CHAMBERSBURG - Heading into the final quarter, Chambersburg's boys basketball team trailed by just five points.
It had been involved with a back-and-forth battle with Cumberland Valley all evening and was poised to make another potential comeback. But then the Eagles opened the final frame on a 10-point run, held the Trojans to a single field goal all quarter and won the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division battle, 54-41.
"Last time we played them, we were up by nine going into the fourth, and they cut into the lead right away and had a shot to win at the end," CV coach Mike Hibbs said. "I reminded the guys of how we finished the game over at our place and how we couldn't afford to do that over here.
"The beginning of the fourth, we really buckled down defensively, contested shots, stayed in front and got rebounds. That led to some fast-break points and some open shots down at the other end."
Right out of the gate, Cumberland Valley (6-7, 4-4 MPC) forced a turnover and got a 3-pointer from Charlie Katshir. Josh Giardina reeled off the game's next four points, followed by another longball by Will Hibbs, and just like that, Chambersburg (6-7, 3-5 MPC) faced its largest deficit of the night.
"Our defense had a lot of communication errors," Trojan guard Cole Christian said. "Cade (Whitfield) wasn't in the game, and he's a big voice on our defense, so they started knocking down shots. It was tough to defend them because you have to make sure you get out, but they're also really skilled so they can just go right past you on the dribble, too."
ByShawn Mincie finally got Chambersburg on the board in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
And the Trojans didn't do enough to help itself early. After trailing 18-11, the Trojans went on an eight-point run to actually take a lead, but then watched it quickly evaporate on back-to-back 3-pointers by the Eagles.
"They shot the ball very well," Chambersburg coach Shawn Shreffler said. "(Katshir) had five threes, and only had one coming into the game tonight. You wouldn't see that watching the game, because he shot the ball extremely well. They have two very good senior guards who do a very good job of executing for them, and you know, we just don't have that."
Katshir said, "We're just looking for the open shot. We like to drive the lane and try to kick it out if we can, and I definitely think the 3-pointer helped us out a lot tonight."
Once again, the boards also proved problematic for the Trojans. CV out-rebounded Chambersburg, 28-22, despite being fairly evenly matched in terms of size.
"Our guys have to box out every single time a ball goes up," Shreffler said. "We're not doing that consistently. I thought we did it a few times tonight, and it seemed to be in the second quarter where we made that nice run. I don't know if because we're a little thin right now, maybe we ran out of gas and hit a wall, but we have to win those little battles."
The injury bug continued to plague Chambersburg, also. Jacob Brouse missed the entire second half with an injured ankle, and Whitfield went down at the end of the third quarter with a potential concussion.
NOTES: Christian led the Trojans with 19 points, while Mincie finished with 11 points and six rebounds ... Katshir scored 16 points and had seven boards ... Giardina contributed 10 points ... The Trojans are now on a five-game losing skid after starting the season 6-2.
Cumberland Valley 54, Chambersburg 41
Cumb. Valley (54)
Bo Waggoner 3 1-2 8, Josh Giardina 4 2-2 10, Will Hibbs 3 0-0 8, Charlie Katshir 5 1-3 16, John Baker 3 3-5 9, Derek Hostetler 0 0-0 0, Max Reznitchenko 1 0-0 3. Totals — 19 7-12 54.
Cole Christian 7 1-1 19, Jacob Brouse 0 0-0 0, Evan Shreffler 0 0-0 0, Cade Whitfield 4 1-1 9, ByShawn Mincie 2 7-9 11, Cade Brindle 0 0-0 0, Tyler Collier 0 0-0 0, Reggie Adams 0 0-0 0, Joel Torres 1 0-0 2. Totals — 14 9-11 41.
Cumb. Valley _ 16 _ 12 _ 13 _ 13 _ — _ 54
Chambersburg _ 8 _ 15 _ 13 _ 5 _ — _ 41
3-point goals — CV 9 (Katshir 5, Hibbs 2, Waggoner, Reznitchenko), Chbg 4 (Christian 4).
JV score — Cumberland Valley 49, Chambersburg 38.