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Trojans’ defense too tough for Huskies

Turnovers doom Huskies in loss

Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County's Xavier Vega, left, breaks through Chambersburg defenders Henry Shearer and Branden Byers, right, Wednesday in Lewistown.

LEWISTOWN – The top defense in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth looked the part as Chambersburg used its half-court press to perfection forcing 21 turnovers with 17 steals to pull out the 58-33 win over Mifflin County in boys basketball on Wednesday.

The Trojans (9-4, 6-2) came into the contest giving up only 44 points per game and recently held Harrisburg to 28 and Central Dauphin 37. The Huskies (0-12, 0-9), last in the league in scoring at 32 points a game, had to play without leading scorer and rebounder Connor Cherry for the second-straight game.

“They are so fundamentally sound in what they do defensively, playing up the line and they have the great help defense behind. It really takes a conscious effort to move the ball and you have to make them work,” Mifflin County coach Scott Gaffey said. “You’re not going to be able to score against them in the first 30-40 seconds of your offense because they play such good defense. Early on they had us stalled offensively. We had too many unforced turnovers against their 1-2-2.”

Mifflin County played competitive basketball most of the time but still weren’t able to put a complete four quarters together. This time it was the first and third when the gremlins came.

Chambersburg jumped out to a 15-2 lead after one, thanks to seven points by Braden Byers, who finished in double digits with 11. The Trojans won the third 17-5 to open up an insurmountable 43-17 advantage. 6-2, 230-pound power forward Terell Williams had 11 of his game-high 13 points in the quarter. Williams, first-team Mid-Penn in football, finished with nine rebounds and three steals.

“Williams and some of the other guys are just so good on the offensive glass with their athleticism. Even when you get stops they are there to clean up shots and I really think that was the difference with them stretching the lead out early in the game,” Gaffey said. “We struggled with the half-court trap early on. Once we got our feet under us we were able to find the openings and we kind of settled into it, we got a lot better.”

Down 26-4, the Huskies went on an 8-0 run to close the gap to 26-12 at the half. Xavier Vega and Tyler Metz hit from three and Connor Zimmerman had a layup during the run.

“I didn’t like our offense to start the game, but our defense played well in the second quarter and we had a run late in the second that got us back in it,” Gaffey said. “We shored up our defense. It really could have been 18-12. I’m proud of our guys for the effort and the fight to continue to get better.”

After an ice-cold third, Mifflin County continued to play hard, winning the final frame 16-15 with Metz and Jace Shoemaker combining for eight points. Metz led the Huskies with nine points. Xavier Vega had seven points and eight boards from his point-guard spot. The Huskies held their own on the boards (23-15 Trojans) despite the size advantage of Chambersburg.

“We’ve been preaching to our guys that all five have to rebound. It’s not just the bigs. It’s rebound by committee,” Gaffey said. “This game was much closer than the score would indicate. We took some steps forward tonight. We scored 33 points without our leading scorer against the top defense in the league is pretty good. These games are making us better.”

The Mifflin County JVs lost 43-38. Owen Wise and Cade Penepacker each had 10 points.

Mifflin County travels to Cumberland Valley on Friday.

Chambersburg 58, Mifflin County 33

CHAMBERSBURG

Braden Byers 3 4-6 11, Aaron Maynard 1 1-2 3, Terell Williams 6 0-0 13, Henry Shearer 1 0-0 3, Malaki Blair 1 2-2 4, Gus Mace 2 0-0 6, Trestin Mosima-Hill 1 1-3 3, Carter Sollenberger 3 2-4 8, Brent Byers 2 0-0 4, Eli Shearer 1 0-0 3. Totals: 21 10-17 58.

3-point goals: Mace 2, Braden Byers, Williams, H. Shearer, E. Shearer.

Did not score: Ethan Shreffler, Caden Eby, Hunter Noel, Noah Yeager.

MIFFLIN COUNTY

Xavier Vega 2 2-2 7, Tyler Metz 4 0-0 9, Jace Shoemaker 2 0-0 4, Cade Penepacker 1 0-0 2, Owen Wise 2 0-0 6, Connor Zimmerman 1 0-0 2, Alex Kline 1 0-0 3. Totals: 12 2-2 15.

3-point goals: Wise 2, Vega, Metz.

Did not score: Cole Knable, Ty Felmlee, Mark Shilling, CJ Gill, Eli Pennebaker.

Score by quarters

Chambersburg 15 11 17 15 – 58

Mifflin County 2 10 5 16 – 33

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