WARFORDSBURG - Just call it the Southern Fulton show.
On Thursday night, the Indians put on a pretty incredible display to punch their ticket to the District 5 Class A boys basketball semifinals.
After falling behind 1-0 after a minute of play against Conemaugh Township, it was all Southern Fulton, all the time.
"We wanted to go out and assert our authority," Southern Fulton coach Kent Hendershot said. "We shot the ball extremely well, which makes the game easy. I think our defense feeds off our offense, and rebounding-wise, we dominated underneath. Offensively, I thought we moved the ball well, got good looks and knocked them down."
All of those pieces led to a 62-29 victory for SF, which will face the No. 3-seeded Shanksville (23-1) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Chestnut Ridge. The Vikings were a 72-29 victor over Hyndman in the quarterfinals.
The Indians (19-5) basically had the game won in the first half. They led Conemaugh Township (8-15) at halftime, 42-9. Here's just a few of the reasons SF managed to rack up such a substantial advantage in the opening 16 minutes:
- SF forced 10 Township turnovers, while having just four of its own.
- The Indians shot the ball a staggering 66.7 percent from the floor.
- Southern Fulton had a 21-7 advantage on the boards.
- Conemaugh Township never scored consecutive baskets, while SF had runs of six, 12 and 17 points.
- Mike Roman was the only player to score for CT in the second quarter, and he had just one free throw.
"Our defense is just crazy if you're not used to it," SF senior Trent Rider said. "We shot the ball well and distributed the ball well, too. No one player put us over the edge; we shared the ball tonight."
Township coach Charles Lesko said, "When you don't covert on the easy ones that you have, the frustration mounts. Against a good team like Southern Fulton, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you get, and we just did not do that. Sometimes you're out-manned and you're out-gunned, and certainly we were tonight."
Another thing SF gained from having such a dominating victory was the ability to rest some players ahead of a tough semifinal matchup. With just over three minutes left in the third quarter, Zach Clark banged a 3-pointer then hit a layup to push the Indians' lead to 55-12 and start a running clock. Hendershot asked for a timeout, and his starters never entered the game again.
"They came out and obviously wanted to play with us," Clark said, "but we had to jump out on them early. Once we did that, we just kept going and they couldn't answer. We kept pushing and didn't want to let them back in it."
Rider said, "It's fun to see the kids we play against (in practice) on the JV team get in there. It gives us confidence because we know we did the work to get them in the game, and it's fun to sit back and get to watch them play."
Notes: Rider led SF with 18 points, while Clark followed with 13, and Branden Lynch added 8 ... Leading scorer Dylan Gordon finished with just 6 points, but still flirted with a double-double with 9 rebounds and 8 assists ... Township was led by Jordan Poznanski, who drained three 3-pointers in the final quarter and totaled 14 points.
Southern Fulton 62, Conemaugh Twp. 29
Conemaugh Twp. (29)
Chris Alesantrino 1 0-3 2, Mike Roman 0 2-4 2, Tyler Curry 0 0-0 0, Clayton Blough 2 0-0 5, Jordan Poznanski 5 1-1 14, Ryan Cotchen 0 0-0 0, Jeff Tresnicky 0 0-0 0, Jacob Grosik 1 0-0 2, Ethan Leasure 1 0-0 2, Devin Foster 0 0-0 0, Cory Prebehalla 1 0-0 2, Caleb Maurer 0 0-0 0, Dylan Witkosky 0 0-0 0, Tyler Stumpf 0 0-0 0, Tyler Seth 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 3-8 29.
Southern Fulton (62)
Carl Potter 2 2-2 6, Trent Rider 6 5-6 18, Branden Lynch 4 0-0 8, Zach Clark 5 2-2 15, Dylan Gordon 2 2-2 6, Logan Beaty 1 0-0 2, Owen Hawkins 1 0-0 2, Chase Varner 0 0-0 0, Austin Schriever 1 1-5 3, Mitch Potter 1 0-0 2, Dylan Ensor 0 0-0 0, Tanner Elbin 0 0-0 0. Totals — 23 12-17 62.
Conemaugh Twp. _ 8 _ 1 _ 7 _ 13 _ — _ 29
Southern Fulton _ 23 _ 19 _ 15 _ 5 _ — _ 62
3-point goals — CT 4 (Poznanski 3, Blough), SF 4 (Clark 3, Rider).