Electric is a word you could use for the Trojans' Evason Ogbonna.
In his first varsity start, Ogbonna, a springy 6-foot-6 junior, scored 25 points and pulled in 13 rebounds to lead the Trojans to a 67-29 victory over JB in the first round of the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament on Friday night in Waynesboro.
Chambersburg will face Greencastle-Antrim in tonight's final at 8:30, while the Rockets will face James Buchanan in the consolation at 5:30.
In a lengthy game that was plagued by endless whistles, plenty of turnovers and even an ejection, Ogbonna's play stood out.
"Evason is quick off his feet," said Beau Gantz after his first game as the Chambersburg coach. "He tipped a lot of balls and kept a lot more in play."
He even produced the play of the night early in the third period when he received a pass in the paint, made a quick move and slammed in a dunk.
Ogbonna said, "I just got the pass from Carlin (Christian), made a drop step and went up."
It was one of the few standout plays in a game in which the majority of the time was spent at the free throw line.
Chambersburg was 23-for-39 at the foul line, and the Rockets were 10-for-20. Three players fouled out.
James Buchanan faced relentless full-court pressure from the Trojans for the entire game and it led to 25 turnovers.
"We need to improve on handling the press and not turning it over," Rocket coach Larry Strawoet said. "But we did get chances off it. If we had made half the layups we missed in the first half, we could have been with 10 points or so at halftime and it would have helped our confidence."
As it was, 10 second-period turnovers allowed the Trojans to slowly build the lead to 32-10 by halftime.
Gantz said, "I thought we got the right guy in the right position in the press, especially early in the game. That was a good thing."
"We had some good help up front (on the press)," Ogbonna said.
Chambersburg's 6-8 center Mitch Stahl was a factor early, scoring 11 of his team's first 20 points. But he was nailed for a technical after he was fouled on an attempted alley-oop pass in the second period. In the third, he was teed up again for demonstrating after a foul called on him. That meant an ejection and he will miss tonight's championship.
"That was a major disappointment," Gantz said. "We need some senior leadership in that situation."
In Stahl's absence, Ogbonna took over inside.
He tallied 11 points in the third period. For the game, he was 8-for-12 from the field and 9-for-12 at the line. Of his eight field goals, three came on tip-ins, one was a putback and three were layups, including one after his own steal.
Aaron Sollenberger, Kyle Myers and Kellen Williams each contributed seven points for the Trojans.
Gantz said, "Aaron came in and hit a couple of shots to give us a lift."
Sollenberger hit a pair of jump shots, including a 3-pointer, within the span of a few seconds to help Chambersburg close out the first half on a 12-4 run.
"We didn't have enough patience on offense," Gantz said. "We were bigger, but we didn't pass the ball inside well at all. We couldn't get the ball inside when the guys were open. I thought Carlin did a nice job in the second half, though."
The Rockets' offense was disrupted by the press and the Trojans' quickness, and JB managed to get off only 34 shots.
Liam Corcoran scored six of his team-leading eight points in the third period on a putback, layup and two free throws.
Strawoet said, "We need to get ourselves in more situations where we're more confident and believe in our ability. Chambersburg is a great team and we didn't create much space on our boxouts.
"But I thought we did a nice job on Kellen and overall, I thought our kids battled them. We kept trying to do the things we're trying to teach them, so that was good."
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Buchanan 29
Tay Charles 1-6 2-2 5, Kellen Williams 2-6 3-5 7, Mitch Stahl 3-7 4-7 11, Evason Ogbonna 8-12 9-12 25, Kane Snider 0-2 1-2 1, Aaron Sollenberger 3-9 0-0 7, Ryan Martin 0-3 1-2 1, Kyle Myers 2-5 3-6 7, Carlin Christian 0-2 0-0 0, Sheldon Wenger 0-1 0-0 0, Stanley Flores 1-1 1-3 3, Bryce Feigl 0-0 0-0 0, Roberto Toussaint 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 23-39 67.
Liam Corcoran 3-6 2-5 8, Grant Strawoet 1-5 1-2 4, Garrett Malanka 1-3 0-2 2, Jake Muller 0-3 4-6 4, Sloane Bendell 1-4 0-0 2, Zach Czuprynski 0-1 3-4 3, Austin Metzler 2-5 0-0 4, Ryan Hege 1-1 0-0 2, Josh Lechleitner 0-0 0-0 0, Aubrey Brown 0-3 0-1 0, Gage Piper 0-0 0-0 0, Dustin Gossert 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Buchanan 0-1 0-0 0, Dustin Ziemba 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Ruppert 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 9-34 10-20 29.
Chambersburg 13 19 15 20 - 67
James Buchanan 5 5 9 10 - 29
3-point shots - Chbg 3-12 (Charles, Stahl, Sollenberger); JB 1-6 (Strawoet). Shooting - Chbg 37%;; JB 26.5%. Rebounds - Chbg 33 (Ogbonna 13). Turnovers - Chbg 13; JB 25. Blocked shots - Chbg 1 (Obgonna). Fouled out - Williams; Strawoet, Malanka. Ejected - Stahl.