Gettysburg High's Trey Thomas is an excellent soccer player, as evidenced by participating in an Olympic development program based in Philadelphia.
His membership with that program has cost him practice time, along with two games for the Warrior basketball squad.
As a result, the junior, who started 22 times as a sophomore, hadn't started yet this season.
That is, until Monday night when he was in the starting five and scored 17 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 57-54 overtime victory over Greencastle-Antrim in Mid-Penn Colonial action at Gettysburg.
"We knew Trey's athleticism would be an advantage and help us on both ends of the floor," Gettysburg head coach Jeff Bair said of his 6-foot-5 forward. "He's still a little rusty, but he played big for us tonight."
Thomas worked well when receiving the ball at either elbow, putting the ball on the floor and making a decisive move that allowed him to get up a good shot.
He also came up with two enormous defensive plays. The first came when he blocked Elijah Englehart's 3-point attempt from the left corner that would've put the Blue Devils ahead late in overtime.
J.J. Colbert corralled the trifecta attempt and was fouled. He split a pair of charity tosses with 6.1 seconds left to up the Warrior lead to 57-54.
Greencastle-Antrim (3-2, 1-1 Mid-Penn Colonial) advanced the ball to midcourt before calling timeout with 2.5 seconds to play.
The inbounds pass went to Holden Baker in the right corner, where he appeared to have an open look, only to have Thomas close on him, extend his long right arm and get a deflection of Baker's tying attempt, causing it to come up well short to end the game.
"We were looking to get the ball to the top of the key, but they were all over Zach (Faulkner) there," Greencastle-Antrim head coach Gary Martin said. "The corner was our second option on that play. I thought he had a decent shot, but he didn't make it."
Thomas' hoop with 6:18 left in the fourth quarter put the Warriors ahead 44-34, but the Devils weren't about to fold their tent, not with a 19-game division winning streak on the line.
Baker started the visitors' march back into the contest with a trifecta with 5:25 to go in regulation, and they eventually tied the game on Austin Scott's bucket with 3:11 left.
Trailing 49-46, it was Cody Kiefer's turn to play hero for the Warriors and he buried a trey from the right wing to tie it with 1:53 left.
Kiefer had a chance to win it in regulation, but his 3-pointer from the left corner went begging, and the teams were headed to overtime.
"We made it difficult on ourselves by missing some key free throws in the fourth quarter," Bair said. "We had a couple of letdowns on defense that gave them some easy points as well.
"This was just a hard-fought game by both sides. They weren't going to back down, but we weren't going to, either."
The first quarter was tight throughout, with Gettysburg emerging with a 16-12 advantage. Then the Warriors put in nine of the first 11 in the second quarter to take a 25-14 lead on Ben Kroll's free throws with 4:24 left in the first half.
"We tried some gimmick defenses, a triangle-and-two on Kroll and Kiefer, in the first half and got burned on it," Martin said. "We gave other guys some open shots that they hit."
Kroll, who was saddled with foul problems all night before finally fouling out with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter, played just 17 minutes and finished with a season-low eight points.
Gettysburg (5-0, 3-0) held a 27-24 lead into the final minute of the first half before Kiefer's free throws and Tyler Lampe's layup in the last 30 seconds of the half bumped the halftime lead to 31-24.
Despite shooting just 3-of-11 from the field, Kiefer put in 15 points and grabbed nine boards.
Joel Zola led the way for the Devils with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Scott 2 3-4 7, Faulkner 1 4-9 6, Kline 0 0-0 0, Holden Baker 3 2-2 10, Englehart 1 0-0 3, Stepler 1 2-2 4, Montedoro 2 0-0 5, Joel Zola 6 2-3 15, Puffenbarger 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 13-20 54.
Kroll 2 3-4 8, Bortner 2 2-3 8, Colbert 1 1-2 3, Ja. Nye 0 0-0 0, Kiefer 3 8-10 15, Trey Thomas 7 3-4 17, T. Lampe 2 0-0 4, Crushong 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 19-25 57.
Greencastle-Antrim 12 12 8 19 3 -- 54
Gettysburg 16 15 9 11 6 -- 57
3-point goals -- Greencastle-Antrim 5 (Baker 2, Englehart, Montedoro, Zola); Gettysburg 4 (Bortner 2, Kroll, Kiefer).
JV score -- Gettysburg 57, Greencastle-Antrim 43.