Chambersburg boys basketball coach Beau Gantz has been preaching patience on offense all year long.
He got it Friday night.
As expected, Central Dauphin East put up a 2-3 zone against the Trojans early in their Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game at CASHS Field House. But Chambersburg took its time, worked the ball and gradually pulled away for a 61-45 victory.
The Trojans scored only six points in the second quarter, which in many cases would spell trouble. That wasn't the case Friday, because the Panthers put up a big fat zero in the same period.
"We were very patient on offense and aggressive on defense and that led to the shutout," Chambersburg forward Mitch Stahl said.
CD East coach Marty Hasenfuss said, "We couldn't score. Our shot selection was terrible and we turned the ball over way too much."
The Panthers opened the game in a man defense and Chambersburg bolted to a 7-2 advantage. So Hasenfuss dialed up the zone, which did slow the Trojans down, but it also ended up stifling his team.
"We were very patient tonight we played to our strengths," Gantz said. "We were making six, seven, eight or more passes before shooting. And we felt that when they get behind, it's panic time.
"They knew we were going to be patient, so when they get the ball they feel like they have to score, because otherwise we'll take another 30-40 seconds off the clock."
What it did was cause East to take some ill-advised shots. In the second period, CDE was o-for-8 from the field and 0-for-1 at the foul line.
Chambersburg led 15-12 after one thanks to a trio of 3-pointers by Kellen Williams, who played his usual stellar game (19 points, 10 rebounds, three steals). In the second quarter, the Trojans scored three baskets - a layup by Stahl on an inbounds pass by Aaron Sollenberger, a wicked turnaround jumper by Williams on a feed from Stahl and a drive by Stahl on a pass from Tay Charles.
Stahl, who finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, said, "This was the most patient we've been this year and we have to continue doing that. When they used that zone last time (in a 49-47 East win), we hadn't practiced against it much."
The other difference between December and now is that Evason Ogbonna played this time. The Chambersburg forward made his presence felt with 14 points and 11 rebounds - 10 of them at the offensive end. Of his five field goals, four of them were putbacks.
"They didn't have No. 30 (Ogbonna) last time, and this time they played better than we did," Hasenfuss said.
The Panthers were forced to turn up the pressure in the second half, but the Trojans adapted. What had been a slow-motion game turned into a track meet. East's offense started to score points, and the Panthers pulled within 30-23 in the third.
But Stahl canned a layup on a pass from Ryan Martin and Williams fed Sollenberger twice in a row for drives. When Ogbonna opened the fourth with a pair of free throws and another stickback, it was 40-25 and pretty much over.
Gantz said, "They are an athletic team, but I thought we played good defense on them. (Eddie) Cowan might be the best point guard we see and (Williams) played well against him.
"The other thing was we probably scored more baskets inside tonight than any other game this year."
Not surprisingly, because of that, Chambersburg's shooting percentage was a robust 56.8 percent (25-for-44).
"I told the team if we play like we are capable, we can sweep the games in the second half," Gantz said.
Friday was the first step.
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
C. Dauphin East 45
Siele Johnson 2-6 1-3 5, Anthony Wright 4-12 1-2 9, Eddie Cowan 4-11 0-0 8, Joe Lemelle 2-8 2-2 7, Ethan Cooper 2-4 1-4 5, Quinton Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Dwight Whitlock 0-3 0-0 0, Sekou Johnson 2-2 0-0 5, Derrick Biney 1-1 0-0 2, Jahad Neibauer 0 0-0 0, Frank Wilson 0 0-0 0, Donte Yates 0 0-0 0. Totals 19-51 5-11 45.
Tay Charles 1-4 4-6 7, Kyle Myers 1-5 0-0 2, Evason Ogbonna 5-7 4-4 14, Kellen Williams 8-16 0-0 19, Mitch Stahl 5-7 0-2 12, Aaron Sollenberger 2-3 0-1 4, Carlin Christian 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Martin 0 1-2 1, Stanley Flores 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-44 9-15 61.
CD East 12 0 13 20 - 45
Chambersburg 15 6 15 25 - 61
3-point shots - CDE 2-8 (Lemelle, Se.Johnson); Chbg 4-9 (Williams 3, Charles). Shooting - CDE 37.3%; Chbg 56.8%. Rebounds - Chbg 34 (Ogbonna 11, Williams 10). Assists - Chbg 12 (Stahl 4). Steals - Chbg 5 (Williams 3). Turnovers - CDE 14; Chbg 18. Blocked shots - CDE 1; Chbg 4 (Ogbonna, Stahl 2).
JV: Chambersburg 31, CD East 29. Cody Thompson (8 points) banked in a runner in the lane at the buzzer to lift the Trojans.
Next game: Tuesday, at Carlisle, 7:30.