CHAMBERSBURG -- Harrisburg is a far different team with Anthony Johnson in the lineup.
With the 6-foot-7 Johnson on the bench with two fouls in the first half, Chambersburg was within two points of the Cougars in a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division boys basketball game Tuesday night at CASHS Field House at the halftime break.
But Johnson's 11 points in the third period gave Harrisburg a lift that the Trojans couldn't match and it led to a 63-50 victory.
"With him in the lineup it makes it tough to guard us," Cougar coach Kirk Smallwood said. "We wanted him to touch the ball because he didn't very much in the first half. He's still getting used to how they call the game here (Johnson is a native of Harrisburg who played at Glen Mills for two years)."
Johnson picked up two quick fouls and took only one shot in the first half.
Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler said, "Getting those early fouls on him was big, but we knew in the third quarter they'd go to him."
The first half was a matchup between the Trojan team (3-2, 1-2 MPC) and the Cougars' silky smooth guard, Chris Whitaker. He scored 20 of his 30 points in the opening two periods and seemed to be able to get to the basket whenever he wanted to.
Three-pointers by John Shupp, Cade Whitefield and Cole Christian helped the Trojans stay close early. In the second quarter, a putback by Evan Shreffler gave Chambersburg a 20-18 lead. That lead became 30-26 when Christian made two free throws and he and Whitfield converted fast-break layups at the end of slick passes by Jacob Brouse.
Whitaker then scored six points in a 7-0 Cougar run and they led 33-31 at halftime.
Shawn Shreffler said, "We had a very good first half. We did a nice job of attacking the basket, which was a point of emphasis. We battled well on defense and got a lot of defensive rebounds."
The only thing Chambersburg didn't do was shoot well -- 9-for-31 (29%) in the first half, and 16-for-53 (30%) for the game. The Cougars had seven blocked shots to help that stat.
Once Johnson got it going in the third period, Harrisburg (4-0, 3-0 MPC) pulled away with a 9-0 run and a pair of 6-2 runs to lead 54-42 by the end of the period.
The Cougars didn't get many turnovers off of their trapping press, but it did disrupt the Trojans' rhythm. They had been able to break the press and get breakaways early, but not in the second half.
Smallwood said, "We wanted to sucker them into that faster pace, as long as they weren't making their shots."
"I thought our guards handled their pressure well and showed a lot of poise," Shreffler said. "I was happy with the looks we got, we just didn't make enough of them. And against them, a missed shot turns into a fast break."
NOTES: The Trojans got 14 points from Christian, 13 from Whitfield and eight from Brouse ... The Cougars had only 11 turnovers and seven came on charges ... "I've got to go buy seven candy bars tonight," Shreffler said ... Johnson (15 points) eventually fouled out and four were on offensive fouls.
Harrisburg 63, Chambersburg 50
Chris Whitaker 11-26 4-5 30, Christian Ray 2-6 1-2 6, Shaquon Anderson-Butts 2-3 0-0 6, Anthony Johnson 7-14 1-2 15, Nassir Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Tony James 2-5 0-0 4, Elijah Barnett 1-2 0-0 2, Quintyn Flemister 0-3 0-0 0, Simon Esayas 0-0 0-0 0, Tyheir Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Jabari Tate 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 27-62 6-9 63.
Cole Christian 5-13 2-2 14, Jacob Brouse 2-3 4-5 8, Cade Whitfield 5-13 2-4 13, John Shupp 1-2 0-0 3, ByShawn Mincie 0-9 1-2 1, Cade Brindle 0-3 1-2 1, Evan Shreffler 2-5 1-2 5, Tyler Collier 1-2 1-2 3, Reggie Adams 0-3 0-0 0, Ezechiel Cadet 0-0 2-2 2, Joel Torres 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 16-53 14-21 50.
Harrisburg _ 18 _ 15 _ 21 _ 9 _ — _ 63
Chambersburg _ 15 _ 16 _ 11 _ 8 _ — _ 50
3-point goals — Har 3-8 (Anderson-Butts 2, Ray), Chbg 4-16 (Christian 2, Whitfield, Shupp).