Littlestown defense lifts Bolts
Littlestown put the clamps on Biglerville in the fourth quarter and the Thunderbolts rallied for a 62-54 victory in YAIAA Division III boys' basketball action Tuesday night.
For three quarters, Canners sophomore Cody Shaffer terrorized the Bolts as he knocked down 8-of-10 shots from beyond the arc. He had 24 points heading into the fourth quarter.
Enter Bolts junior Tanner Noble.
Noble locked Shaffer down in the fourth quarter, not only keeping him scoreless, but Shaffer didn't even get off a shot.
"I challenged Tanner last summer to be our best defender and he's stepped up to the challenge," Littlestown head coach Scott Motter said. "He was asking for the assignment at halftime, and we went to it in the fourth quarter. We went box-and-1, which I don't like to do, but Shaffer was so hot that he forced us to do it."
Littlestown (3-2, 3-1 Division III) trailed 47-41 early in the fourth quarter, but Littlestown's 15-5 run put the Bolts ahead to stay.
Littlestown scored 21 of the game's final 29 points.
Brady Topper's long ball from the top of the key made it 54-52 with 1:52 to play.
Topper also scored on the Bolts' next possession to make it 56-52. A hoop by Tyler Barthel and a pair of free throws from Topper and Avery Eyler in the last 23 seconds put the game away.
"Our kids have to realize that when it's late and we have the lead that we can't take bad shots," Biglerville head coach Steve Elsier said. "We were in the bonus and should've been driving to the basket, trying to get fouled. We have to learn how to finish games, and that's a youth issue. It's not effort, the kids played hard. It was execution."
The game was tied, 21-21, to start the third quarter, but an explosive frame from both sides finished with Biglerville in front, 46-41.
Shaffer pocketed all five of his 3-point attempts in the quarter, while Topper buried a trio of triples in the quarter to keep the Bolts in it. In all, the sides combined for 11 3-pointers in the quarter.
Topper, the only senior on the Littlestown roster, scored 21 points to lead the way, while Barthel had 13 points and 13 boards and freshman Logan Collins chipped in with 11 points.
"Brady is our senior and our leader, we'll go where he leads us this year," Motter said. "We've got guys that are shooting the ball with a lot of confidence right now."
Conner Griest 1 2-4 4, Cody Shaffer 8 0-0 24, Nick Bell 2 1-3 5, Noah Ayers 3 4-6 10, Drew Riley 1 0-0 2, Gavin Parker 0 0-0 0, Dalton Cox 4 1-1 9. Totals — 19 8-14 54.
Brady Topper 7 2-2 21, Avery Eyler 1 2-2 4, Tanner Noble 1 0-0 2, Tyler Barthel 6 1-2 13, Russell Livesay 2 2-2 6, Logan Collins 4 0-0 11, Bryson Eyler 2 0-0 5. Totals — 23 7-8 62.
Biglerville _5 _16 _25 _8 - _54
Littlestown _10 _11 _20 _21 - _62
3-point goals - Big 8 (Shaffer 8), Lit 9 (Topper 5, Collins 3, B. Eyler)
J.V. Score - Biglerville 46, Littlestown 41