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Trojans let their lead slip away against CV

January 12, 2008|By CONNER GILBERT

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With a 13-point lead midway through the third quarter and momentum on their side, the No. 5 Chambersburg boys looked like they would cruise to another lopsided victory against Cumberland Valley.

Then the Eagles took flight.

Cumberland Valley (6-8, 3-7) outscored the Trojans 37-21 in the final 12 minutes, capitalizing off missed Trojans opportunities to earn the stunning upset and hand Chambersburg (7-7, 5-5) its third loss in a row.

"The common denominator in our past three games has been our inability to defend in the fourth quarter," said Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler. "We did a poor job down the stretch."

The Eagles played Chambersburg tight early, due in part to limiting the Trojans' Armond Perez to only seven first-half points.

But Chambersburg ended the first half on a 7-3 run, highlighted by a one-handed dunk by DeVonte Merritt with 1:41 left that awakened the standing room-only crowd.

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Chambersburg held a 32-19 lead with 4:28 left in the third quarter. But Cumberland Valley came storming back.

The Eagles outscored Chambersburg 15-8 in the last four minutes of the third quarter to cut the Trojans' lead to 40-34.

The teams traded three-point plays to start the fourth quarter, keeping the Eagles' deficit at six.

But Cumberland Valley continued its surge, as a pair of baskets by Chris Jordan made it a two-point game until Chad Barnett's layup tied the game at 49 with 2:23 remaining.

Ben Eby hit a two for the Trojans, and Perez sunk a free throw to give Chambersburg a 52-49 lead with 1:25 to play.

Chris Jordan's basket with 1:15 left cut the Cumberland Valley deficit to 52-51. After Eby made another free throw for the Trojans, Jordan answered with two points to tie the game at 53 with 32 seconds left.

A blocking foul sent Chambersburg's Ryan Borzager to the line to shoot a 1-and-1 with 13.8 seconds to play, but Borzager missed and Cumberland Valley came up with the rebound.

After rushing downcourt, the Eagles found Barnett wide open for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left.

When Perez's long three-point attempt was no good, the Cumberland Valley sidelines rejoiced.

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