By taking tremendous care of the ball and knocking down an abundance of 3-pointers, Palmyra High ended Gettysburg's season with a 66-61 victory in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA boys basketball tournament Tuesday night at Gettysburg.
Palmyra (16-7), the 12th seed, made 11-of-23 from beyond the arc and committed just one turnover to overcome the Warriors' superior size.
"I knew they'd shoot it well," Gettysburg head coach Jeff Bair said. "We got a lead and I got complacent. We didn't press them nearly enough and allowed them to run their offense too easily."
The win advances Palmyra to the quarterfinals, where the Cougars will tangle with 13th seed Boiling Springs, a 69-64 winner over fourth-seeded Steelton-Highspire, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Carlisle High School.
Gettysburg (16-8) played very well for the first 10 minutes of Tuesday's contest and led 23-14 before senior Cody Kiefer picked up his second foul of the night with 5:32 to go in the first half.
Kiefer sat for the next three minutes and the Cougars were able to tie the game at 25 while he was on the pine.
The Cougars took a 28-27 lead on Adam Newhard's trifecta with 2:04 left until halftime, but a pair of hoops in the last minute of the half by Warrior sophomore Tyler Lampe allowed the hosts to go to the locker room in front, 31-30.
Strong shooting in the third quarter helped Palmyra take a 45-42 advantage going to the fourth quarter.
Once there, the Warriors drew even on Lampe's bucket with 5:31 left, before Palmyra's only turnover of the night with 5:19 to go. Gettysburg failed to take advantage, though, as the Cougars stole the ball back less than 10 seconds later.
"We really pride ourselves on taking care of the ball. That's one of the things we hang our hat on," Palmyra head coach Pete Conrad said. "We play a small lineup that hurts us rebounding, but it helps us to handle the ball better."
Gettysburg then took a 55-53 lead on Trey Thomas' offensive rebound and stickback with 3:19 to go.
The 6-foot-6 Kiefer and 6-foot-5 Thomas gave Palmyra a whole lot of trouble in the paint on both ends as their efforts on the glass led Gettysburg to a 31-21 rebounding edge.
"We knew they would give us problems with Thomas and Kiefer inside," Conrad said. "Thomas is very good inside and Kiefer is good everywhere. He's a very tough matchup since he can score from anywhere."
Trey Baker's third trey of the frame put the Cougars back ahead with 2:50 left, but Lampe had the answer before Newhard hit a 3-pointer with 2:13 to go to put Palmyra in front to stay, 59-57.
Gettysburg trailed 62-57 with 1:26 to play before Kiefer and Ben Kroll's hoops sliced the deficit to 62-61 with 50 seconds to go.
Brad Mackey converted an old-fashioned 3-point play on the ensuing possession with 36 seconds left to give the Cougars some room to breathe.
Mackey came off the bench and provided a spark for the Cougars as he made 5-of-7 from the field and finished with 14 points.
"Brad is a hard worker and he does whatever we need him to do," Conrad said. "Tonight we needed scoring, and he did that well for us."
Baker drained 5-of-10 from deep and finished with a team-high 17 points, while Newhard was 4-of-6 from downtown and scored 14 points.
This is the second consecutive season the Cougars have went on the road in the first round as a lower seed and came away with a victory. A year ago, as the 16th seed, they defeated top-seeded Donegal.
"Having to go on the road to beat Donegal was big for us," Conrad said. "A lot of our guys also played in that game, so they weren't intimidated at all by the stage tonight."
Kiefer scored a game-high 21 points to finish his career with 1,087 points and pulled down eight boards to go along with four assists. Thomas added 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Lampe added 10 points of 5-of-6 shooting.
"Both teams were able to play to their advantages and they made a few more shots than we did," Bair said, "Baker during that one stretch in particular. The shots he hit were huge for them."
Robinson 1 0-0 3, Stovall 2 2-3 6, C. Lynn 4 0-0 9, Trey Baker 6 0-0 17, Graybill 0 2-2 2, Adam Newhard 5 0-1 14, Romanowski 0 1-2 1, Brad Mackey 5 4-5 14. Totals 23 9-13 66.
Kroll 3 0-0 6, Bortner 3 0-0 9, Colbert 1 0-0 2, Tarbox 0 0-0 0, Ja. Nye 0 0-0 0, Cody Kiefer 9 1-2 21, Trey Thomas 5 3-6 13, Tyler Lampe 5 0-0 10. Totals 26 4-8 61.
Palmyra 14 16 15 21 -- 66
Gettysburg 18 13 11 19 -- 61
3-point goals -- Palmyra 11 (Baker 5, Newhard 4, Robinson, Stovall); Gettysburg 5 (Bortner 3, Kiefer 2).