Waynesboro's bench sparks win vs. Shippensburg
Shortly after Friday night's boys basketball game, Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman was asked, "Did you ever think you'd win a basketball game when Cameron Keck had only three points?"
Hoffman answered simply: "Probably not."
But the Indians got a spark from a few unlikely suspects to close a first-half gap before earning a 46-43 defeat of Shippensburg in a Mid Penn Colonial Division matchup.
Down 19-10 midway through the second quarter, the Indians (12-6, 8-2 MPC) needed to get something going. Their offense looked out of sorts, and their shots weren't falling. Moreover, leading scorer Keck found himself quickly in foul trouble.
But Keck taking a seat may have been a blessing in disguise for the Indians.
As bench players Trevor Jones, Jay Alvarez, Nick Sims and Derek Buhrman got a few minutes on the court, the Greyhound lead quickly started to dwindle.
With 1:30 left in the first half, Sims banked in a layup to give the Indians their first lead of the game. From there, Shippensburg (11-5, 7-3 MPC) never recovered.
"I know when the starters were in, they were running a triangle-and-two," Jones said. "When we came in, they went back to regular man. We took advantage of that, and brought the hype and worked out of it."
Hoffman said, "I can't say enough about our bench. Lately, some of our main guys have been playing at a very high level, so we've probably shortened the bench a little bit. But we don't win this game without those guys. They got that opportunity for a variety of reasons and actually brought us back in the game."
Although Waynesboro's lead grew as large as 10 points, the Hounds kept trying to chip away at it.
Despite another strong offensive game from Cody Gustafson (16 points) and Carter Van Scyoc (14) points, the rest of the Greyhounds contributed just 13 total points.
When the Hounds started to trail, their offense looked like it quickly hit the panic button.
"We like to play fast, so I think whenever we start playing too fast, that happens," Gustafson said. "If we get down by five, we try to get all five points on one possession, and that can't happen, obviously. We just have to control ourselves."
Mathematically, Shippensburg has been eliminated from Colonial Division contention, but the District 3 Class 5A playoffs are still looming.
While 'Boro jumped to 11th in the power rankings, the loss dropped the Hounds to 13th with five games left in the regular season.
"I think we need to really solidify our defense," Ship coach Ray Staver said. "The other night down at Big Spring, we played pretty solid defense for three and a half quarters, but at the end, it got away from us a little bit. You're not going to win in the playoffs if you don't play solid defense for four quarters."
Check out the best plays from Waynesboro's 46-43 victory over Shippensburg in Friday night's boys basketball game. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com