MILLERSTOWN - While Greenwood led the entire way, it was far from a cake walk as a pesky Lancaster County Christian squad hung with the Wildcats tooth and nail for three quarters of Friday's District 3 Class A boys basketball quarterfinal match. However, the Wildcats seized control in the final frame to pull away for 62-50 victory.
"I told them at halftime, we had to defend better or we were going to go home," Greenwood skipper Kent Houser said.
His squad responded by forcing 10 second-half turnovers, including eight in the fourth quarter.
Sentinel photo by LARRY YOHN
Greenwood’s Nick Kerstetter, left, and Noah Wright, right, battle Lancaster County Christian’s Jensen King, center, for a loose ball during the District 3 Class A boys basketball tournament Friday in Millerstown.
Clutch free throw shooting down the stretch also helped Greenwood cement the lead. Seniors Tyler Fegley and Adam Harrison each drained six of their eight fourth-quarter attempts from the charity stripe.
"Committing that many turnovers in the fourth quarter is not going to win you ball games," LCC coach Nate Long said. "I feel we got fouled on some of them but that is the way the cookie crumbles. Then they hit their foul shots we put a kid on the line eight times who was 56 percent for the year and he drained six of them. That's rough and it was my call."
Harrison finished with a game-high 25 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Fegley poured in 15 more points.
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Greenwood will play Mount Calvary at 5 p.m. Monday at Central Dauphin East
Early on it looked as if the Lions might run out of the gym as Seth Ferguson and Fegley connected on back-to-back 3-pointers on the first two Wildcat possessions for a quick 6-2 advantage, but Greenwood then fell into a funk as eight of their next nine shots were off the mark.
LCC junior Jensen King hit the first of two 3-pointers to draw the visitors to within a point at 8-7.
The Lions kept the pressure up as Greenwood nursed a 13-11 lead to the end of the quarter. The Wildcats were only able to extend their lead to 26-23 by half despite a pair of Harrison 3-pointers in the stanza.
"Harrison (who tallied eight points total in the second) was starting to take over, but he picked up his second foul," Houser explained. "At that point, we had to get him out of there and that really hurt us."
Senior Joe Sheaffer delivered 10 of his 14 points in the third quarter, including back-to-back 3-pointers. However, Lion senior point guard Kalif Coates poured in nine of his team-best 17 in the frame to keep his team in the hunt.
A basket by Josh Mayer, who finished 10 points and six boards, pulled LCC back to within one again at 39-38 with just over a minute left in the third.
A 14-4 Greenwood run then followed to put the Lions away for good.
Fegley's third trey of the night got things started, and the steady foul shooting (16 of 21 overall in the second half) secured the hard-fought win.
Senior Noah Lebkicher was a force on defense for the 'Cats as he collected five caroms and three steals.
Sophomore Noah Wright came off the Greenwood bench to deliver four points and three boards.
"I'm thrilled about the win tonight," Houser said. "But we need to come back in and get to work and preparing for Mount Calvary and try to win the next game that is what it's about at this time of year."
Greenwood takes on the Chargers Monday in a 5 p.m. start at Central Dauphin East High School.