Last weekend the Chambersburg boys basketball team followed an emotional win on Friday night with a 20-point loss to Class AAA Donegal on Saturday afternoon.
This weekend the Trojans (10-6) have a chance to redeem that letdown with another back-to-back, only this time Saturday's game could feature a much livelier crowd.
Chambersburg will kick off the action at the third annual Pennsylvania vs. Maryland Boys Basketball Showcase tomorrow at Gettysburg Area Senior High School, facing Western Tech, Md. (9-5) - a team the Trojans know nothing about - at 12:30.
While Trojan coach Beau Gantz admitts an empty scouting report isn't ideal, he hopes taking the heat off in practice this week should help his squad power through another weekend loaded with basketball.
"I should have been wiser about practice (last week)," Gantz said. "Practicing hard pays off in those (Friday) games, but then you turn around and lose Saturday's game - we were too tired. This Wednesday (in practice) we did practically nothing. We played hard Tuesday (in a home win over State College), and (Wednesday) had shootaround but no full-court, hardcore action - just took it easy."
Gantz also walked his team through a zone defense - despite preferring a man-to-man setup for rebounding purposes - to have available if he feels his boys need to back off and save their legs.
Gettysburg boys basketball coach Jeff Bair came up with the idea for a showcase that would put teams from both
"Pennsylvania teams don't walk across the border very often," Bair said. "I play a lot of summer (basketball) leagues in Maryland, and I knew the quality of basketball down there, so I talked to some of the (Maryland) coaches and they liked the idea."
And just as in previous years, Saturday's games will be far from a cakewalk for the teams from Pennsylvania, and the results won't count in the power rankings because they are facing non-PIAA
Entering Monday, the six Maryland teams had combined for a 73-26 record. Pennsylvania's lineup held a 46-45 mark.
Bair wouldn't set it up any other way, though.
"It gives us a chance to play teams that may be better than us," Bair said, "and that can help toward the end of the year looking ahead to playoff competition."
In sports, the word "showcase" often implies the opportunity for individual players to display their skills in front of scouts.
"I know there's 15 to 20 college coaches coming," Bair said. "Some will specifically come to see one person in certain cases, but a lot will stay to see the next game, and that could open the door for other players."
Trojan seniors Tay Charles and Kyle Myers could fit that mold.
"If I was a college scout," Gantz said, "I'd be looking for a point guard like Tay Charles. I also would look for an intangible player like Kyle Myers, the kind of guy every coach needs on their team at the next level - doing the dirty work, taking a charge, getting offensive rebounds."
To Bair, the showcase aims at being more of a guaranteed benefit for the teams involved than anything else.
Bair said, "The initiative is to try and create an atmosphere that is exciting. For .500 teams, the crowds become sparse because people are not as excited since they know their team is not going to win a championship or make a big district run. When you put those teams in the same place, and against some stiff competition, it helps - people come to see more than one team. I think it works."
Finding a better deal than Saturday's slate of six games at one admission charge will be hard to beat.
"One ticket, six games, it's a basketball junkie's dream," Bair said. "And we do have people that will come and spend the whole day."
Jeff Kolb can be reached at 262-4819 or email@example.com. PA/MD Boys Basketball Showcase
Where: Gettysburg Area High School
When: Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m.
Game data: Chambersburg vs. Western Tech, 12:30 - Delone Catholic vs. Frederick, 2 - West York vs. North Hagerstown, 3:30 - Carlisle vs. Hereford, 5 - Gettysburg vs. Poolesville, 6:30 - New Oxford vs. Highland View Academy, 8
PA Teams: Chambersburg (10-6), Delone Catholic (10-7), West York (8-10), Carlisle (9-7), Gettysburg (15-4), New Oxford (5-12)
MD Teams: Western Tech (9-5), Frederick (7-7), North Hagerstown (10-4), Hereford (8-6), Poolesville (11-2), Highland View (11-4)
Series: Maryland teams were 4-3 in 2011; Pa. and Md. teams split last year's games, 3-3.
Admission: Adults $6; students $3 for the day.
P.O. pick: Western Tech over Chambersburg by 5.