For Public Opinion
GREENCASTLE - Shippensburg boys basketball coach Ray Staver offered no excuses.
"We had our opportunities," Staver said. "We just didn't execute down the stretch."
Zach Faulkner scored 15 points, Danny Stepler added 12 and the Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils held off the pesky Greyhounds 59-56 in a hard-fought Mid Penn Colonial Division matchup Saturday night inside the GASHS gymnasium.
Greencastle-Antrim coach Gary Martin said. "We certainly don't like to do anything easy. We were up by six with about three minutes to go, but we turned it over on a charge, and then we let the (Mac) Miller kid come down and hit a pair of 3s. Eventually, though, we were able to get the job done."
The Blue Devils, who won their second straight since losing to division-leading Gettysburg last Friday, also got double digits from Joel Zola, who finished with 10 on 3-of-12 shooting. Greencastle-Antrim shot 40.3 percent (21-for-52) overall, had 16 assists and committed only 11 turnovers.
But it was all about Faulkner, who had just the kind of game his coach knew he could. The senior hit five of 14 attempts from the field, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc, and added six rebounds, six assists, and four steals.
"Zach played one of his better games," Martin said. "I asked him how he felt and he said 'I feel pretty good,' so I told him to keep on running, keep leading us, be our floor general. And he did a fantastic job.
Reid Singhas paced Shippensburg with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Ty Kater added 16 and Miller had 14 for the Greyhounds, who were swept in the two-game series with G-A for the third consecutive year. The Blue Devils beat Shippensburg 66-64 in overtime on Dec. 21.
Martin said, "They came out tonight and did all the things we thought they'd do - and they did them even better than they did the first time. I think that made us really focus on what we needed to do because we executed well."
The Greyhounds, who have dropped two of their last three, shot 46.7 percent (21-of-45) against one of the conference's stingiest defenses, which entered the contest allowing just 52.3 points per game. Shippensburg also overpowered Greencastle-Antrim inside, compiling a 27-24 rebounding advantage and outscoring the Blue Devils 36-24 in the paint.
But it just wasn't enough.
"It's disheartening," Staver said. "Reid and Ty both played exceptionally well, Mac knocked down those two big 3s late, and our defense held Zola to just 10 after he put 35 on us the first time around. I mean, what do we have to do to get the win?"
Greencastle-Antrim has had a habit of starting slowly this season, but that wasn't the case on Saturday as G-A used a 14-6 run bridging the first and second periods to seize a 23-15 lead. The Blue Devils led 30-26 at halftime only to have the Greyhounds reel off eight consecutive points to open the third period. Greencastle-Antrim countered with a 17-4 burst to reclaim control, but with the Blue Devils up 50-44, Miller hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 50. It stayed that way until Holden Baker pulled up and hit a 3-pointer with 3:43 remaining, kickstarting what became a 6-2 spurt that put G-A back on top for good.
Shippensburg had one last chance to tie it, but Tony Johnson's desperation 3 was well off the mark.
Faulkner said, "We were ready to play yesterday and I think it kind of carried over - and I think we did play well tonight. Actually, the postponement may have helped us because we were looking at playing two games within a 24-hour period so it definitely gave us some extra time to rest."
Greencastle 59, Shippensburg 56
Reid Singhas 7-10 3-4 17, Ty Kater 7-12 2-6 16, Mac Miller 4-11 4-6 14, Britton Hastings 1-3 3-4 5, Bryce Hastings 1-3 0-0 2, Spencer Van Scyoc 1-1 0-0 2, Austin Springer 0-3 0-0 0, Tony Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Seth Frey 0-0 0-0 0, Cordell Shannon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 12-20 56.
Zach Faulkner 5-14 2-3 15, Danny Stepler 5-7 2-4 12, Joel Zola 3-12 2-2 10, Brandon Puffenbarger 3-8 1-1 7, Holden Baker 2-4 1-2 7, Austin Scott 2-4 1-2 5, Eli Englehart 1-3 0-0 3, Matt Montedoro 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 9-14 59.
Shippensburg 13 13 12 18 - 56
Greencastle 16 14 17 12 - 59
3-point shots - Ship 2-11 (Miller 2); GA 8-18 (Faulkner 3, Baker, Zola 2, Englehart). Shooting - Ship 21-45 (46.7%); GA 21-52 (40.3%). Rebounds - Ship 27 (Singhas 7); GA 24 (Faulkner, Stepler 6). Assists - Ship 14 (Kater 3); GA 16 (Faulkner 6). Steals - Ship 8 (Singhas 3); GA 7 (Faulkner 4). Turnovers - Ship 12; GA 11. Blocked shots - Ship 4 (Miller, Singhas 2); GA 2 (Puffenbarger, Scott). Fouls - Ship 14, GA 15.
JV: Shippensburg 43, Greencastle-Antrim 26. Zane Miller scored 11 points for the Greyhounds. Cody Green and Wayne Kline had five each for G-A.
Next game: Ship: Monday, at home vs. Camp Hill, 7:30; GA: Tuesday, at home vs. James Buchanan, 7:30.