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Susquehanna Twp. makes early tourney trail rocky for Devils

February 07, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

NEW KINGSTOWN, Pa. -- Greencastle's boys basketball team got a good taste of what it will take to make a repeat trip to the the PIAA Class AAA finals.

In Tuesday's Mid-Penn Conference tournament semifinals at Cumberland Valley High School, the Capital Division champions fell to Keystone Division champion Susquehanna Township, 58-52.

Ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, the Indians (24-1) took control of the game midway through the first period and withstood a Dameatric Scott barrage of 3-pointers in the fourth period.

"(Susquehanna's) strength and toughness took us out early," said Greencastle coach Garon Gembe. "I was impressed with them. They are no doubt the best team we've faced this year. Hopefully, we'll get another shot at them. It will be a challenge."

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Greencastle (21-4) gets a respite from the schedule until it begins the PIAA District 3 tournament on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., against Manheim Central at Chambersburg High School. If the Devils succeed along the way, there likely be another matchup with the Indians.

Susquehanna displayed a defense loaded with super glue.

Matt Jones and Greg Edwards took on the challenge of stopping Scott and keeping Greencastle's 6-foot-5 star from penetrating to the basket.

Scott had only two buckets off rebounds until the end of the first half when he successfully launched a 3-pointer before intermission to bring Greencastle within 30-17 at the break.

"(Jones and Edwards) did a good job on 'D' maintaining body contact," said Gembe.

For the most part, a 9-0 run by Susquehanna Township opened up a 28-12 lead in the second quarter and became too much for Greencastle toy overcome.

Heading into the final quarter, Greencastle had hit only 11 of 38 from the field, including 2 of 13 behind the arc.

"Obviously, we did not shoot the basketball well," said Gembe. "Their defense was one of the best we've faced."

When Susquehanna lapsed -- starting with three turnovers to open the final stanza -- Greencastle failed to take advantage, committing four miscues of its own.

Scott started to find the range from beyond the perimeter and launched seven 3-pointers, hitting five, that gave the Blue Devils at least some fleeting hopes.

Jones hit seven of his team-high 20 points and Tajh Turner hit six of his 14 down the stretch to put the Indians in the Mid-Penn championship game against Steel-High on Friday. Steel-High defeated Mechanicsburg 63-62 to advance.

Scott ended with 27 points and Jordan Gembe added 10 to account for 71 percent of Greencastle's scoring. Scott also had eight rebounds, while Gembe dished out eight assists.

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