With a division rival looming on the horizon, it can be hard to remain focused on the task at hand, especially if that task involves facing a non-division opponent.
Greencastle-Antrim may have fallen victim to that when taking on Delone Catholic as the Blue Devils found themselves in a 14-point hole at halftime before storming back for a 51-45 victory in boys' basketball action Saturday night at Greencastle.
The two-time defending Mid-Penn Colonial champion Devils will put their 19-game division winning streak on the line when they hit the road to take on Gettysburg (4-0) at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
"I think the guys had Gettysburg on their minds until they fell into a hole," G-A head coach Gary Martin said. "Then they realized that they were playing Delone tonight and that they needed to focus on that and worry about Gettysburg starting tomorrow."
Delone (2-1) broke open a 12-12 game with a 14-0 run to end the first half as the charge was led by junior Andrew Austin, who put in seven of his team-high 17 points in the frame.. Austin added 11 boards and four assists in the game.
"I knew Austin played well tonight," Delone head coach Jim Dooley said. "but I didn't know he played that well."
G-A (3-1) began its climb back into the contest in the third quarter by quickly cutting the deficit in half and trailed 34-31 heading for the final stanza.
Austin's trey to start the fourth quarter doubled the Squire lead, but the Devils ran off the next eight and Zach Faulkner's trifecta from the right corner with 4:58 left gave them their first lead since early in the second quarter.
Delone took the lead back on its ensuing possession when Tanner Orndorff found the range from beyond the arc with 4:26 left, but Danny Stepler had the answer for the hosts to put them ahead for good with 3:31 left.
Brett Smith's floater in the lane cut the lead to 43-42 with 2:19 to go, but Stepler again had the answer with a hoop at 2:03.
For the night, Stepler made all seven of his field goal attempts to finish with 17 points, while Faulkner led all scorers in the game with 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
"Zach Faulkner and Danny Stepler really stepped up big tonight," Martin said. "They made the plays that we needed to have to get the win."
Devon Moore drew the Squires within 49-45 with 0:23 left, but they got no closer.
After holding the Devils to 5-of-22 shooting in the first half, the Squires allowed them to shoot 14-of-28 in the second half and left Dooley looking for answers.
"I thought we had every opportunity to win this game, but we allowed dribble-drive penetration, second shots and threw the ball in the bleachers too much in the second half," he said. "It takes more than a good half to beat a good team, it's gotta be the whole game."
Austin was joined in double figures by Smith and Moore, both of whom put in 10 points.
DELONE CATHOLIC (45)
Brett Smith 4 2-2 10, Devon Moore 3 4-5 10, Wiles 1 0-0 2, Andrew Austin 7 2-5 17, Orndorff 2 0-0 6, Kilkelly 0 0-0 0, Altland 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-12 45.
Scott 2 1-2 5, Zach Faulkner 6 3-4 18, Baker 2 0-0 5, Englehart 0 0-0 0, Danny Stepler 7 3-6 17, Montedoro 0 0-0 0, Zola 2 2-4 6, Puffenbarger 0 0-4 0. Totals 19 9-20 51.
Delone Catholic 7 19 8 11 -- 45
Greencastle-Antrim 8 4 19 20 -- 51
3-point goals -- Delone Catholic 3 (Orndorff 2, Austin); Greencastle-Antrim 4 (Faulkner 3, Baker).
JV score -- Delone Catholic 51, Greencastle-Antrim 37.