GIRLS HOOPS: Greencastle jumps on James Buchanan early
MERCERSBURG -- There were some murmurings that James Buchanan's girls basketball team had a real chance to knock off Greencastle-Antrim in the championship game of the Franklin County Tip Off on Saturday night.
The Blue Devils, who are the defending division and district champs, put that idea to rest quickly.
Greencastle stormed out to a huge lead behind its big three of Jenay Faulkner, Hannah Crist and Meghan Hirneisen, and held the Rockets to just four first-half points in a 57-34 victory.
The Blue Devils (2-0) jumped all over JB (1-1) right out of the gate, using eight points from Crist to build a 13-0 lead. Abby Mackling finally got James Buchanan on the board to make it 13-2, but Greencastle followed with a 21-0 run to go up 34-2. Tristen Amsley scored the last bucket of the half to make it 34-4.
"We heard what was being said, and I think it definitely gave us some motivation," said Crist, who finished with 17 points. "We came out, hit some shots early and really played well."
Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said, "They came out in zone against us, and we really didn't prepare for that. So we just spread the floor, put a player at the foul line and went with the three ball."
The Rockets, however, got nothing going in the first half. They shot just 2-for-29 in the first two quarters and turned the ball over 13 times.
"We scrimmaged on Wednesday, and this is how we looked," JB coach Jen Lauthers said, "but then last night we came out and played great. It's like when one player is off, it's just contagious."
Said Rachel Martin, who finished with six points and eight rebounds for James Buchanan, "We don't lack the talent. We have good players, but I think a lot of it is mental with Greencastle. A lot of this game is about confidence."
For Greencastle, the first half belonged to the big three, who scored all 34 points. Faulkner and Hirneisen both had 12 at the break, and Crist had 10. Faulkner finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, and Hirneisen set a career high with 15 points on 5 of 11 shooting. She also added six rebounds.
"After losing Katie (Gelsinger) and Jane (Herman) from last year, I wanted to step up into that role as another scorer," Hirneisen said. "I worked a lot on my shot in the spring and summer, and It's really paying off."
Rhine said, "If you watch her on tape, she's everywhere on the floor. She's a great kid and has worked hard to get to where she's at with her game."
For James Buchanan, Amsley led all scorers with nine points, and Mackling had eight. Cassidy Martin also added six points.
"We can take a lot away from this tournament," Lauthers said. "We played very well last night, and we can use tonight as motivation."
Greencastle 57, James Buchanan 34
Jenay Faulkner 3-10 9-13 17, Hannah Crist 7-16 0-1 17, Meghan Hirneisen 5-11 3-4 15, Morgan Wagaman 2-5 0-1 4, Madison Sweitzer 0-1 0-0 0, Lydia Crist 1-4 0-0 3, Ashley True 0-0 1-2 1, Heidi Schanzenbacher 0-5 0-0 0, Alicen Hoover 0-1 0-0 0. Totals — 18-53 13-21 57.
James Buchanan (34)
Tristen Amsley 4-12 1-3 9, Rachel Martin 2-8 2-2 6, Aspen Anderson 1-6 0-0 2, Madison Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Charity Miller 0-10 0-0 0, Abby Mackling 3-9 0-0 8, Cassidy Martin 3-6 0-0 6, Saige Eckard 1-2 0-0 2, Renee Sollenberger 0-2 1-2 1, Janice Grove 0-2 0-0 0, Nina Shatzer 0-1 0-0 0, Maggie Strawoet 0-1 0-0 0. Totals — 14-59 4-7 34.
Greencastle _ 20 _ 14 _ 14 _ 9 _ — _ 57
James Buchanan _ 2 _ 2 _ 15 _ 15 _ — _ 34
3-point goals — GA 8-29 (H.Crist 3-6, Hirneisen 2-5, Faulkner 2-9, L.Crist 1-3), JB 2-15 (Mackling 2-4).