PIAA boys basketball finalists honored in Greencastle
The Greencastle-Antrim High School gym got very loud Friday night, especially in the fourth quarter of Central Dauphin's 54-53 win over the Blue Devils.
That raucous noise must felt like old times to a group of 14 players and coaches who returned to the floor at halftime to be recognized by the fans. Ten years ago, that group took themselves and the Greencastle community for a wild thrill ride, all the way to the PIAA Class AAA championship game.
Friday, it was time to revive those memories, even the painful ones of thinking how close the Blue Devils came to a state title. Drew Astorino buried a long contested jumper from the top of the key to give General McLane a 57-55 win at Bryce Jordan Center, crushing G-A's hopes.
"Most of us still haven't watched a tape of that game," said Jordan Gembe, the point guard of that team. "Maybe someday we will."
But the good memories far outnumber the bad.
Several of the players were asked for their best memory of that fantastic season.
Ty Thrush: "After we lost that game, what I remember was when we got back home, all the cars were lining the road. Even in Mercersburg, there were people waiting for us, and it was late at night. All those fans waiting for us ... that was my best moment."
Jaren Gembe: "I still think about the West York game (a 60-58 win in the PIAA quarterfinals at Gettysburg H.S.), and knocking off the No. 1 team in the state. When they missed the last shot (at the buzzer), I think before the ball even hit the floor we were being mobbed by our fans. That was great having them all out on the court afterward."
Treavor Gelsinger: "Definitely going into Philly and winning (68-59 over Franklin Learning Center in the first round of states). We were big underdogs and everything was against us. Then, of course, the state final game ... what an awesome experience."
Jordan Gembe: "The game in Philly was cool, the whole experience (Gembe scored a season-high 26 points). The bus ride, going into the city, having to go through a metal detector (to get into the gym) was crazy. We all thought we could win any game, but I think early in that game we weren't sure. But I remember later, when we had the lead, I looked at Treavor and said, 'We are NOT losing this game.'"
Demeatric Scott: "For me it was the whole experience, and being with the whole team. We had a lot of fun on the court and a lot off the court, too. And it was nice because the whole community became a part of it."
Scott hasn't watched a tape of the final game, either.
"A lot of people bring that last game up, and it's a touchy subject," he said. "To get that close makes it hard. We have to appreciate what we did do. But can you imagine what it'd be like getting together after 10 years if we'd won that game?"
Also in attendance were players John Frick, Mac Frederick, Evon Weistling, Jordan Statler, Andrew Cordell and Rusty Cordell, head coach Garon Gembe and assistants Marc Pool and Jeremy Eby.