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Boys Basketball: Greencastle tripped up by Herd

February 06, 2013|By SAM STEWART | Staff Correspondent

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Heading into the District 3 playoffs, the Greencastle-Antrim boys basketball team was looking to add a win to its impressive résumé in the final game of the regular season.

Unfortunately, the Blue Devils had a poor defensive effort in the first half and were unable to capitalize on strong second halves from Joel Zola and Zach Faulkner in a 64-52 loss to Carlisle on Wednesday night.

“I expect that from them (Zola and Faulkner) every night,” Greencastle head coach Gary Martin said. “Our players feed off of their energy.”

That energy could not manifest itself in time to save the Blue Devils (16-5) from defeat.

Carlisle exploded out of the gate as six of its players registered points in a 17-point first quarter.

Trailing 17-11 at the end of the first, Zola and Faulkner carried Greencastle’s scoring load. The two helped the Blue Devils weather the storm imposed by the Thundering Herd, accounting for all 10 of the team’s second-quarter points, keeping Greencastle within five, down 26-21, heading into the break.

Carlisle regained its scoring touch in the beginning of the third quarter as Jordan Neff torched the nets for seven points in the first two minutes of the half. Neff’s torrid shooting sparked a 10-4 run as the Thundering Herd (12-10) outscored Greencastle 18-10 in the frame. Neff finished the game with 12 points.

However, Greencastle regained its edge. Employing a full-court press and a lockdown defense, the Blue Devils slowly battled back from the 44-31 deficit.

“We decided to step up and play hard. Our defense was much stronger in the second half,” Zola said.

Faulkner and Zola once again facilitated a rally. The duo helped Greencastle claw back into the game, trimming the deficit to six with three minutes remaining.

“We know what each other’s strengths are,” Faulkner said.

“When you play for three years, we know how each other plays and how me and him can help the team win,” said Zola, who finished with 14 points.

Their effort fell just short.

After a Jerome Evans free throw extended Carlisle’s lead to seven, Faulkner drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four. Foul trouble plagued the Blue Devils after that bucket as Carlisle added its next nine points from the foul line and sealed the victory with a tomahawk jam from Josh Clippinger.

Despite the loss, Martin is optimistic about his team’s chances heading into the district playoffs.

“We always want to play as hard as we can and get better as we go on,” Martin said. “I was happy the way some of the guys came off the bench. You take the bright spots you get and hope you build on that.”

Carlisle 64, Greencastle-Antrim 52

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CARLISLE (12-10, 5-9)
Neff 12, Hughes 11, Clippinger 10, Bailor 9, Evans 8, Atkinson 6, Dockens 5, Smitz 2. Totals 17 22-30 64.
GREENCASTLE-ANTRIM (16-5, 10-2)
Faulkner 20, Zola 14, Stepler 7, Puffenbarger 6, Scott 5. Totals 15 17-21 52.
Carlisle             17    9     18    20  —  64
Greencastle-Antrim  11  10     10    21  —  52
3-point goals — Carlisle 5 (Neff 3, Atkinson, Hughes); Greencastle-Antrim 6 (Faulkner 5, Zola).

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