By PETER DiGIOVANNI
CHELTENHAM - Tyler Ofray and his Church Farm School basketball teammates were not at all happy with their performance in the District 1 Class A title game last week, despite defeating Phil-Mont Christian for their fourth straight championship.Friday night in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs at Cheltenham High School, Church Farm was determined to show people how formidable a squad they really are.
Ofray scored a game-high 22 points, Andofo Anyam added 15 and center Joey Shelton scored 13 points and grabbed 13 boards as the Griffins blew out Lebanon Catholic, 59-38 to advance to Tuesday's second round against District 11 champion Mahanoy Area at a site and time to be determined. It is a rematch of last year's second-round contest, won by CFS, 42-36.
"We were not happy with the way we played in the district title game,' Ofray said. "We decided to come out fast tonight and show the type of team we have. We were in control the entire game. Even when they made a little run, it was what we were not doing right. We are ready for all comers this year. Anybody in the state, we are ready for anybody.'
What the Beavers (15-9) were not ready for was Ofray's two long 3-pointers in the first period to give the Griffins an early edge that they would never give up. It was obvious that CFS (24-4) was the bigger, faster and stronger team and they used that to open up a 24-14 advantage at halftime.The Griffins ended the second period on a 6-0 run and you could tell things were going to go bad for Lebanon Catholic from there.However, the Beavers did get it down to 24-18 early in the third after John Groh scored on a follow, but the Griffins went on a 8-0 spurt to put the game away.
Ofray took a nice feed from Anyam to score in the lane to start the run. Shelton scored inside from from Mike Mohammed to build the lead back to double-digits, 28-18. Emmitt Jeffries then blocked Groh's shot, threw the ball to Ofray, who hit Shelton in stride for a layup. The run ended when Anyam went strong to the basket and laid the ball in for a 32-18 lead and the Beavers were finished."My game is banging the boards and getting to the foul line,' Shelton said. "And tonight, we came out strong and established ourselves early. And our defense caused a lot of turnovers and that fed our offense.'
Lebanon Catholic turned the ball over 18 times and shot 17-for-55 (31 percent), while being constantly harassed by the Church Farm defense.
In the fourth, the Griffins wowed the crowd at Cheltenham by missing just two of eight shots from the floor in the quarter, outscoring Lebanaon Catholic 17-8. Anyam's drives on the offensive end, and a pair of blocks from Jeffries put an exclamation point on their 21st straight victory. All in all, it was a clinic the Griffins displayed in the first round of states."Yeah, we got back to playing Church Farm basketball,' coach Marc Turner said. "We missed some easy shots early, but we started getting to the rim and we were too quick for them. And, Tyler Ofray was incredible. He is one heck of a player.'
Church Farm 59, Lebanon Catholic 38
LEBANON CATHOLIC: Frattaroli 5 2-4 12, Groh 4 1-2 9, Colon 2 2-2-6, Pletz 2 1-2 6, Thomas 4 0-0 8, Gates 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 9-14 38.
CHURCH FARM: Ofray 6 8-10 22, Shelton 4 5-7 13, Anyam 4 3-4 15, Mohammed 3 3-4 9, Jeffries 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Reeves 0 0-0 0, Render 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 20-27 59.Lebanon Catholic 7 7 16 8-39
Church Farm 13 11 18 17-59
3-point shots: Ofray 2, Mohammed, Pletz.