Ship downs Exeter to move on to consolation semis
After trailing Exeter Township through three quarters of a District 3 Class 5A consolation quarterfinal game, Shippensburg had to change things up and use its speed to its advantage.
And who better to kick up the pace in transition than Cody Gustafson and Adam Houser?
Gustafson and Houser were the catalysts for a few quick transition buckets to start the fourth quarter as the Greyhounds scored 10-straight points to kick off the final frame, and to take their first lead of the game.
Thanks to their late efforts, Shippensburg won 57-50 over Exeter to move on to the consolation semifinals against New Oxford, which beat Waynesboro 62-52. The Greyhounds will meet New Oxford on Monday at 5 p.m. at East Pennsboro with the winner advancing to the PIAA tournament.
"We went a little 2-3 zone defense on them and got some steals out in front," Shippensburg coach Ray Staver said. "Their big kid (Riley Dobraniecki) blocked a lot of shots; he was probably the best post man we've seen all year, and he really gave us fits trying to get to the rim."
But despite difficulties driving in the paint, Shippensburg made up for it at the line, sinking 22-of-25 foul shots.
Carter Van Scyoc finished with 18 points to lead the Greyhounds, while Gustafson contributed 14. Houser scored eight points.
As for Monday, Shippensburg has a quick turnaround to prepare for New Oxford, which is luckily a relatively familiar opponent to the Greyhounds.
Shippensburg (17-6) lost to New Oxford in its season opener at the Gettysburg Tip-Off Tournament 58-51.
"We are a much different team, and far better now than we were back when we played them on on Dec. 10," Staver said. "I don't think we were ready that night, but I know New Oxford plays a very difficult schedule so they are not going to be easy."
Waynesboro falls to New Oxford: Despite keeping the score close in the first half of the District 3-5A consolation semifinal game against New Oxford, Waynesboro let the third quarter slip away - but in "true Waynesboro fashion, they scratched and clawed back," according to coach Tom Hoffman.
The Indians (14-10) trailed 48-34 to start the fourth quarter but cut the deficit to five with three minutes remaining, but as Waynesboro tried to work the clock, New Oxford took advantage of the multiple fouls and hit its shots to lock in a 62-52 victory to eliminate the Indians.
"We struggled a bit offensively getting easy buckets in the paint," Hoffman said. "We had trouble finishing at times, and getting those 3-pointers is a big p art of what we do, but come playoff time teams are working hard to take that away, so we have to be able to finish."
Cameron Keck led the Indians with 19 points, while Mitch Neterer and Nick Sims each had 8.