BOYS HOOPS: James Buchanan shakes off rough 2nd for victory
MERCERSBURG - Heading into the locker room at halftime on Saturday night, James Buchanan's boys basketball team needed to do some reflection.
After leading by double digits in the opening minutes, the Rockets watched it disappear as they managed three measly points in the second period.
"We had scrimmaged Smithsburg, and we had a similar second quarter," JB guard Gage Piper said. "We had a pretty good first quarter, then a lousy second quarter. We talked about how we picked it up and actually won that game, and we needed to do it again."
The Rockets did just that. They came out swinging early in the third and held off Waynesboro for a 57-44 victory in the consolation game of the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament.
"We were getting impatient offensively, and defensively, we weren't in the right positions," James Buchanan coach Larry Strawoet said. "We made the adjustments to make sure our kids understand where to be. Inserting Jared Pine and some of those guys, they gave us a lot of positive minutes in those situations."
JB (1-1) got some clutch play from a pair of bench players. Pine and Hunter Sowers each finished with six points, and combined for 10 of JB's 16 points in the third quarter.
After holding the Rockets to just one field goal in the second quarter, Waynesboro (0-2) ended up with shooting struggles of its own in the third. The Indians finished shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor and only 22.2 percent in the third frame.
"To take the lead at halftime after being down 17-7, that was a good feeling," Indian coach Tom Hoffman said. "The problem is, the style that we play, it works best when you're putting the ball in the bucket. At the half, 21 points isn't a lot. We'd like to be at least 25-30, so we're having some trouble scoring."
Another thing that seriously hindered Waynesboro was the sheer number of turnovers. The Indians finished with 20 miscues; meanwhile the Rockets had only 12 turnovers after struggling with ball handling the previous night.
"When you only have 44 points, 20 turnovers is 20 opportunities that we could've gotten more points," Hoffman said. "We definitely have to take care of the ball a little bit, but as far as playing with a sense of purpose, I think we did that tonight."
The Rockets just seemed to have a bit more poise. After scoring seven unanswered points to start the third quarter, JB was clutch from the free-throw line down the stretch to ensure the victory. The Rockets were 15 of 18 from the line in the second half, and were paced by Piper, who has a perfect 9-for-9.
"We like to make fun of one of our teammates because we say he never thinks about anything," Piper said. "It's like a hamster up there on a wheel; his brain's not going anywhere. That's what we try to do up there (on the line) -- just not think about much at all."
Piper was JB's second-leading scorer with all 12 of his points coming in the second half. Ryan Hege finished with the game's only double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Cody Tacker contributed 11 points.
For Waynesboro, Kyle Hoffman and Mitch Neterer split 24 points evenly. Evan Hine finished with six points and six boards.
James Buchanan 57, Waynesboro 44
Kyle Hoffman 2 7-13 12, Mitch Neterer 5 1-1 12, Cameron Keck 2 2-3 6, Dakota Rhyne 0 0-0 0, Evan Hine 3 0-0 6, Ogo Akamelu 1 1-2 3, Cal Davis 1 0-0 3, Logan Weibley 0 0-0 0, Jevik Fogelsonger 0 0-0 0, Tim Correll 0 2-2 2, Nick Sims 0 0-0 0, Robert Ni 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 13-21 44.
James Buchanan (57)
Gage Piper 1 9-9 12, Zach Vosburg 2 0-0 4, Toby Sowers 1 0-0 2, Cody Tacker 3 3-4 11, Ryan Hege 6 2-5 14, Kyle Buchanan 1 0- 2, Hunter Sowers 3 0-2 6, Jared Pine 2 1-1 6, Justin Helman 0 0-0 0, Rylan Wissal 0 0-0 0, Micah Wise 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 15-21 57.
Waynesboro _ 9 _ 12 _ 6 _ 17 _ — _ 44
James Buchanan _ 17 _ 3 _ 16 _ 21 _ — _ 57
3-point goals — Way 3 (Hoffman, Neterer, Davis), JB 4 (Tacker 2, Piper, Pine).