Beyond the Arc: Shalom locks in No. 1 seed
Watch the top 5 plays from Greencastle-Antrim girls' loss to Susquehanna Township Video by Lindsey Smith
The Shalom Christian girls basketball team has already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference tournament with hopes of making it back to the MDCC final.
"(The No. 1 seed) was a little unexpected," Shalom coach Brad Eby said. "We have been able to see some improvement through the year and its exciting to see the consistency and the maturity. We've been perusing that (championship) for the last four or five years, getting in the final game, and with last year being the favorite to win, the loss was disappointing, but this year we have a real opportunity to get back again and that is exciting."
This year, the Flames (15-6) may see a different opponent in the championship game, with Heritage biting at Shalom's heels for a top seed in the conference tournament. Heritage is also responsible for the Flames' only MDCC loss of the season, but Eby said they can't forget some of the other up and coming talent in the MDCC.
"Heritage will always play you tough and they are definitely a concern, but I wouldn't overlook Calvary Christian," Eby said. "Those girls are very scrappy and I wouldn't underestimate them either."
The MDCC rankings become final as teams finish up the conference schedule. MDCC quarterfinals begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
NEW TERRITORY: The Fannett-Metal girls basketball team is set to make its first appearance in the District 5 Class 1A tournament since the 2012-13 season, when the Tigers' current seniors were in eighth grade and head coach Todd Best was an assistant.
"For me personally, I'm very excited," Best said. "I've been an assistant coach for girls basketball playoffs, boys soccer playoffs, baseball playoffs, but I've never been a head coach in the postseason, so it's definitely exciting and something we've wanted to do the last three years, we've just come up a little short."
In the district's most recent power rankings, released on Feb. 6, Fannett-Metal was ranked fourth. A loss to Northern Bedford this week may knock the Tigers down to fifth, but with the top 6 teams moving on to the tournament, it is likely that F-M (8-10) will see the postseason for the first time in five years. But that's not all Best is hoping for.
With three games remaining in the regular season, Best hopes to perform well enough this coming week to move into the fourth-ranked spot in the district by the cutoff date on Feb. 18, which will allow the Tigers to host a first round playoff game — potentially the girls basketball program's first ever.
The first round of District 5 playoffs begin on Feb. 21.
MOMENT OF GLORY: Prior to this season, Greencastle-Antrim senior Lauren Cole had not participated in a PIAA-sanctioned basketball game since she was in eighth grade.
But since joining the Lady Blue Devil girls basketball team, Cole has been a part of the winning tradition at G-A, playing in nearly every game throughout the season, and Tuesday, Cole had one of those varsity moments.
With four minutes left in regulation, Cole sank the game-tying bucket against Susquehanna Township, followed by an uproar from the G-A home crowd.
"I kind of felt like slow motion," Cole said. "The shot just went off and everyone was flying at me and boxing out and it was just a good moment. It's my first year playing so it feels really good to help the team out and contribute."
The Blue Devils fell to Susquehanna Township 47-42.
RECORD WATCH: McConnellsburg's Bronyne Mellott is just 79 points away from breaking the Spartans' all-time scoring record, held by Marla McElhaney since 1991. The Lady Spartans have one regular season game remaining on Monday against Everett, and could have at least three more games depending on the landscape of the District 5 2A bracket, which will be finalized after Feb. 18.