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Top observations from the Franklin Co. Tip-Off

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After winning two games and its fourth-straight Franklin County Tip-Off Championship, it would seem Greencastle-Antrim's girls basketball team is off to a fine start.

But looking more closely, the Blue Devils certainly haven't made it easy on themselves.

Through one quarter of Friday's game versus Chambersburg, G-A led 14-2, and early in the third quarter, it still held a double-digit lead, 30-17. Then slowly but surely, the Trojans started to climb back into things. G-A eked out a five-point win.

Again on Saturday, G-A climbed out to a huge lead. Waynesboro trailed 28-10 early in the third quarter, but the Maidens answered with a nine-point run. Like Friday, G-A had to settle for a narrow, 42-35 victory.

"I really do believe a little of it is depth," Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said. "We are not head and shoulders better than teams anymore talent-wise, so we are going to have to do some things better and work at it every day and see what happens."

Rebounding machines: Through the first two games of the season, Chambersburg's boys are out-rebounding their opponents, 73-41.

And although the Trojans had the distinct height advantage over both Greencastle and Waynesboro, they weren't just using their height to grab balls off the glass.

"Coach preaches to us before every game and every practice that if we win the battle on the boards, we can win the game," Trojan guard Jacob Brouse said. "That's one of our keys going into every game. We're taught to be aggressive and go after them."

In Friday's win over G-A, Chambersburg had five players with at least five rebounds. Guard ByShawn Mincie led the way with eight, Cole Christian added seven, and Cade Whitfield and Evan Shreffler each had six. On Saturday, Whitfield grabbed nine, Brouse added seven, and Christian had six.

"That's awesome," Trojan coach Shawn Shreffler said. "It has to be a collective effort. We just rely on one or two individuals; everyone has to be boxing out and getting boards, and I think we've been doing that. That's been really good to see so many guys getting involved."

Making the most of it: After not starting a lot in his junior year and fighting off an injury that was thought to possibly limit his playing time in Saturday's game against Greencastle-Antrim, Jared Pine led James Buchanan in scoring with 14 points. He had 10 points in Friday night's contest against Chambersburg, which was quite an improvement from previous years.

JB coach Larry Strawoet said, “He had a role last year on the team, and when we lost that group of guys, you have those kids that step up and start pulling the cart, and he’s one of them. He’s a good athlete and he’s got a lot of confidence, which the guys need to have.”

Pine actually credits his time away from the basketball court with some of the improvements.

“I play baseball - that’s my go-to sport - and it's what I did most of the summer," Pine said "Basketball got put a little on the side burner, but I think that’s what helps me, the time away.”

By Kevin Reiber

Some improvement: The Chambersburg girls may have started off stronger than their last game, but turnovers were still an issue in a consolation win over JB.

“We’ve still got way too many in my opinion, and that's causing us problems,” Chambersburg coach Barry Purvis said, “They’re just passes that are inappropriate at certain times.”

Chambersburg did a much better job of handling the press late in the game, which Greencastle had used to create costly turnovers Friday.

“I thought we handled the pressure well when (JB) started pressing us and didn’t turn the ball over,” Purvis said, “And we tried to run our stall game and did a pretty good job with that.”

Hacking hurts: James Buchanan's girls picked up too many costly fouls that sent Chambersburg to the foul line throughout the game. Those fouls resulted in 21 free throws for the Trojans, and slowed down any offensive momentum the Rockets could muster.

“We’re obviously going to foul because we get out of position,” JB coach Jenny Lauthers said. “We just have to try to keep everyone positive and if we send them to the line we try to make sure they don’t get an offensive rebound."

By Noah Shatzer