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Shippensburg boys ousted by New Oxford

New Oxford's game plan worked to a T.

A strong 3-point shooting team, the Colonials wanted to get behind the arc and they wanted to key in on Shippensburg's inside threat, Carter Van Scyoc.

They did both of those quite well and earned a berth in the state tournament with a 64-59 boys basketball win over the Greyhounds in a District 3 Class 5A consolation basketball game Monday.

"With them to have size and still be able to shoot like that, that's really tough," Ship sophomore Adam Houser said. "Closing out was tough because they can always dish back inside. That's something we really pushed was getting out to their shooters, and we needed to do it better."

Finishing with a total of 10 3-pointers, New Oxford at one point was 9-for-17 from 3-point range.

Especially in the first half, during which the Colonials built a 39-25 lead, New Oxford seemingly couldn't miss from beyond the arc.

"They play a lot of different types of zone, and that means you're going to give something up," New Oxford coach Sean Bair said. "We have over 200 (3-pointers) on the season, and that's kind of what we hang our hats on. We thought there might be a chance to get a few good looks, and in the first half, we got a lot of them."

In true Shippensburg style, the Greyhounds put up a tough fight at the end. Despite trailing by as many as 22 points in the second half, the Hounds put on the defensive brakes and started hitting some shots of their own. They cut it to five points and had a chance to make it a one-possession game before a Jordin Brown longball sealed the deal for good.

"In football, we came back against (Bishop) McDevitt, and a lot of the guys that played on that team play basketball, too," Van Scyoc said. "We played them the first game of the season, and we were down by 18 and cut it to five then, too. Again, we fought back until the end, but it just didn't fall our way."

Van Scyoc, the Hounds' leading scorer, was under pressure all evening.

Every time Van Scyoc got his hands on the ball, at least two Colonials swarmed him.

"Tonight we tried to put some length and some size on him and double him up," Bair said. "We tried to make his life as tough as possible; the more we could make him work for it, the better it was going to be for us. But he's relentless and such a tough kid. He plays through everything."

Van Scyoc still finished with 20 points, while Cody Gustafson added 16 for the Hounds. Brady Kuhn had nine, including six points in the first quarter.

"(Ben) Lehman did a pretty good job with helping (John) Wessel," Van Scyoc said. "Whenever they were on me, it was two 6-foot-5 guys, and I really tried to pass out of it, but I couldn't even see. I thought I did an all right job there the first couple minutes, getting it to Brady and Cody. I was just trying to distribute whenever they came to double."

Despite falling just short of a state playoff bid twice, Shippensburg continues to make strides with its boys hoops program, and it doesn't expect to stop here.

"The division is something of course we want back," Houser said. "But this guy behind me (Van Scyoc) is going to do great things next year, so it's going to be interesting how things pan out."