MERCERSBURG -- If there's one thing that Greencastle-Antrim's boys basketball team proved on the first night of the season, it's that the Blue Devils are here to play.
The Devils moved the ball, limited their turnovers, and played a great man-to-man defense that helped them to a 50-40 victory over Waynesboro in the first round of the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament. G-A will return for the boys championship on Saturday at 8:30 against Chambersburg, while the Indians will face James Buchanan in the consolation game at 5:30.
In the early going, it was a back-and-forth contest. Greencastle (1-0) led by only two points early in the second quarter, but then came a deluge. The Blue Devils scored eight straight points and closed out the first half on a 14-6 run.
"Somehow it got away from us," Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman said. "Maybe that was a little bit of us getting in a zone and not focusing. Turnovers didn't help. Handing the ball to the other team is never good. Unfortunately, it felt like a decent chunk of them led to points, too."
The Indians (0-1) committed seven turnovers in the second quarter alone, and faced a 29-19 deficit heading into the locker room.
Greencastle continued to come out swinging in the third quarter, bringing its lead to as many as 17 points. That lead was greatly needed, as Waynesboro played its best in the final frame.
"That (cushion) was huge," Blue Devil guard Casey Hoover said. "If we didn't have that, who knows what would've happened at the end? They cut it close at the end and played pretty well in the fourth quarter. It was a good win for us, especially against Waynesboro."
The Indians got a nice boost from Cameron Keck, who scored eight of his game-high 16 points in the final quarter. But it wasn't enough to overcome the earlier woes. Waynesboro finished with a better shooting percentage (45.9) than Greencastle (43.9), but took fewer shots. The Indians managed only 15 field goal attempts in the first half.
"Greencastle is playing pretty good defense," Hoffman said. "It was a struggle there at times to get good looks. Across the board, they're pretty good at guarding the ball, so that allows their other guys to overplay passing lanes and makes it difficult to run your offense."
Greencastle coach Gary Martin said, "Our defense is very much further than where I thought it was going to be. I love playing the 1-1-3, but they hit a couple early threes, so we switched to a man right away and never got back out of that."
Both of the Indians' 3-pointers came in the first quarter, while the Blue Devils racked up six baskets from beyond the arc.
NOTES >> Hoover led the Blue Devils with 15 points, while Brandon Stuhler contributed 12 ... The Indians did a nice job on the boards with Mitch Neterer and Dakota Rhyne each grabbing six rebounds.
Greencastle 50, Waynesboro 40
Brandon Stuhler 4 2-2 12, Sam Sprague 3 1-2 7, Ian Gelsinger 3 0-0 8, Casey Hoover 5 4-7 15, Bryan Gembe 2 1-2 6, Matt Lutz 1 0-0 2, Cameron Hileman 0 0-0 0, Bryson Robinson 0 0-0 0, Ben Freeman 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 8-13 50.
Kyle Hoffman 3 1-1 8, Mitch Neterer 2 0-0 5, Cameron Keck 7 2-3 16, Dakota Rhyne 1 1-2 3, Evan Hine 2 0-0 4, Cal Davis 0 0-0 0, Ogo Akamelu 1 0-1 2, Nick Sims 0 0-0 0, Jevik Fogelsonger 0 0-0 0, Logan Weibley 0 2-2 2. Totals — 17 6-9 40.
Greencastle _ 13 _ 16 _ 13 _ 10 _ — _ 50
Waynesboro _ 10 _ 9 _ 8 _ 13 _ — _ 40
3-point goals — GA 6 (Stuhler 2, Gelsinger 2, Hoover, Gembe), Way 2 (Hoffman, Neterer).
Fouled out — Rhyne.