MERCERSBURG - On Tuesday night, the Shippensburg Greyhounds boys basketball team - riding a six-game winning streak - traveled to James Buchanan to take on an improving Rockets team.
James Buchanan put up a fight early, finishing the first quarter with a 15-14 lead, but eventually fell to the to Greyhounds 57-40 in a Mid Penn Colonial Division game.
The Rockets (5-3, 2-2 MPC) out-hustled Shippensburg in the opening quarter, capitalizing on iffy rebounding by the Greyhounds as forward Ryan Hege scored JB's first eight points en route to a first quarter lead.
“Our general philosophy is to get Ryan a touch inside and then play in and out,” James Buchanan coach Larry Strawoet said, “We did that well in the first quarter, but then we got away from it.”
Shippensburg (7-1, 5-0 MPC) began to click in the second quarter and quickly reclaimed the lead. The Greyhounds hit three 3-pointers to cap off a 19-point second quarter that gave them a 33-25 lead going into halftime.
Ship coach Ray Staver said, “We were really getting hurt in the first half on second chance points; we didn’t rebound well. We spent probably the first two minutes of halftime talking about boxing out and rebounds, that all five guys on the floor have to do it”
Coming out of the half you could tell that Shippensburg had regained its focus. They shut the Rockets down on defense, holding them to only 15 points in the entire second half while scoring with ease of the offensive end. Hound forward Wade Mills took over in the second half, blocking multiple shots and grabbing double-digit boards on his way to a 13-point performance.
“I really tried to get on the boards like I do every night. That’s what I focus on the most because if I can get offensive boards and put the ball in, I can help my team win,” Mills said. “They were killing us on the boards, so we came out in the second half really working on boxing out.”
Shuntan Hickman also had a strong game for Ship. Hickman hit two timely 3-pointers and had a beautiful drive to the basket that drew oohs and ahhs from even the James Buchanan crowd.
“That Hickman kid made some shots that I just don’t know how you defend. I mean honestly, he hit a couple of really nice stepbacks - he’s a really nice player,” Strawoet said.
Shippensburg 57, James Buchanan 40
Shuntan Hickman 5-9 2-6 14, Wade Mills 5-8 3-7 13, Cody Gustafson 3-7 3-4 10, Carter Van Scyoc 4-7 2-2 11, Teagan Staver 2-5 0-1 5, Garret Cavanaugh 2-3 0-0 4, Clayton Stine 0-2 0-0. Totals — 21-41 10-20 57.
James Buchanan (40)
Cody Tacker 5-10 0-0 11, Ryan Hege 4-8 2-2 10, Toby Sowers 4-8 0-0 8, Zach Vosburg 0-3 4-4 4, Jared Pine 1-4 0-0 3, Gage Piper 1-8 2-2 4, Hunter Sowers 0-4 0-0, Kyle Buchanan 0-2 0-0, Micah Wise 0-1 0-0, Justin Helman 0-0 0-1, Ryan Wassil 0-1 0-0. Totals — 15-50 8-9 40.
Shippensburg _ 14 _ 19 _ 10 _ 14 _ — _ 57
James Buchanan _ 15_ 10 _ 5 _ 10 _ — _ 40
3-point goals: Ship 5 (Hickman 2, Gustafson, Van Scyoc, Staver), JB 2 (Pine, Tacker).
JV score — Shippensburg 45, James Buchanan 41. Austin Taylor scored 9 for Ship.