Chambersburg's boys basketball team received a harsh wake-up call Thursday.
After opening the season with a pair of 14-point wins, the Trojans were introduced to their Mid Penn Commonwealth Division schedule. Central Dauphin East, picked third in the preseason coaches poll, started on a roll and picked up a 66-45 victory.
Chambersburg (2-1, 0-1 MPC), which suffered a long losing streak midway through last season, knows it needs to quickly regroup ahead of its crossover with Cedar Cliff on Saturday.
"(CD East) played a phenomenal basketball game, and they're a really good team," Trojan coach Shawn Shreffler said. "I think they'll be fighting for 6A gold in our district; I have that much respect for them."
Early on, the Panthers (4-0, 2-0 MPC) certainly looked like a district contender. They jumped out to an 18-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.
"They're just a really good team, to be honest," Chambersburg senior Cole Christian said. "It was tough. They seemed a little more energetic than we were, and we just couldn't really get back on a roll. Every time we tried to hit them, they would just come right back at us."
After an invasion of sickness this week, the Trojans did not start Christian, ByShawn Mincie or Jacob Brouse, and it showed.
Just two and a half minutes into the game, CD East had a 9-2 lead. And its aggressive board play led to a 15-2 advantage for East later in the quarter.
"(Assistant) coach (Randy) Taylor put it in a pretty good way," Christian explained. "He said that after the first quarter, we kind of became unglued as a team. We started chirping at each other, and we weren't really communicating to bring the team back together as a whole. If we can do that, we'll be better off."
After the opening frame, the Panthers held only a 48-41 advantage the rest of the game.
"I thought there were moments that we did (respond well)," Shreffler said. "Moments that we took the fight to them. We attacked the basketball, and we weren't being as finesse as we were earlier in the game.
"The guys know that we're not as bad as what the score would indicate, so they're going to work hard and get better. The next time out, we'll do a better job than we did tonight, that's for sure."
Notes: Christian led Chambersburg with 9 points, while Cade Whitfield followed right behind with 8 ... CD East's Justin Henry exploded for seven 3-pointers and 23 total points ... Evan Chandler (13 points) and Brennen Jackson (12) were also big contributors for the Panthers.
Check out the top three plays from Chambersburg's boys basketball team in a 66-45 loss at the hands of Central Dauphin East. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com