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NEW HOLLAND – They say it’s not about how you start.

And thank goodness for that.

Hempfield shook off some dreadful early shooting woes before seizing a 48-31 victory over host Garden Spot Friday night in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1-2 crossover.

Bryan Karl scored a game-high 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Connor Moffatt posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, adding three assists, two steals and two blocks for the third-place Black Knights (11-5, 8-3 Section 1), who pulled to within a game of second-place McCaskey.

Brenden Bradley bucketed 13 points to pace Ryan Trupe’s Spartans (8-7, 5-6 Section 2), who remain in third place in their section. Brett Cataudella grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with six points.

“It was very low-scoring, as you could tell,” Karl said of a game his team led 4-2 after one quarter and just 17-9 at halftime. “We just had to keep playing strong, keep playing good defense, because they didn’t score at all either. Eventually shots will fall, and we’ll do fine.”

The teams shot a combined 14 percent (3 of 21) in the opening quarter, and Hempfield never trailed.

Garden Spot, with a nifty Damian Young-to-Jacob Arndt play to beat the third-quarter buzzer, was down only 27-21 entering the final stanza.

But the Spartans, needing a stop, saw an early Moffatt 3-pointer hit the soft spot in the back of the rim and fall through. Moments later, Karl’s traditional three-point play had the Knights in front 33-21, and Garden Spot’s deficit never again slipped into single digits.

“I thought we defended it pretty well,” Trupe said of Moffatt’s early fourth-quarter trey. “I’ll take that shot. I thought we contested it. Just one of those things where it hit the right part of the rim and rolled in for him. So it kind of just went from six to [12] pretty quick and deflated our guys a little bit. To me, they were the better team tonight.”

Garden Spot finished just 29 percent from the floor (11 of 38), including two makes in 15 tries from the arc. That was a point of emphasis for Knights coach Danny Walck.

“Our defense was rock-solid,” he said. “Because they have the ability to hit some deep 3s on you quick.

“You have to take the 3 away, and taking the 3 away, I think you’ve got to get good ball pressure so they can’t get good looks inside to those guys. They do an excellent job of feeding the big guys [6-6 Cataudella and 6-9 Kyle Gordon] if you help up. We weren’t helping up. We were staying connected to them.”

Hempfield, which won the rebounding battle 35-30 and the turnover battle 14-10, didn’t exactly light it up. The Black Knights finished 36 percent (16 of 45) from the field.

But the defense did the job, with Walck also heaping praise upon forward David Martin.

“We just need to stay strong,” Karl said of the team’s upcoming stretch run. “The season gets long throughout the year. We just need to stay strong, play together, play hard, play smart, then take care of business.”

Morrow on Twitter: @RageAgainstGMo

BOX SCORE

Hempfield 48, Garden Spot 31

 

HEMPFIELD (48)

Ryan Moffatt 1 3-4 5, Connor Moffatt 4 3-4 13, David Martin 1 0-1 2, Bryan Karl 6 1-1 14, Javon Mitchell 2 0-0 5, Jon Gutierrez 0 2-2 2, Andrew Green 0 1-2 1, Keith Robinson 0 0-2 0, Michael Cunningham 1 0-0 2, Will Blair 0 1-2 1, Joey White 1 1-2 3, Matt Hulstine 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 12-20 48.

GARDEN SPOT (31)

Brenden Bradley 4 3-5 13, Brett Cataudella 3 0-0 6, Cameron Sensenig 1 1-2 3, Jordan Shewbridge 0 0-2 0, Kyle Gordon 0 0-0 0, Luis Tamayo 0 0-0 0, Jacob Arndt 1 3-6 5, Joe Craver 1 0-0 2, Damian Young 1 0-0 2, Brady Mellinger 0 0-0 0, Ethan Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 7-15 31.

Hempfield _ 4 _ 13 _ 10 _ 21 _ — _ 48

Garden Spot _ 2 _ 7 _ 12 _ 10 _ — _ 31

3-point goals — Hem 4 (C.Moffatt 2, Karl, Mitchell); GS 2 (Bradley 2).

JV — Hempfield 58, Garden Spot 53.

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