WAYNESBORO - With 3:20 left, the Waynesboro boys basketball team looked as if it might to do something it hasn't done since 2007 - beat Greencastle-Antrim.
The Indians held a 52-48 advantage before allowing the Blue Devils to go on a 14-point run and ultimately fell 65-55 in Friday night's Mid Penn Colonial Division action.
The perimeter game has been a strength of Waynesboro's all season, but the Indians couldn't manage to slow the game down, throwing up hurried and sometimes ill-advised shots. Greencastle took advantage and scored 21 points in the fourth period to seal the victory.
"When you spend 29 minutes playing a certain way, sometimes it's hard to pull the choke and say let's slow down," Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman said. "The other piece of that is we really don't have that guy in the half court that we can just feed it to who will give us a bucket.
"We almost have to keep playing a little bit of up-tempo to get the shots we want, but tonight, we probably just didn't have enough poise down the stretch."
The biggest issue for Waynesboro (4-9, 2-6 MPC) was simply poor shooting. Through the first three quarters, the Indians were shooting a stellar 55.6 percent. In the fourth, they hit just 2 of 11 from the field.
"Credit to them, they hit jumper after jumper," Greencastle coach Gary Martin said. "I thought we played pretty decent man-to-man, but they hit some big buckets, so we're glad to get away with the win tonight. I'm sure they're going to give somebody trouble the second half of the season."
The game was truly a back-and-forth affair, with six lead changes and four ties. Greencastle (11-2, 6-1 MPC) held a 16-15 edge after the first, then Waynesboro opened the second stanza on a seven-point run. Zach Faulkner put up a long 3-pointer for the Blue Devils. But Cole Warrenfeltz immediately answered with one of his own.
Then it was Greencastle's turn for a run. Highlighted by six points from Austin Scott, including two fastbreak layups, the Blue Devils outscored Waynesboro 14-4 in the waning minutes of the second to lead 33-31 at half.
The Indians were seriously helped by their perimeter game in the third. Connor Fetterhoff scored twice beyond the arc, Warrenfeltz added one, and Waynesboro led by four heading into the final quarter.
Starting out very slowly, Greencastle's Holden Baker was the only player to score in the first two minutes of the last quarter. Baker tied it up on two free throws with four minutes left.
James Bennett then scored a layup and Shaquill Smith hit a nice jumper to give the Indians the four-point lead. Joel Zola answered. He rushed down the court and threw down a 3-pointer to put the Blue Devils within one.
When Waynesboro tried to respond, it couldn't, and Faulkner's layup gave Greencastle the lead it hung onto for the rest of the game.
"We just manned up and started playing defense," Zola said. "I don't know what they were trying to do, but we just dug deep to win the game. We started passing the ball more and running our plays, and that really helped us out in the end."
Greencastle was also helped by better ball handling in the second half. After committing nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes, it gave up the ball just three times in the second half - and none in the fourth quarter.
The Blue Devils also had a nice scoring spread. Five players - Zola (14 points), Baker (13), Danny Stepler (11), Faulkner (11) and Brandon Puffenbarger (10) - were all in double figures. Although Greencastle has struggled with some injuries of late, Martin has not been worried about his team's offensive abilities.
"When we play, I have confidence in everyone I put on the court," Martin said. "Of our top seven or eight kids, every one of them has been our leading scorer at least one time during the season. People say I don't have another Joel, but all the guys just keep gutting it out for us."
For Waynesboro, Bennett's status was uncertain before the game because he left school on Thursday with an illness, but he definitely came to play. He had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Warrenfeltz also scored 12 points.
Hoffman said, "You're looking at two seniors who are down to nine games, so they're playing with a little bit of a sense of urgency, and that's a great thing for me to see."
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holden Baker 4 2-2 13, Danny Stepler 5 1-2 11, Austin Scott 2 2-2 6, Joel Zola 4 5-7 14, Brandon Puffenbarger 4 2-2 10, Zach Faulkner 3 3-5 11, Eli Englehart 0 0-0 0, Matt Montedoro 0 0-0 0, Jeremiah Barber 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 15-20 65.
Shaquill Smith 3 3-4 9, Devonte Montgomery 2 1-2 5, Connor Fetterhoff 3 0-0 9, James Bennett 4 4-4 12, Cole Warrenfeltz 5 0-0 12, Ryan Kelley 2 1-1 5, Cory Chatfield 0 0-0 0, Darion Brown 0 0-0 0, Alex Cline 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 9-11 55.
Greencastle 16 17 11 21 - 65
Waynesboro 15 16 17 7 - 55
3-point shots - GA 6 (Baker 3, Faulkner 2, Zola); Way 6 (Fetterhoff 3, Warrenfeltz 2, Cline). Shooting - GA 22-52 (42.3%); Way 20-57 (35.1%). Rebounds - GA 26 (Puffenbarger 6); Way 28 (Bennett 10, Fetterhoff 8). Assists - GA 8 (Baker, Stepler, Puffenbarger 2); Way 12 (Kelley 5). Steals - GA 11 (Baker 2); Way 7 (Warrenfeltz 3). Turnovers - GA 12; Way 7. Blocked shots - GA 1 (Zola). Fouled out - Faulkner.
Next game: G-A: Monday, at home vs. Southern Fulton, 7:30 ... Way: Tuesday, vs. Gettysburg, 7:30.