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Indians give their gym fitting farewell

February 06, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- It was fitting -- like in the final night of a Broadway show or long-running TV series -- to save the biggest celebration for after the final curtain falls.

In Waynesboro, the boys basketball team pasted one of the best possible memories in the final act at the school's retiring gym.

The Indians scratched and scrapped and took the tempo away from No. 6 Chambersburg to grind out a 57-55 victory on Tuesday in a dramatic final home game before moving to a new facility next season.

"This is the icing in it all after you throw everything into the mix," said Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman. "This was the last home game, on Senior Night and with all our struggles against Chambersburg. It was one of those games where there was something in the air, right down to the last shot in the last two seconds. This is one for the books."

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It was the perfect ending for the Indians (12-11). It was a Hollywood moment in which they beat the long-standing menace by responding in the end after almost giving it all away. And like in the movies, the good guys were wearing white.

Waynesboro broke a 32-32 tie on a Kegan Crider drive at the 4:46 mark of the third quarter and nursed the lead for the rest of the game before finishing it off with a master escape in the final 10 seconds.

"I thought Waynesboro was scrappy the whole game," said Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler. "We gave them too many direct chances. That shouldn't happen, but I was proud of how we gave ourselves an opportunity at the end. We did it again and again, but we couldn't get over the hump."

Waynesboro crawled out to a 57-50 lead -- its largest of the game -- on a Tim Null putback with 56 seconds remaining. Then the Indians went into duck-and-cover mode.

Armond Perez hit a follow shot with 42 seconds remaining and Ben Eby hit a 3 from the top of the key to push the Trojans (12-10) within 57-55 as they called timeout with 10 seconds left.

Waynesboro called time after not being able to get the ball inbounds, then got called for a five-second inbounds violation to give Chambersburg not one, but two final chances to either tie or steal the win.

Perez, who scored 20 points despite not starting and nursing a bad ankle, got a feed from out of bounds at the basket, but missed the shot. The miss squirted out to Eby on the right side, but he was whistled for traveling with :06 remaining.

"We were attacking them and I told them that we had one foul to give," Hoffman said. "I think we challenged (Perez), but I don't know if we had any effect on (the miss)."

Waynesboro's inbounds pass was stolen at halfcourt, with a feed going to Eby to the right of the key, where he tried an acrobatic 3-point shot with :02 left. The shot rolled off to Waynesboro's Jamison Walck, who fired it to the ceiling as time expired.

The Indians gritted out the victory by turning the game into a halfcourt affair. Waynesboro's tight defense inside forced Chambersburg to use more patterns than a seamstress to get shots at the basket.

"We weren't able to swing the ball back and forth across the floor like we like to," Shreffler said. "When we swing it, we are much better. We wanted to make it a full-court game, but give Waynesboro credit."

The Indians did it by using all four of their "inside" players -- Walck, Terrell Rickard, Aaron McKenzie and Null -- to wall off Chambersburg's inside talent.

"That lineup may not be our biggest and quickest, but it is our thickest," Hoffman said.

The teams played to 10 ties and nine lead changes before Waynesboro grabbed the final advantage. Neither team led by more than four points in the first three quarters until Walck hit a 3 with 5:18 remaining.

Rickard led Waynesboro with 17 points, despite missing one-third of the game with foul trouble, while Null added 13 off the bench. Perez was the only Trojan to reach double figures.

"There was a little karma," Hoffman said. "It was the last game here, so I guess it was meant to be."

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