Dunks for Drew features solid matchups
Basketball fans around the county will flock to Chambersburg Area Senior High School on Saturday afternoon for the 10th annual Dunks for Drew showcase.
And although it's bound to be a day of fun, competitive basketball, it also means so much more.
Dunks for Drew benefits the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation, which provides free grief support through Drew's Hope. The foundation was founded by Chambersburg boys assistant coach Randy Taylor, and his wife, Marcie, following the death of their son, Drew, in 2006.
"Coach Taylor and I have grown up in this profession together," Trojan head coach Shawn Shreffler said. "It's really special to be able in some small way to give back to everything that he and Marcie have done."
G-A boys coach Rick Lewis said, "It's pretty amazing. Being a father, I couldn't even imagine that type of tragedy, and to turn it around into a positive for other people is mind-boggling to me. Coach Taylor congratulated me when I first got this job, and I promised him as long as I was head coach, we would find a way to be in this (showcase)."
This year, the showcase's good cause should be complemented by some good basketball, too.
G-A vs. Mechanicsburg girls, 2:30: One thing Greencastle-Antrim can't do is overlook the Wildcats.
Although Mechanicsburg holds a 4-8 record, it plays in a much tougher Mid Penn Keystone Division. G-A coach Mike Rhine expects the Wildcats to be quick and athletic. Rhine also has extra motivation for wanting to win in Chambersburg.
"I'm from Chambersburg, so I try to pump my kids up for this one," Rhine said. "It's like a homecoming for me, plus it just comes down to a great day for a great foundation, and it's a cool thing for Franklin County."
G-A vs. Mechanicsburg boys, 4: It just doesn't get any easier for the streaking Blue Devils. G-A (8-4) has played three straight tough opponents in Shippensburg, Northeastern and Waynesboro, earning wins in two of those contests.
Now, Greencastle take on the Wildcats (10-2), who are currently ranked second in the District 3 Class 5A power rankings.
"Our losses have been good losses, so to speak, but this is a chance for a signature win," Lewis said. "We'll be on a neutral floor, with a playoff atmosphere, and we have a couple days to prepare. We'll put in a solid game plan."
Ship vs. Chambersburg girls, 6: Neither Shippensburg (4-7) nor Chambersburg (3-9) are having the season they hoped for, and both are bringing a four-game skid into Saturday's contest.
"Right now, I don't know if the team has an identity still," Lady Hound coach Andrew Markel said. "For us, it's contagious. Once one girl starts hitting shots, everyone is hitting, but the past couple games, it's like there's a lid on the rim. Right now, it's a sense of urgency, and I'll be interested to see how they respond."
The Trojans have shown improvement this season, keeping games closer, but they still haven't found a win in the tough Mid Penn Commonwealth Division.
Markel said, "That division they play in, I would say hands down is the best big division in the state. Their 'night off' is Carlisle, who is really good. So when they play someone like us, they see a winnable game. We can't overlook it based on their record at all."
Ship vs. Chambersburg boys, 7:30: Both the Greyhounds and the Trojans will head into Saturday's game coming off important league contests.
Shippensburg (8-3), which needs to get the train back on the track after two tough losses to G-A and 'Boro, are going to turn right around after playing Northern York, a team also tied for second in the Mid Penn Colonial Division.
"It's going to be difficult," Hounds coach Ray Staver said. "I think at this point any win is big because we're moving toward the playoff picture. I know there's a bit of a rivalry (with Chambersburg), but our game (vs. Northern) is just as important, and we're really trying to take it one game at a time."
Like the Greyhounds, Chambersburg (7-5) has been through some ups and downs this season, and could use a win against a solid team such as Ship.
"They're have a really good year, and they're a very good program," Shreffler said. "Ray does a great job with his team year in and year out."
Dunks for Drew
Showcase info: Saturday, at CASHS Field House, benefits the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation.
Matchups: Greencastle vs. Mechanicsburg: Girls, 2:30 p.m.; boys, 4 p.m. ... Chambersburg vs. Shippensburg, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5 for an all-day pass.
Media: Follow @liziarbogast on Twitter all day ... Livestream of all four games will be on GameTimePA.com ... Three custom Snapchat geofilters, sponsored by Summit Health, will be available throughout the day.