SHIPPENSBURG - You could take your pick of two strong reasons why Shippensburg was the team celebrating Friday night and Red Lion was the team contemplating the offseason.
The Greyhounds dominated the boards, and they also played several defenses that were equally effective against the Lions.
The result was a 46-34 Ship victory in a District 3 Class AAAA boys play-in game that reversed a 55-41 win by Red Lion in December on the same court.
Shippensburg (17-7) will play at No. 1 seed Central York (20-2) on Wednesday in the first round. The Lions finished with a 12-12 record.
"I think the last time we played them, they won the boards 28-17," Ship forward Teagan Staver said. "I think this time Wade (Mills) might have gotten 17 on his own."
Red Lion coach Steve Schmehl said, "They are bigger and they controlled the rebounding this time. They played hard and they beat us physically."
Lions guard Jamel Foster, who kept his team afloat with four 3-pointers, said, "They are much bigger and tonight they played bigger, too. I think we have the talent, but they played harder than us."
What made it worse for the Lions was that their off-shooting night created more boards for the Hounds to grab - Red Lion made only 12 of 46 shots (26%). Chalk that up to a strong Shippensburg defense, whether it was a 2-3 zone or a triangle-and-two setup, which Schmehl said his team had not seen this year.
Ship coach Ray Staver said, "We executed our defensive game plan to a 'T.' Having played them before, I think we understood them, and I think my staff did a really nice job of recognizing their substitutions. When they had their extra shooter in, we went to the 2-3 and when they didn't, we used the triangle. I think their non-shooters scored only one basket when we were in the triangle."
Other than Foster (12 points) and Gary Hunt (13), the rest of the team scored only nine points. And Ryan Schreckengast, who scored 15 in the first game vs. Ship, was held scoreless Friday, going 0-for-5.
Meanwhile, Teagan Staver tallied 17 points, which is a career high. Mills, who unofficially secured 14 rebounds, also scored 11 points and each one had a dunk and several blocked shots.
"We were giving them only one shot," Teagan Staver said, "and when they went inside early I think we blocked their first two shots. That will stay in your memory and make a difference later."
The Greyhounds' offense was not prolific, but it was effective.
Point guard Cody Gustafson said, "We wanted to be patient. In the playoffs, you only want to take the kind of shots you should be taking."
When Red Lion turned to a press to force the issue, the Hounds turned it into an advantage for them.
"The first time we played, their press hurt us," Gustafson said. "This time it didn't, and when you beat a press, they'll get out of it."
Ray Staver said, "I had noticed that when you do beat their press, and got past that first line, you could usually have somebody open at the other end. And it's good to have somebody like Wade be that guy."
Shippensburg 46, Red Lion 34
Red Lion (34)
Wyatt Tyson 0-4 2-4 2, Gary Hunt 5-14 1-1 13, Jamel Foster 4-9 0-0 12, Bennett Frey 1-7 0-0 2, Kendrick Boyd-Gillespie 2-7 1-2 5, Ryan Schreckengast 0-5 0-0 0, Derek Urey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 12-46 4-7 34.
Cody Gustafson 1-3 2-6 4, Wade Mills 5-7 1-2 11, Teagan Staver 5-13 6-6- 17, Shuntan Hickman 3-7 0-0 6, Carter Van Scyoc 1-9 3-6 5, Adam Houser 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton Stine 1-2 0-0 3, Payton Fridinger 0-0 0-0 0, Garret Cavanaugh 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 16-41 12-20 46.
Red Lion _ 6 _ 8 _ 10 _ 10 _ — _ 34
Shippensburg _ 7 _ 11 _ 12 _ 16 _ — _ 46
3-point goals — RL 6-19 (Foster 4, Hunt 2), Ship 2-5 (Staver, Stine).