WAYNESBORO - At halftime, it looked as if the opening game of the season might not go the way the Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils had anticipated.

The Waynesboro Indians haven't claimed a victory in the rivalry since 2008, but halfway through the opening game of the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament on Friday night, Waynesboro held a 34-26 lead.

But things started to take a turn for the worse for the Indians in the second half, during which they shot just 29.4 percent, and the lead quickly melted away. Greencastle took advantage of the poor shooting and nine turnovers to secure a 55-49 victory and a spot in the tournament championship.

"Everybody wants to start the season off with a win, and it feels good to get the win, especially against Waynesboro," Greencastle senior Zach Faulkner said. "I think it was closer than it should've been. I don't think we came out from the start, but it definitely feels good to get the win."

Sinking just five buckets in the second half was Waynesboro's ultimate downfall.

"When you only make five buckets in a half, you're going to struggle," Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman said. "Some of the defensive stuff we're doing we think can be pretty good for us, but you still have to put the ball in the bucket to make it work."

The Indians also had a tough time breaking the lead barrier. In the fourth quarter, Waynesboro tied it up four different times, but it couldn't ever take control.

"I think part of it was we just didn't have the poise necessary late in the game to finish it off," Hoffman said. "We took some rushed shots - not necessarily bad ones, but we just didn't understand at that time of the game and the score at that point what we needed to do."

The game started out very competitively. Greencastle took an early lead with junior Joel Zola scoring 11 points in the first quarter, and the Blue Devils led 18-15 after the first eight minutes. But Waynesboro came out fighting in the second quarter. Two quick baskets by Connor Fetterhoff gave Waynesboro its first lead of the game.

"He had a good game," Hoffman said of his sophomore. "The moment didn't seem too big for him."

The Indians more than doubled up on Greencastle in the second quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils, 19-8. Greencastle was hindered by the loss of Faulkner, who got into foul trouble early and had to sit out most of the middle two quarters.

But in the second half, an unlikely hero emerged for Greencastle in in 5-foot-8 senior Holden Baker. Baker entered the game in the waning minutes of the third quarter when the Blue Devils were still down by six. He put up a basket just seconds after coming into the game. Fellow senior Brandon Puffenbarger scored to put Greencastle within two before Baker hit a huge three to give the Blue Devils a lead they never relinquished.

"That was big," Baker said. "I had to come up from the bench and step up. I was just waiting on my moment, and I got it."

Baker wasn't the only one to make big plays when his name was called. Junior Matt Montedoro also played well at point guard and Puffenbarger had a key basket in the fourth quarter.

"We have to learn to play without Zach," Greencastle coach Gary Martin said. "So right now, we're trying anybody that can handle the ball, and we're trying to keep him off the ball a little bit. We certainly don't want to play without him, but I think we can."

Zola was a key figure for the Blue Devils, scoring 19 points and bringing down nine rebounds. Faulkner followed closely behind, scoring 15 points. The next highest scorer had just six.

Waynesboro's biggest strength came in numbers. While only Fetterhoff and Tim Ingram were the double digits with 11 and 10, respectively, a number of players made contributions. Seth Hoffman had eight, while Shaquill Smith and Devonte Montgomery each scored seven.

"I'd like to think this was an indicator of how well we can play, but we have to keep fighting for the victory," coach Hoffman said. "The only true indicator is winning basketball games, and we didn't win."

Waynesboro will face James Buchanan in the consolation game Saturday, which is set to tip-off at 5:30 p.m. Greencastle-Antrim will then have to battle with Chambersburg in the championship at 8:30. The Blue Devils know they're in for a true test against Chambersburg.

"It's such a challenge," Martin said. "They're very good, but we're good, too. We have all the tangibles you need - we have height, we have size, we have shooting. It's just a matter of convincing these kids that they have it."

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Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or larbogast@publicopinionnews.com.

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Greencastle-Antrim 55

Waynesboro 49

GREENCASTLE

Zach Faulkner 5 4-4 15, Austin Scott 1 0-0 2, Daniel Stepler 4 2-2 6, Joel Zola 8 2-3 19, Brandon Puffenbarger 3 0-0 6, Matt Montedoro 0 0-1 0, Elijah Englehart 0 0-0 0, Holden Baker 3 0-0 7. Totals 24 8-10 55.

WAYNESBORO

Shaquill Smith 3 1-1 7, Seth Hoffman 3 0-0 8, Tim Ingram 4 2-5 10, Cole Warrenfeltz 0 0-0 0, Connor Fetterhoff 4 2-2 11, James Bennett 2 0-0 5, Ryan Kelley 0 1-2 1, Devonte Montgomery 2 2-3 7, Alex Cline 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-13 49.

Greencastle 18 8 17 12 - 55

Waynesboro 15 19 8 7 - 49

3-point shots - GA 5 (Hoffman 2); Way 4 (Stepler 2). Shooting - GA 24-53 (45.3%); Way 18-46 (39.1%). Rebounds - GA 23 (Zola 9, Puffenberger 6); Way 21 (Fetterhoff 8, Ingram 5, Montgomery 4). Assists - GA 9 (Scott 4, Faulkner 3); Way 6 (Hoffman 3). Steals - GA 4 (Scott 2), Way 2 (Smith, Cline). Turnovers - GA 13, Way 15. Blocked shots - GA 5 (Scott, Puffenbarger 2).

Next game: Way: Saturday, vs. James Buchanan, Franklin County Tip-Off consolation, 5:30. G-A: Saturday, vs. Chambersburg, Franklin County Tip-Off championship, 8:30.