Protecting the rock: Gettysburg s Trey Thomas, left, is closely guarded by Greencastle-Antrim s Joel Zola on Friday night. The Warriors won, 53-41.
Protecting the rock: Gettysburg s Trey Thomas, left, is closely guarded by Greencastle-Antrim s Joel Zola on Friday night. The Warriors won, 53-41. (Public Opinion/Ryan Blackwell)
By LIZI ARBOGAST

@liziarbogast

GREENCASTLE - Gettysburg just seems to have Greencastle-Antrim's number this year.

When the two Mid Penn Colonial Division boys basketball teams met on Dec. 17, it took extra time for the Warriors to take down Greencastle.

On Friday night, the Warriors put the pedal to the medal in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils 20-7 in the final eight minutes to seal up a 53-41 victory.

"We just had the fire under us; we did not want to let this game go," Gettysburg junior Trey Thomas said. "It was kind of like a championship game for us. We had to come out and get the momentum, and we were just really excited to win this game."

After Greencastle led by as many as six points in the third quarter, Gettysburg's Ben Kroll, who already had four fouls, reentered the game. He downed back-to-back 3-pointers to pull his team within one before the third-period buzzer.

Gettysburg (14-4, 9-0 MPC) then came out with a new sense of self in the fourth. The teams traded a pair of free throws before the Warriors went on a five-point run. Greencastle's Holden Baker attempted to slow the momentum when he bucketed a deep 3-pointer to keep the score close.

Gettysburg followed that with a nine-point run, starting with two charity shots by Cody Kiefer. Thomas began to take over. He started with a nice reverse layup through traffic for two points and earned a foul. He sunk the free throw, and when he pulled down a rebound off Greencastle's ensuing miss, Thomas hit a fastbreak layup to continue his run.

The Blue Devils missed again, and when Gettysburg's Kroll had his shot rim out, Thomas was there for the putback. With two minutes left, it was all but over as the Warriors had a 10-point lead.

"Trey was a monster," Gettysburg coach Jeff Bair said. "Trey is one of those juniors that some days plays like a junior and some days plays like a man. Today, he played like a man. He had to attack, which he did, and he just kept going."

Thomas ended the game with a career-high 29 points, including 11 points in the final quarter. He also collected 10 rebounds and had two blocks.

"I'm really happy (with how I played)," Thomas said. "I did what coach told me to do in terms of just attacking and getting some of their guys into trouble."

In addition to some discipline issues - Gettysburg got to the line 24 times - the Blue Devils (12-3, 6-2 MPC) were also hindered by poor shooting. They finished the game with a 24.1 shooting percentage, and knocked down just 4 of 29 (13.8 percent) in the first half.

The brightest spot for Greencastle was the third quarter, when it outscored Gettysburg 20-11. Joel Zola highlighted the effort with 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

"In that third quarter, we came out determined to win the game," Greencastle coach Gary Martin said. "We took the lead like we wanted to do, then some minor mistakes down the stretch in the fourth had us come out on the wrong side of it."

Zola finished the night with 20 points and had a game-high four 3-pointers.

Greencastle's other top-scorer, Zach Faulkner, was held to just six points. Gettysburg's J.J. Colbert was pegged to mark the point guard, and he did a fine job.

"He did a great job defensively," Thomas said. "He got in Zach's head. He played physical against him, and if you do that, he will get out of the game."

Greencastle's defense wasn't shabby either, though. The Blue Devils held Gettysburg leading scorer Kiefer to just eight points, leaving him 26 points shy of 1,000 for his career. The Warriors' other sharp shooter, Kroll, had just 11 points.

"We really did a good job on Kiefer and Kroll, but another guy (Thomas) stepped up," Martin said. "He had 17 the first (game) and 29 tonight. If we see them a third time, we'll see if we can chip that down a bit, but he had a great game, so hats off to him."

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Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or larbogast@publicopinionnews.com.

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Gettysburg 53

Greencastle 41

GETTYSBURG

Tyler Lampe 2 1-2 3, Trey Thomas 9 11-16 29, J.J. Colbert 0 0-0 0, Ben Kroll 3 3-4 11, Cody Kiefer 3 2-2 8, Colin Bortner 0 0-0 0, Brent Crushong 1 0-0 2, Jason Nye 0 0-0 0, Jordan Nye 0 0-0 0, John Tarbox 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 17-24 53.

GREENCASTLE

Danny Stepler 1 1-2 3, Austin Scott 0 4-4 4, Joel Zola 7 2-2 20, Brandon Puffenbarger 3 0-0 6, Zach Faulkner 2 1-2 5, Holden Baker 1 0-0 3, Matt Montedoro 0 0-0 0, Eli Englehart 0 0-0 0, Jeremiah Barber 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-10 41.

Gettysburg 7 14 11 20 - 53

Greencastle 3 11 20 7 - 41

3-point shots - Get 2 (Kroll 2); GA 5 (Zola 4, Baker 1). Shooting - Get 18-45 (40.0%); GA 14-58 (24.1%). Rebounds - Get 28 (Thomas 10); GA 23 (Scott 7). Steals - Get 1 (Colbert); GA 4 (Faulker 3). Turnovers - Get 5, GA 5. Blocked shots - GA 4 (Puffenbarger 3).

JV: Greencastle 39, Gettysburg 35. Logan Springs led the Blue Devils with 17 points.

Next game: Tuesday, at Boiling Springs, 7:30.