NEW KINGSTOWN >> No one is perfect.
Every team is expected to have an off night. But when that off night happens to come against a team that is having a serious on night, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Shippensburg's boys basketball team knew it would have its hands full with Cedar Cliff on Tuesday night in the Mid Penn Conference semifinals. And boy, did the Colts deliver.
Cedar Cliff shot 62.2 percent from the field, went 12 of 16 from 3-point land and completely dismantled the Greyhounds to the tune of 75-39.
"Somewhere, this team has lost their edge," Ship coach Ray Staver said. "We aren't getting some things on defense that we were doing a really good job of earlier in the year. We're not getting deflections; we're not getting steals.
"Now, they're exceptional and they're very good with the ball. But the first time around (a 45-26 loss to start the season), we were able to create some of those things."
Shippensburg (16-7) hung with the Colts (21-2) early. It seemed like it might be a low-scoring affair when Shuntan Hickman hit a 3-pointer for Ship's first field goal, nearly five minutes in. But Cedar Cliff went on a 10-2 run to end the first quarter and reeled off the first four points of the second. In the blink of an eye, the Hounds faced a 15-point deficit, and it only got worse.
"I think Ray tried to see what was going to work (defensively)," Colts coach Jim Rowe said. "He tried the 1-3-1, tried a 2-3 zone, tried man. But one of our strengths is being able to spread people out. We can put the ball on the floor, and we're hard to guard. But you're easy to guard if you're too close together."
Cedar Cliff got an early boost in the form of Owen Shenk, who closed out the first quarter with a buzzer-beating trifecta and opened the second with a floater in the lane. In the second frame, the Colts' biggest spark came from Stone Vasiloff, who scored eight points in the period, including a pair of 3-pointers. And in the third quarter, it was Derek Ford's turn. He hit a pair of threes to account for six of the Colts' 10 points in the third.
"They're just very good," Staver said. "They can get 75 points on anybody, but I don't think they worked very hard for their 75 tonight. We just didn't do the things that we knew we had to do. Then we get behind, and we seem to lose focus."
Not only was Cedar Cliff's 75 points the most Ship has allowed all season, the Greyhounds scored their third-lowest point total of the year.
"Let's keep in mind that this game really doesn't mean much," Staver said. "If we weren't facing the possibility of playing them again in the round of 16 – well, he didn't show us everything he had tonight, and we certainly didn't show him everything we wanted to do."
NOTES >> Cedar Cliff will play Harrisburg in the MPC final; the Cougars defeated Steel-High, 77-74 in overtime ... Shenk led the Colts' scoring with 16 points, while Ford (13 points), Tyler Hoagland (12) and Vasiloff (11) also had big contributions ... Bryce Hastings led Ship's offense with 8 points ... Shuntan Hickman tied his career-high with 7 points, and Wade Mills had 6 points and 6 rebounds.
CEDAR CLIFF (75)
Tyler Hoagland 6 0-0 12, Mark Shultz 0 0-0 0, Jesse Deaner 1 1-2 3, Derek Ford 5 0-0 13, Owen Shenk 6 0-0 16, Zach Mansfield 2 2-2 6, Matt Lebo 1 0-0 3, Tyler Lafaver 2 3-3 7, Stone Vasiloff 4 0-0 11, Trevor McCloskey 1 0-0 3, Manny De Los Santos 0 0-0 0, Tyler McDonald 0 1-4 1.
Totals — 28 7-11 75
Teagan Staver 2 2-4 6, Bryce Hastings 4 0-0 8, Nick Jacoby 0 0-2 0, Wade Mills 2 2-4 6, Zaen Miller 0 0-0 0, Shuntan Hickman 3 0-0 7, Emmitt Geiger 1 0-1 2, Cody Gustafson 0 0-0 0, Derek Lovett 1 0-0 2, Garret Cavanaugh 3 0-1 6, Payton Fridinger 0 0-0 0, Brendon Cullen 1 0-0 2, Carter Van Scyoc 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 17 4-12 39.
3-point goals — CC 12 (Shenk 4, Ford 3, Vasiloff 3, Lebo, McCloskey). Ship 1 (Hickman).