For Public Opinion
The State College Little Lions just lost their margin for error.
Kellen Williams scored six of his 20 points in overtime, and the Chambersburg Trojans upset State College 61-59 Tuesday night at CASHS Field House to deal a severe blow to the Little Lions' division title hopes.
State College (12-4, 9-2 MPC) entered the night one game behind Harrisburg for the top spot in the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division. The Little Lions had won 9 of 10 division games, but now need help to have anything to show for it.
"We can take care of business against (Harrisburg) at our place next week, but we'll still need some help," State College coach Drew Frank said. "But no one has been able to step up and go face-to-face with Harrisburg, so I'm not sure there is any help out there."
Bryan Sekunda, who came in averaging 19.7 points per game, had a game-high 34 for State College. Kyle Kanaskie added 11 for the Little Lions, who went 18-for-47 from the field (38.3 percent) and 20-for-25 from the free throw line.
Chambersburg, long out of the division race, wasn't concerned with the fact that State College was chasing a division crown.
"This was a huge win for us, a big confidence builder," said Williams, who finished 8-for-18 from the field. "The Donegal loss was a little demoralizing, so Tay Charles and I decided as captains to put this team on our shoulders."
Mitch Stahl and Aaron Sollenberger added 10 points each to help the Trojans avoid a season sweep by the Little Lions, who won the first matchup 63-60. Chambersburg, which had dropped three of its last five, had one of its better outings of the year. The Trojans shot 47.9 percent (23-of-48) overall, committed just 16 turnovers, and held a 31-24 advantage on the boards. They also converted 14 of 19 free throws.
Chambersburg coach Beau Gantz said, "We felt pretty good about this one tonight - even when we lost our bigs. I thought the guys went out there and said, 'You know what, we're not going to lose,' and that's what they did."
The Trojans played most of the second half without 6-foot-6 forward Evason Ogbonna, who picked up his fourth foul early in the third. He eventually fouled out with 5:19 left in the fourth, finishing with nine points and five rebounds. Stahl collected his fifth foul 2:33 into overtime.
Chambersburg (10-6, 6-5 MPC) led by as many as 17 points before State College closed within 37-34 at the end of the third period. A pair of Kanaskie free throws gave the Little Lions their first lead with 4:49 left to play in regulation, but State College had no answer for the Trojans' interior game.
Kellen Williams' layup put Chambersburg ahead 48-45 with about two minutes left. However, Sekunda missed the second of two free throws and Bryce Williams tied it with 1:03 remaining when he scored on the putback.
The Trojans, content to play for the final shot, made a bad pass for a turnover with three seconds left, forcing the extra session.
Williams continued his stellar play in overtime, his three-point play putting Chambersburg up 57-53. Sekunda's long 3-pointer pulled the Little Lions within one, but the Trojans responded with a 4-0 run - all the points coming at the free throw line. Sekunda hit another 3-pointer, his third of the game, as time expired.
Chambersburg led 10-7 early, then held State College without a field goal for more than nine minutes en route to a 26-11 halftime lead.
"I have no explanation for that second period," Frank said. "But you can't get down against a team like this and think that you're going to come all the way back, because you expend so much energy playing catchup. And a team like Chambersburg is not going to let one like this slip away."
Williams said, "When we play good solid defense, we feel like we can shut any team down. This team hit 10 3-pointers against us the last time, so defense was definitely our focus."
Charles finished with only six points on 1-of-5 shooting, but contributed five assists, one steal, and four rebounds.
State College 59, OT
Bryan Sekunda 10-25 11-12 34, Kyle Kanaskie 2-5 7-9 11, Bryce Williams 3-4 1-2 7, Ryan Karstetter 2-3 1-2 5, Jason Costa 1-5 0-0 2, David Engle 0-2 0-0 0, Patrick Irwin 0-2 0-0 0, Connor Shadle 0-1 0-0 0, Cole Schailey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 20-25 59.
Kellen Williams 8-18 4-5 20, Mitch Stahl 4-8 2-3 10, Aaron Sollenberger 3-6 3-3 10, Evason Ogbonna 4-5 1-1 9, Tay Charles 1-5 4-6 6, Kyle Myers 3-4 0-0 6, Carlin Christian 0-0 0-1 0, Ryan Martin 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-48 14-19 61.
State College 9 2 23 14 11 - 59
Chambersburg 10 16 11 11 13 - 61
3-point shots - SC 3-11 (Sekunda 3); Chbg 1-3 (Sollenberger). Shooting - SC 38.3%; Chbg 47.9%. Rebounds - SC 24 (Williams 8); Chbg 31 (Stahl 9). Assists - SC 11 (Engle 4); Chbg 12 (Charles 5). Steals - SC 9 (Kanaskie 3); Chbg 6 (Ogbonna 2). Blocked shots - SC 1 (Sekunda); Chbg 5 (Martin 2, Ogbonna 2). Turnovers - SC 12; Chbg 16. Fouls - SC 20; Chbg 21. Fouled out - Kanaskie; Ogbonna, Stahl.
JV: Chambersburg 31, State College 30. The Trojans' Jayson Sollenberger scored 9 points.
Next game: SC: Friday, at Mifflin County, 7:30 Chbg: Friday, at Central Dauphin, 7:30.