Seventy minutes was all the time the Donegal boys basketball team needed to find the court, warm up and clinically take care of Chambersburg 50-30 in a non-league game Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans spent as much time in the locker room after the game trying to figure out what went wrong - after scoring 11 fewer points than in any other game so far - and why 15 games into the season a roster loaded with size and athleticism hasn't clicked.
"What we were talking a lot about in there was where we are as a team - what we are as a team," senior forward Kyle Myers said. "We need to go home, figure out what we're doing wrong and come back and work on it."
Chambersburg coach Beau Gantz gave his players another assignment - one for which he won't be around.
"They need to have a meeting without me present, because sometimes the truth comes out when the coach isn't around," Gantz said. "I trust Kellen (Williams) and Tay (Charles) to come back and say, 'Hey, coach, as captains, this is what we think we need to do to turn the ship around.' Sometimes you've got to trust your kids to come up with some things that I can't come up with right now, and we'll see how it goes."
Tired after a short turnaround, squeezing out a 51-48 home win Friday over Cumberland Valley, the Trojans (9-6) didn't have enough in the tank to hand the Indians (17-0) - ranked No. 2 in District 3 Class AAA - their first loss of the year.
"Last night's performance took a lot out
Donegal also played Friday night - albeit its 64-27 win over Annville-Cleona not as draining - but didn't show fatigue at either end of the court.
"I think it was a good theft," said Donegal coach Ryan Butt of his team's motivation to beat the higher-class Trojans. "We knew Chambersburg was
Following the first quarter, when both teams scored 13 points, the Indians limited Chambersburg to 17 points in the ensuing 24 minutes, including a three-point second quarter.
Trojan forward Mitch Stahl - who led Chambersburg with 11 points - started off hot with nine points in the first quarter, but went cold in the second and third quarters against an Indian defense that hustled through the final buzzer.
"The biggest thing was boxing out and getting rebounds," said Donegal's Jason Dietrich, who tied his twin brother Martin as the high scorer with 15 points. "Staying in front of the big men, making them work, giving them no easy looks."
Butt said, "We started doubling down everytime (Stahl) caught the ball. We forced him to kick out and were able to contest his shots - he didn't get as many clean looks as early. We really rebounded well and limited second-chance opportunities."
Chambersburg scored only two putback baskets.
Even worse, the Trojans - a team capable of running and scoring quickly enough to climb back from most deficits - finished without a single transition basket.
"You can't get it going when you get the ball out of the basket," Gantz said. "When you're rebounding the basketball, you can get your fast break on - but when you have to get it out of the net all the time, you can't fast break and use the tools that accentuate your team."
Donegal visibly won every facet of the game, including at the free-throw line, where it outshot the Trojans, 86 to 50 percent.
A lack of experience won't answer why Donegal was able to outplay the Trojans. Although the Indians carry eight seniors, the Trojans have seven.
"I think that's a tough thing to coach," Butt said. "We have a type of chemistry with our guys - they've been playing together a long time, hit the gym together almost every day in the offseason and just have a feel for the game together. They all work so well on and off the court."
Gantz hopes he and his players can find a way to get back on track.
"They practice like world beaters," Gantz said. "You'd think I'd be lying to you by telling you how well we practice."
Now they have to transfer that to the court during games.
Jeff Kolb can be reached at 262-4819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Dietrich 6 2-2 15, Dylan Houseal 4 0-0 10, Martin Dietrich 5 5-6 15, Matthew Foltz 1 2-2 4, Michael Banwell 0 3-4 3, Christopher Robinson 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 12-14 50.
Stan Flores 0 0-0 0, Kyle Myers 0 0-0 0, Kellen Williams 3 1-4 7, Evason Ogbonna 3 0-0 6, Mitch Stahl 5 0-0 11, Aaron Sollenberger 0 2-2 2, Tay Charles 1 1-2 4, Ryan Martin 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 4-8 30.
Donegal 13 10 13 14 - 50
Chambersburg 13 3 8 6 - 30
3-point shots - Don 4 (Houseal 2, J.Dietrich, Robinson); Chbg 2 (Stahl, Charles). Shooting - Don 17-41 (41%). Assists - Chbg 5 (Williams 2). Turnovers - Chbg 9. Blocked shots - Chbg 4 (Ogbonna 3).
Next game: Tuesday, at home vs. State College, 7:30.