Bryan Gembe breaks slump in G-A win vs. Ship
It's no secret that Greencastle-Antrim junior Bryan Gembe has been in a bit of a scoring slump.
After averaging double figures a year ago, Gembe has had trouble finding the hoop so far this season. Through the first nine games, he had averaged just 6.4 points per game and surpassed 10 points only twice.
But all that changed Friday night, when Gembe and the Blue Devils smacked Shippensburg to the tune of 72-51 in Mid Penn Colonial Division boys basketball.
Gembe surpassed his season high before the first half concluded, and matched his career high with 21 points on the night.
"I wish there was a secret to shooting well," Gembe said. "Tonight, I was just feeling it. I think for me, it's a matter of my confidence. I knew this was a really big game, and I needed to be confidence in order for us to win. I think that's what really kicked in."
The confidence came early and often, as Gembe sank a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to help Greencastle (7-3, 5-0 MPC) jump out to a 10-0 over the Greyhounds (7-3, 3-2 MPC).
He continued to pour on the offense in the second quarter and finished the opening half with 13 points to his name. His previous season-high was 12.
"There's nothing that helps you more than seeing the ball go through the hoop," G-A coach Rick Lewis said. "What Bryan didn't do tonight was settle for 3-pointers. We know he can shoot 3-pointers, but he has a lot more to his game than that. Tonight, he did that. He drove hard and finished layups."
Greencastle had a strategy to get Gembe going again. Lewis moved Gembe from the inside-post position to the wing, and it greatly improved his game.
"One thing that they did that we had not seen was they moved him off the post, which I thought was a very smart thing," Hounds coach Ray Staver said. "He's a matchup problem for us with the bigger lineup, and we didn't defend him very well."
Lewis said, "Bryan does a lot of other things, too. He passes the ball very well, he rebounds. We didn't talk much about his shooting, but we just kept harping on him to do the other things, and to his credit, he did."
Gembe wasn't the only reason for G-A's onslaught. Ian Gelsinger finished with 14 points, and Brandon Stuhler and Casey Hoover added 13 apiece.
Shippensburg's Carter Van Scyoc scored a career-high 27 points, and Cody Gustafson added 12. But the rest of the Greyhounds combined for only 12 points. The 51 total points by the Greyhounds matched their season low.
"Defense has been a major key for us this year," Hoover said. "That's all we've been talking about in practice. That 2-3 zone, we practice that every single day. It's in the back of our minds all the time, so that's helped us out tremendously this year."
Friday's win was Greencastle's first over Shippensburg since 2012-13.