SHIPPENSBURG - Aside from a lackadaisical third quarter, Shippensburg's boys basketball team put on a show Wednesday night.
The Greyhounds opened the Mid Penn Colonial Division game versus James Buchanan on a six-point run. After a Rocket jumper, the Hounds strung together another seven straight points. JB then hit back-to-back buckets, but it was the only time the Rockets scored consecutive buckets for the entire first half.
Ship built up a 19-point lead by halftime and went on to secure a 56-42 victory.
"You have to give all the credit to Shippensburg," JB coach Larry Strawoet said. "They were physical, they pushed the ball up the floor. They had some transition buckets, and they just beat us. Our guys didn't play well."
The Rockets (11-6, 5-4 MPC) didn't give up that easily, though. Trailing 35-16 at halftime, JB came out of the locker room with a new sense of self. It even pulled within 10 points in the third quarter on a Gage Piper 3-pointer, but Ship (11-6, 9-1 MPC) ended the frame on a timely six-point run.
"That three Teagan (Staver) made, followed by the three-point play by Carter (Van Scyoc), was just huge," Hounds coach Ray Staver said. "I think that really took the wind out of their sails, because they had gotten it to 41-31 at that point."
Rebounding was a huge factor for Shippensburg in the win. Both teams shot about 38 percent from the floor, but while JB took 45 shots, the Greyhounds racked up 65 field goal attempts. Much of that was thanks in large part to a 43-27 advantage on the boards.
"We were fortunate enough to come in and have a practice (Tuesday)," Ship forward Wade Mills said. "It wasn't a very good practice, but we got the sloppiness out of the way. In the beginning of the game, we boarded really well, and whenever we win, it's because we're getting offensive rebounds that lead to second-chance opportunities."
Mills led the way on the boards with 13 rebounds. Staver had six, and Clayton Stine, Cody Gustafson and Van Scyoc all pulled down five apiece. JB, on the other hand, was led by Zach Vosburg and Hunter Sowers, who finished with seven and five rebounds, respectively. No other Rocket had more than two.
JB did get a late spark in the form of Piper, who scored nine of his game-high 17 points in the final quarter.
"It was unacceptable," Piper said. "You can't come out and go through the motions and pretty much be zombies out there. No one was diving for balls; no one was doing anything. But when we finally starting doing that, it sparked everybody. We obviously played a lot better (in the second half), but we don't want to just finish games. We have to come out that way."
Notes: Piper was the only Rocket to finish in double figures, but Kyle Buchanan came off the bench to contribute eight points ... Ship was led by Van Scyoc, Staver and Mills, who finished with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Shippensburg 56, James Buchanan 42
James Buchanan (42)
Gage Piper 7 1-1 17, Zach Vosburg 1 0-2 2, Toby Sowers 1 2-2 4, Cody Tacker 1 0-0 2, Ryan Hege 1 0-0 2, Hunter Sowers 0 1-2 1, Jared Pine 2 0-1 4, Kyle Buchanan 4 0-0 8, Rylan Wassil 0 2-4 2, Justin Helman 0 0-0 0, Micah Wise 0 0-2 0, Hunter Reath 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 6-14 42.
Clayton Stine 2 0-0 4, Cody Gustafson 3 0-0 6, Wade Mills 5 0-0 10, Teagan Staver 5 0-0 11, Carter Van Scyoc 5 2-3 12, Shuntan Hickman 3 1-1 8, Garret Cavanaugh 2 0-1 4, Adam Houser 0 1-2 1, Payton Fridinger 0 0-0 0, Alaric Hickman 0 0-0 0, Zach Cullen 0 0-0 0, Aaron Ross 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 4-7 56.
J.Buchanan _ 6 _ 10 _ 15 _ 11 _ — _ 42
Shippensburg _ 18 _ 17 _ 12 _ 9 _ — _ 56
3-point goals — JB 2 (Piper 2), Ship 1 (Staver).
JV score — Shippensburg 45, James Buchanan 15. Alaric Hickman led the Greyhounds with 13 points.