MERCERSBURG -- They were not.
That was the resounding answer given by the James Buchanan girls basketball team in response to their coach's pregame question: "Are you scared to play Chambersburg?"
The Rockets used a dominating 13-2 run to finish the first half and build a 30-12 lead over the Trojans and never let Chambersburg back in the game. The 59-37 victory in the first round of the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament pushed JB into the championship game Saturday at 7 p.m. on their home court against rival Greencastle-Antrim.
It was not the kind of start Trojan coach Barry Purvis was hoping for in his return to coaching after 20 years.
"If we don't shoot well, we will struggle to win," Purvis said. "I've seen it in practice and in our scrimmages, and that's how we started off tonight. You can't win that way."
Chambersburg made only 4 of 24 shots in the first half (17%), and that opened the door for James Buchanan to break out to a healthy lead.
JB guard Rachel Martin said, "Getting off to a good start was an unbelievable help, because we didn't always do that last year. Coach asked us before the game if we were scared to play them. We wanted to believe, but we didn't know what to expect. We just had to go out and play our game."
"I was nervous, because it seemed like we had peaked in the first week of practice," Rocket coach Jen Lauthers said. "But we had a good practice last night and the girls executed our game plan. The big key is communicating and talking and they did that tonight."
A 3-pointer by Tristen Amsley put JB up 9-5 after one period, and two straight layups by Aspen Anderson made it 17-5 early in the second Chambersburg got it back to a 10-point margin, but then the Rockets went on their 13-2 run to close the half and the Trojans never got closer than 17 points the rest of the game.
Charity Miller, who led James Buchanan with 18 points, scored eight of those 13 points.
Martin tallied 14 points and Amsley added 13 (plus 8 assists), while Martin rolled up 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Lauthers said, "Martin had a great game. She and Tristen work so well together. Rachel is a No. 2 guard, but she got inside a lot and has a nose for the ball."
"I do enjoy getting inside and going for rebounds," Martin said. "I think I'd rather do that than play guard."
Purvis said, "James Buchanan was very aggressive and fiesty and they have some girls who can shoot the ball."
While the Rockets made 38 percent of their shots (23-for-63, including 3-for-7 on 3-pointers), Chambersburg was saddled with a 14-for-59 performance (24%).
"We hustled," Purvis said, looking for positives. "But we just threw the ball away too much (19 turnovers)."
Camryn Greenlee, at 5-foot-2 the shortest player on the court, led the Trojans with eight rebounds -- seven of the offensive variety. She also tossed in seven points, while Lindsay Embly and Monica Henderson each scored eight points.
Chambersburg will face Waynesboro in the consolation game at JB at 4 p.m. Saturday.
James Buchanan 59, Chambersburg 37
Liz Bishop 0 0-0 0, Suzy Anzalone 0 0-0 0, Liz Egolf 2 0-0 4, Madison Whitfield 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Embly 2 3-5 8, Shayla Corwell 0 0-0 0, Camryn Greenlee 2 2-2 7, Shadai Joyner 1 0-0 2, Alexis Sherman 0 0-0 0, Taylor Vrabel 3 0-0 6, Kirsten Pugh 0 0-0 0, Olivia Sommers 1 0-0 2, Monica Henderson 3 1-2 8. Totals — 14 6-9 37.
James Buchanan (59)
Tristen Amsley 5 2-3 13, Rachel Martin 5 4-6 14, Aspen Anderson 4 0-1 9, Charity Miller 7 3-4 18, Madison Martin 1 0-0 2, Nina Shatzer 0 0-0 0, Abby Mackling 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Martin 1 0-0 2, Saige Eckard 0 0-0 0, Renee Sollenberger 0 0-0 0, Maggie Strawoet 0 1-2 1, Janice Grove 0 0-0 0. Totals — .
Chambersburg _ 4 _ 8 _ 11 _ 14 _ — _ 37
James Buchanan _ 9 _ 21 _ 14 _ 15 _ — _ 59
3-point goals — Chbg 3 (Embly, Greenlee, Henderson), JB 3 (Amsley, Anderson, Miller).