When a Public Opinion sports reporter arrived at McConnellsburg High School at 6:20 last Friday night, she saw a sign posted on the door stating simply, "Filled to capacity. No admission."

It was more than an hour before the scheduled tip-off, and she had to be ushered in by a security guard. That's how much hype surrounded the Spartans' boys basketball game against Southern Fulton.

McConnellsburg's gym's official capacity is 698 people, according to Spartan athletic director and boys basketball coach Dane Pollock, and there was not an empty seat in the house. The reporter has since learned that, according to a post on Facebook, Debbie Buterbaugh was the last paying customer at 6 p.m.

"It's awesome; it's great for them to have that excitement here," SF coach Kent Hendershot said. "They've been down a lot of years, and they have a very nice club now. They should be packed watching them play because it's a good group of kids and a good club. We're going to have to see them again, probably twice, so it just adds to it."

JB BOYS ARE MOVIN' ON UP: James Buchanan's boys basketball team has moved up to No. 11 in the District 3 Class AAA power rankings and is now the second-highest ranked team in the area behind Greencastle-Antrim's girls (No.7).

JB is well deserving of the jump, though - it was ranked just 14th last Wednesday. The Rockets (10-4, 5-2 Mid Penn Colonial) are on a four-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 250-181 during that span.

In the last four games, five different Rockets have posted double-digit scoring performances. Ryan Hege has done it three times, and Zach Vosburg and Gage Piper have both achieved the feat twice. Hege posted a pair of double-doubles, and Vosburg had 10 points and 11 rebounds against Boiling Springs.

The defense has been equally as impressive. None of the last four opponents has scored more than 48 points against the Rockets.

COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: The number of Franklin-Fulton basketball players to reach 1,000 career points this season could reach four on Friday.

Greencastle-Antrim's girls hoops team hosts Shippensburg, and senior point guard Hannah Crist is a mere 17 points away from the milestone.

There are a few more boys that are now on the radar as well. A trio of local juniors - Southern Fulton's Dylan Gordon (870 points), Shalom Christian's Jonah Stains (819) and Greencastle's Casey Hoover (791) - all have the potential to hit the mark this season.

DECISION COMING SOON: Chambersburg is in the final few stages of hiring its new football coach. This week, second round interviews with the final three candidates were conducted by the committee charged with selecting a new coach.

It is hoped that the committee's choice will be made by Monday and the school board approval could be made at its Jan. 27 board meeting.

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