Ship basketball draws on football success
In the fall, Shippensburg football fans watched quarterback Carter Van Scyoc pass the ball to Cody Gustafson down the field on any given Friday night.
Well, this winter they're doing the same as the duo is also leading the Greyhound boys basketball team in what has been a successful season so far.
But Van Scyoc and Gustafson aren't the only familiar faces in the gym this season. Football players Adam Houser, Clayton Stine and Kyle Yost have also contributed to Shippensburg's 6-1 start.
"They're tight, man, they come in and do a lot of stuff together," Shippensburg coach Ray Staver said. "We've had teams make runs on us at the end of game's numerous times but we don't break, and having them really helps."
The Greyhounds are led by the same two players that helped the football team advance to the district championship in November, Van Scyoc and Gustafson. The pair are the two leading scorers for the Greyhounds, and have shown that a different playing surface has not affected their ability to dominate a game.
"Our success in football has definitely helped in closer games because we know how to win," Gustafson said. "We all have the same attributes that we do in football and we like to use our speed to hurt teams."
Gustafson scored a career-high 29 points in the Greyhounds 69-56 victory over Delone Catholic in the first round of the Hound Invitational Wednesday night. VanScyoc added eleven points in the win and Stine helped the Greyhounds grab a lead early, scoring all eight of his points in the first quarter.
"Cody is just a great athlete and Stine is the same way he is in football - if you leave him alone, he'll hurt you," Van Scyoc said. "I think it's very tough for teams to beat us right now because of how well we're playing."
It helps to take the same mentality they had in football over to basketball. The Greyhounds are doing that by remembering not to take themselves too seriously.
"In football we just had fun and we're trying to just have fun in basketball too," Stine said. "Right now we're doing that really well."
With the Greyhounds off to such a great start, Staver said fans have asked if the basketball team will have the same kind of success as the Greyhounds did in football. But he is just trying to remind them it is a different sport and to take it one game at a time.
"People keep asking how good we are and I honestly don't know how good we are," Staver said. "This tournament and next week will say a lot about how good we are."