Blue Devil boys deliver hoops division title
It was likely only a matter of time for the Greencastle-Antrim boys’ basketball team on a number of fronts in this dream 2011-2012 season.
With its ticket to the Class 3A postseason already punched and an unblemished record for 18 games, the Blue Devils (19-1, 11-0 MPC-Colonial Division) on Friday finally reached the goal that all teams strive for. With a 71-44 dispatching of Gettysburg before a packed G-A gymnasium, the Devils collected the Mid-Penn Conference Colonial Division title. One night later the odds caught up with the Blue Devils during a second date with Class 4A Chambersburg. G-A came up five points short of a 20th straight win and ended a storied run.
The showdown with Gettysburg (14-6, 8-3 MPC-Colonial) looked to be the Devils’ biggest challenge en route to the division championship since it was a close one the first time around on the Warriors’ floor. And Gettysburg did put up a good battle early, running to a 9-0 start and a 15-8 first quarter advantage. The Blue Devils, backed by a patient crowd, slowly heated up its defensive effort that produced Gettysburg turnovers (seven) and an offense that evened things out before the half. G-A revved it enough to take a 17 to 8 second period and a two-point lead into the locker room. The tone the Devils had worked to held through the third and hit a fevered pitch in the fourth. G-A won the third, 19-12 for a nine-point bulge and coasted to a 27-9 fourth for the 27-point victory.
G-A played a good part in Gettysburg’s 24 turnovers with Corey Meyers grabbing six steals and Zach Faulkner delivering five. Meyers also led four Devils in double-digit scoring with 17 points. Faulkner had 16 points. Denver Cordell added a dozen and dished out five assists. Denton Cordell put in 11 points, had eight rebounds and five assists.
The Devils’ non-divisional matchup with Chambersburg came during the annual Dunks for Drew event in the gym of the Trojans. It took overtime for G-A to pull out an early-season game against Chambersburg and this contest started with a 9-9 stalemate in the first quarter. G-A gained a bit of an advantage for a four-point lead at the half, but several things started to spell trouble for the visitors. A four-minute span without a basket in the fourth quarter, hitting just six of 15 free throws, some foul trouble and trailing 35-20 in rebounding all contributed to a tough second half for the Devils and ended with a four-point loss.
Denver Cordell led the Devils with 15 points and five assists. Denton Cordell had nine points and six rebounds.
Despite the game being the first “L” on the 2011-2012 record, the game was against a team that plays in a 4A classification. G-A remains in the thick of the District-3A power ratings, currently in third. The Devils will still have to defeat Waynesboro Tuesday at home to run the table in the Colonial Division. A game has been added to the G-A slate on the final day that games count toward postseason play. The Devils will travel to Northeastern York for a non-conference tussle Wednesday to close the regular season.
The District 3A tournament is set to begin with the preliminary round Friday, Feb. 17, however the Devils will stay in action in the mean time as the Colonial Division representative in the Mid-Penn Conference Tournament. The event is set for semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 14 with G-A expected to face Keystone champ Hershey with the likely location at Cumberland Valley High School. The other semi will likely be Trinity from the Capital and Central Dauphin from the Commonwealth. The championship final is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16.
G-A did start the week with a necessary win over Big Spring, but that didn’t come easily. In a battle fueled by defense for both teams, Big Spring claimed a 13-12 lead after a quarter of play. The Blue Devils did get some distance with a 14-4 advantage in the second, but the Bulldogs bit in the third to make it a 34-34 dead heat going into the final stanza. It was toe-to-toe in the fourth quarter with Denver Cordell finally settling it with two foul shots with six seconds to play. G-A prevailed 54-50 behinds 17 points from Faulkner and 16 from Denver Cordell, who also was in for 11 rebounds and five assists. Meyers put in 11 points.
In junior varsity action, Holden Baker delivered 18 points in a 60-40 win over Big Spring. Gettysburg claimed the jayvee contest by a 45-41 margin.