybooks - even if the story had a sad ending for the Blue Devils.

"It hurts right now, but in a short amount of time, they'll understand what they did and be proud," Garon Gembe said.

The Herald-Mail Articles