BELLEVILLE - Sam Morgan's 20-point night led a trio of players in double figures as Belleville Mennonite advanced to the finals of its own boys basketball tip-off event with a 64-35 win over Great Commission Friday.
Morgan's efforts were supported by 17 points from Austin Byler and 14 by Noah Anders as the Thunder played a dominant game from the start, feeding to the post and finishing well, coach Larry Kauffman said.
"We came out and went up 22-7 in the first quarter, a lot of that triggered by man defense," said Kauffman, who coached the first game of his second stint as bench boss of his alma mater.
Only three players made the score sheet for Great Commission, with Jonah Salyards getting 27 of his team's 35 points.
Belleville Mennonite will play Columbia County Christian, a winner over Northumberland Christian, in the title game today at 3:30 p.m.
Montgomery 43, Midd-West 41
MONTGOMERY - Midd-West came up a bucket short against Montgomery in the Mustangs' boys basketball season opener Friday, which the Red Raiders won 43-41.
Ascher Marks led the Mustangs with 20 points, including a pair from behind the arc.
Midd-West did get a win in the JV game, 49-38.
The Mustangs (0-1) travel to Line Mountain Dec. 13.
Greenwood 52, Spring Grove 42
BOILING SPRINGS - Greenwood might have fallen behind Spring Grove 7-4 to end the first quarter Friday at the Paul Corby Tip-Off Tournament in Boiling Springs, but the Wildcats quickly rebounded to open the boys basketball season with a 52-42 win.
"I thought the fourth quarter we really did a nice job. We had the lead going into that, and we were able to extend it," Greenwood coach Kent Houser said, explaining that the team went 13-for-17 from the charity stripe in the stanza to put the game away.
Adam Harrison had a game-high 17 points, while it was an overall strong team effort to put up the Wildcats' 52 points.
Greenwood (1-0) plays for the championship at 7:30 p.m. today against the winner between Boiling Springs and Northern York.
Great Commission 41, Belleville Mennonite 32
BELLEVILLE - A two-point first quarter might have been the difference between a win and a loss for the Belleville Mennonite girls basketball team Friday, when the Thunder fell to Great Commission 41-32 in the opening round of the Belleville Tip-Off Tournament.
"The first quarter was definitely what hurt us ... we came out strong on defense, but it didn't mean much when we didn't score," Belleville Mennonite coach Ally Zook said.
The Thunders' Grace Peachey had a game-high 13 points, and teammate Mollie Morgan chipped in with eight, but otherwise Belleville Mennonite had trouble scoring.
Zook said the second half the Thunder had better offensive output, but couldn't pull down the boards defensively, giving Great Commission too many second chances.
After a long 2012-13 campaign which included many lopsided losses, Friday's nine-point loss was a double edge sword to Zook, who took encouragement from the team's improvement, but also said "it's more frustrating losing by 10 points rather than 30."
Belleville Mennonite (0-1) plays for third place at 11 a.m. today against Columbia County Christian.
McConnellsburg 68, Mount Union 47
McCONNELLSBURG - Mount Union's bench didn't have enough to overcome McConnellsburg's power freshman in the season opener for both girls basketball teams.
Bronwyne Mellott led the Spartans with 19 points - including 10-of-12 from the line - in a 68-47 win over Mount Union.
"She was very composed," Mount Union coach Jenny Cunningham said of the lefty. "She had a nice shot. She was a good all-around player."
With a starter out due to injury, the Trojans had to count on Gabby Morder and Alexa Knable, both of whom contributed after playing through the JV game, which McConnellsburg also won, 51-42.
Mount Union (0-1) travels to Glendale on Thursday.
Juniata Mennonite 39, Fulton County Christian 33
JOHNSTOWN - Molly Arnold's 20 points - half of Juniata Mennonite's total - helped the Lions in their tournament debut at Cambria County Christian Friday.
Her 17 rebounds and four blocks didn't hurt any, either. Despite troubles all night finding the basket, the local team came out on top, 39-33, over Fulton County Christian for a berth in the tournament final today at 2 p.m. The Lions will play the host, which topped Greer Academy Thursday night.
"We played harder than they did. We got all kinds of good looks but nothing was dropping," Juniata Mennonite coach Andy Meiser said.