Shalom, Forbes Road face good test before playoffs
Check out the best plays from Forbes Road and Shalom Christian's boys basketball game on Monday night. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
When Forbes Road and Shalom Christian Academy meet on the boys basketball court, it's usually a good matchup.
Monday night's non-league contest was no different.
After a nip-and-tuck first half that featured several lead changes, Shalom finally started to run away with it late in the third quarter. The Flames held off any attempt at a Forbes Road comeback and secured a 61-49 victory.
"I feel like they stepped it up on their defense, and just kind of shut us down on what we were getting going," Cardinals senior Aaron Schepis said. "But we told ourselves to dig deep and not to let it get out of control. We want to give it everything we've got until it's over."
Midway through the third, Forbes Road (11-7) took a 34-32 lead before the Flames (16-6) played some shut-down defense and took a 45-34 lead into the fourth.
But the Cardinals weren't done yet. They cut the deficit to as few as four points with 2:58 left, but Shalom was strong from the foul line to ensure the win.
"I know for me, I gotta keep my mental state up because if I go down, the whole ship sinks," Shalom's Jonah Stains said. "I felt like Chase (Martin), especially with Aaron on him, kept his cool, and that positive energy spread throughout. Everyone kind of picked up where they were lacking."
Despite the loss, the tough competition helped Forbes Road learn some lessons about itself before heading into the final few games of the regular season.
"(Playing a game like this) shows you the kind of teams that you're going to have to play, and it exposes what you need to work on," Schepis said. "I feel like we need to come into practice and focus a little bit more, and we have to prepare better for the big games that we gotta play in."
Brycen Hohman led the Cardinals with 17 points, and Schepis scored 11. Matt Brown and Owen Gilbert finished with seven points apiece.
Forbes Road coach Trent Black said that well-rounded offense is going to be a key moving into the postseason.
"So far, we're striding along well," he said. "We played a good team tonight, and we battled as good as we could. Going into (playoffs), we just have to keep executing what we know we can."
Flames coach Danley Shank mirrored those sentiments. Leading scorers Stains and Cameron Roseman contributed 21 and 19 points, respectively, while Micah Lehman scored 10 and Martin had nine.
"That's one of the key indicators on if we're going to be able to compete for a (Mason-Dixon Christian Conference) championship," Shank said. "Everybody knows Jonah and Cam's capabilities, and at times, teams will game plan to take them away. If we don't have other guys ready, we can get ourselves in trouble."