For the Public Opinion
GREENCASTLE - With a division rival looming on the horizon, it can be hard to remain focused on the task at hand, especially if that task involves facing a non-division opponent.
Greencastle-Antrim may have fallen victim to that when taking on Delone Catholic on Saturday night. The Blue Devils found themselves behind by 14 at halftime before storming back for a 51-45 victory in boys basketball action.
The two-time defending Mid Penn Colonial Division champion Devils (3-1) will put their 19-game division winning streak on the line when they hit the road to take on Gettysburg (4-0) on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
"I think the guys had Gettysburg on their minds until they fell into a hole," G-A coach Gary Martin said. "Then they realized that they were playing Delone tonight and that they needed to focus on that and worry about Gettysburg starting tomorrow."
Delone (2-1) broke open a 12-12 game with a 14-0 run to end the first half. The charge was led by junior Andrew Austin, who put in seven of his team-high 17 points in the frame.
Austin also added 11 boards and four assists.
"I knew Austin played well tonight," veteran Delone coach Jim Dooley said, "but I didn't know he played that well."
G-A began its climb back into the contest in the third quarter by quickly cutting the deficit in half and trailed 34-31 heading for the final stanza.
Austin's trey to start the fourth quarter doubled the Squires' lead, but the Devils ran off the next eight and Zach Faulkner's trifecta from the right corner with 4:58 left gave them their first lead since early in the second quarter.
Delone took the lead back on its ensuing possession when Tanner Orndorff found the range from beyond the arc with 4:26 left, but Danny Stepler had the answer, to put Greencastle ahead for good with 3:31 left.
Brett Smith's floater in the lane cut the lead to 43-42 with 2:19 to go, but Stepler again had the answer with a hoop at 2:03.
For the night, Stepler made all seven of his field goal attempts to finish with 17 points, while Faulkner led all scorers with 18 points and also pulled down 10 rebounds.
"Zach Faulkner and Danny Stepler really stepped up big tonight," Martin said. "They made the plays that we needed to have to get the win."
Devon Moore drew the Squires within 49-45 with 0:23 left, but they got no closer.
After holding the Devils to 5-of-22 shooting in the first half, the Squires allowed them to shoot 14-for-28 in the second half and left Dooley looking for answers.
"I thought we had every opportunity to win this game, but we allowed dribble-drive penetration, second shots and threw the ball in the bleachers too much in the second half," he said. "It takes more than a good half to beat a good team; it's gotta be the whole game."
Austin was joined in double figures by Smith and Moore, both of whom put in 10 points.
Delone Catholic 45
Brett Smith 4-7 2-2 10, Devon Moore 3-15 4-5 10, Jake Wiles 1-3 0-0 2, Andrew Austin 7-11 2-5 17, Tanner Orndorff 2-7 0-0 6, Billy Kilkelly 0-1 0-0 0, Devin Altland 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-46 8-12 45.
Austin Scott 2-4 1-2 5, Zach Faulkner 6-13 3-4 18, Holden Baker 2-5 0-0 5, Elijah Englehart 0-1 0-0 0, Danny Stepler 7-7 3-6 17, Matt Montedoro 0-0 0-0 0, Joel Zola 2-13 2-4 6, Brandon Puffenbarger 0-7 0-4 0. Totals 19-50 9-20 51.
Delone Catholic 7 19 8 11 - 45
Greencastle 8 4 19 20 - 51
3-point shots - Del 3-19 (Orndorff 2, Austin); GA 4-14 (Faulkner 3, Baker). Shooting - Del 37%; GA 38%. Rebounds - Del 36 (Austin 11); GA 32 (Faulkner 10). Assists - Del 8 (Austin 4); GA 9 (Stepler 3). Turnovers - Del 16; GA 8.
JV: Delone 51, Greencastle 37.
Next game: Monday, at Gettysburg, 7:30.