Is Greencastle beatable in MPC Colonial?
The best plays from Greencastle-Antrim's 59-37 victory over Waynesboro on Tuesday night in boys basketball. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
It's starting to become a harder and harder feat.
All have tried, and all have failed, and Greencastle-Antrim is now officially the team to beat in Mid Penn Colonial Division boys basketball.
"You're asking me if they're beatable after a 20-some point loss," said Waynesboro coach Tom Hoffman on Tuesday night, "and I'm crazy enough to say absolutely."
The Indians were the latest to try to take down G-A. But like those that came before them, Waynesboro fell behind early and never recovered in a 59-37 loss.
Greencastle (8-4, 6-0 MPC) has now worked through all six of its Mid Penn Colonial Division opponents with an unblemished record. And, really, no one has even come close. Northern York gave G-A the biggest run for its money, but the Polar Bears were still knocked down, 69-52.
The Blue Devils have won their league games by an average of 23 points, out-scoring their opponents, 379-241.
"When we play with energy, we're going to be really tough to beat," Greencastle coach Rick Lewis said. "When we shoot like that (47 percent from the field vs. Waynesboro), it's gonna be tough to beat us."
Waynesboro isn't counting itself out yet, though. Although the Indians (7-5, 4-2 MPC) have taken back-to-back losses, they know they didn't put on their best show Tuesday night.
"Whenever it comes to our home game (Feb. 3 vs. G-A), the atmosphere is going to be totally different, and the game is going to be very, very different," 'Boro senior Mitch Neterer said. "This game is going to be our lowest moment, and we're going to use it to springboard onto the next game. We have to use this as motivation to do better."
Much like against Shippensburg last Friday, Greencastle came out like it had something to prove. And just like against Ship, the Blue Devils rocketed out to a 10-0 lead before forcing a quick timeout.
Waynesboro never cut the deficit to single figures after the first quarter.
"We were shell-shocked, and that's disappointing with a group of seniors leading the way," Hoffman said. "Basically, it was like a heavyweight fight, and they came out and punched us two or three times, and we had no idea what to do. We just took it, like we were surprised they were quick and aggressive."
Although Greencastle has been untouchable the first time around the division, it's definitely not going to count its chickens before they hatch. The Blue Devils still have to take trips to Waynesboro, Northern and Big Spring, as well as host two-time defending champion Shippensburg in the second half of the season.
"I think the league is very good and very underrated this year," Lewis said. "Northern is going to be a bear to deal with; Waynesboro is going to be loaded for us when we go there; and Shippensburg with (Carter) Van Scyoc and (Cody) Gustafson, they'll be a handful again. It's nice to get a two-game lead on everybody, but we just have to keep playing."
So, what is it going to take for someone to dethrone the Devils?
"Match the toughness with which they play," Hoffman said simply. "And tough isn't getting an and-one and getting in a guy's face. It's not pushing and shoving. Basketball to me has always been about if-then statements. Every time there's an action, there's a right play as a reaction. Toughness is mentally doing what you know you know you're supposed to do."
Against a team like Greencastle, though, it's not going to be easy.