For Public Opinion
NEWVILLE - Games like this make it easy for Palmyra boys basketball coach Pete Conrad to sit quietly on the bench.
Logan Stovall scored 17 points and Adam Newhard had 14 to lead the Cougars to a 68-43 victory over the James Buchanan Rockets on Saturday night in the championship game of the seventh annual Big Spring Holiday Classic.
"You wish that it could all come together like this on a more regular basis," Conrad said. "But our kids played great - we were really focused. We like playing at a higher tempo than Buchanan does and you're going to make mistakes at times when you play at that pace, but I thought our kids were sharp and savvy with the basketball."
Conrad, who watched from a seat for most of the contest, didn't have to do much screaming or hollaring.
The Rockets' defense was gouged quickly by the more athletic Cougars, who went 27-of-55 from the field, including 7-of-21 from beyond the arc. Chris Lynn hit a pair of those 3s in the first seven minutes and finished with 11 points.
Palmyra also held a 27-21 advantage on the glass and converted 21 JB turnovers into 16 points.
James Buchanan coach Larry Strawoet said, "They are a very well-disciplined team, they run their stuff very well, and they play hard. And that's what we want to get to, but we are just too inconsistent right now."
Garrett Malanka had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets, who hit just 17 of their 43 shots (39.
Brad Mackey's layup with about two minutes to play in the first quarter gave Palmyra the lead for good. James Buchanan was still within two possessions after the first eight minutes, but a 17-2 run early in the second period gave the Cougars a 35-14 lead and put the game out of reach.
Leading 38-18 at the break, Palmyra's lead never dipped below 20 over the final 16 minutes.
"It was a five-point difference in the second half," Strawoet said. "We made some mistakes in the last minute of the first quarter and we got killed in the second period, and that was it. We had the same amount of turnovers as we did rebounds in the first half and you can't win too many games with six rebounds. We just had too many guys standing around watching the game happen and letting them take it to us."
Liam Corcoran and Austin Metzler contributed six points apiece for the Rockets (1-7). Dustin Gossert added a half dozen points off the bench.
The Cougars trailed 5-2 before a 7-0 run gave them a four-point lead at the 4:12 mark. James Buchanan drew even a few minutes later. But Lynn followed Mackey's layup with a long 3-pointer as Palmyra closed out the quarter on a 9-3 run.
Conrad said, "I watched the Buchanan game last night and I thought they were so together as a team - that was a big part of the reason they were able to weather a good run by Big Spring. And I talked to our kids about that before the game. Our group is pretty together all the time, but I thought it might be a challenge for us to be as together as James Buchanan. And I really thought we were."
Notes: Stovall collected MVP honors Joining him on the all-tournament team were teammates Lynn and Newhard, along with JB's Malanka and Jake Muller, Big Spring's Isaiah Greer and Northern's Jacob Johnson.
James Buchanan 43
Logan Stovall 7-10 2-2 17, Adan Newhard 6-13 0-0 14, Chris Lynn 3-6 3-3 11, Ross Romanoski 4-7 0-0 8, Brad Mackey 2-3 2-3 6, Trey Baker 2-5 0-0 5, Ian Frazier 2-3 0-0 5, Shaun Robinson 1-6 0-0 2, Eric Lynn 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Yetter 0-1 0-0 0, Connor Gurt 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 27-55 7-10 68.
Garrett Malanka 4-11 2-3 11, Liam Corcoran 3-9 0-0 6, Austin Metzler 2-5 2-2 6, Dustin Gossert 2-3 0-0 6, Jake Muller 2-2 1-2 5, Aubrey Brown 2-4 0-0 4, Grant Strawoet 1-6 0-0 2, Zach Czuprynski 1-3 0-0 2, Dustin Ziemba 0-0 1-2 1, Sloane Bendell 0-0 0-0 0, Grant Buchanan 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Lechleitner 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Rupert 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-43 6-9 43.
Palmyra 18 20 19 11 - 68
James Buchanan 12 6 14 11 - 43
3-point shots - Pal 7-21 (C.Lynn 2, Newhard 2, Baker, Frazier, Stovall); JB 3-5 (Gossert 2, Malanka). Shooting - Pal 49.1%; JB 39.5%. Rebounds - Pal 27 (Stovall 6); JB 21 (Malanka 7). Assists - Pal 19 (Robinson 7); JB 13 (Muller 4). Steals - Pal 6 (Robinson 2, Romanoski 2); JB 5 (Muller 2). Blocked shots - Pal 2 (Mackey, Stovall); JB 2 (Brown, Muller). Turnovers - Pal 8; JB 21. Fouls - Pal 10; JB 13.
Next game: Friday, at home vs. Greencastle-Antrim, 7:30.