Blue Devils set to begin states with Philly trip

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
The Blue Devils face the Bobcats on defense.

The Greencastle-Antrim High School boys’ basketball team has learned its opponent for the opening round of the PIAA Class AAA Championship Tournament.

The Blue Devils have known that a champion from another district in the state would be their opening round foe since qualifying for states last week. G-A faced a placing game for fifth or sixth to decide its position in the state bracket. The Devils dropped the consolation game that determined seedings from District 3 for a sixth place. That locked in a date with Neumann-Goretti, the District 12-AAA champ.

The game is set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 9 at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia.

G-A goes in with a 23-5 record. Neumann-Goretti, the two-time returning state champion, is 23-3.

Last Thursday the Devils faced a somewhat familiar foe in Northeastern York. G-A had lost 75-66 to the Bobcats on Feb. 8 in a regular season non-conference game. Not much changed in the seeding game as Northeastern emerged with a 78-69 win.

While the Bobcats managed to keep the lead for the entire game, the Blue Devils made them work for it. G-A did no favors for itself, however, converting only six of 15 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to stay at arm’s length from Northeastern. The Devils rejected an early 9-2 advantage by the Bobcats to come within a point at 23-22 in the second quarter. Northeastern made a stand by going on an 11-1 run.

Yet again G-A produced a push and closed the gap to five points before the half. The break didn’t change the Devils’ fortunes as the Bobcats pulled into a 17-point advantage. Northeastern was getting into a bit of foul trouble and G-A had its chances at the stripe in the late going, but the points wouldn’t fall, leaving the Devils to settle for sixth place in the district.

The Blue Devils’ five starters each recorded double-digit scoring. Denver Cordell and Joel Zola were near double-doubles with nine rebounds each. Denver led the scoring with 17 and Zola put in a dozen. Corey Meyers scored 14, while Zach Faulkner and Denton Cordell rang up 13 apiece.

Joel Zola looks to the hoop.