Originally published in the Elizabethtown Merchandiser. By Leah Sintic. Photos by Cheri Sine.
With the CCAC Championship banner secured, the Mount Calvary club turned their attention to PIAA District III playoffs last week and embarked on a quest for the District crown; starting out strong with a resounding 77-40 triumph over the West Shore Bobcats in their quarterfinal faceoff.
The contest took place on the Mount Calvary court last Thursday after the Chargers experienced a short reprieve due to a first-round bye.
Those few days off, coupled with it being the third meeting against the Bobcats this season, could have been a detriment to the Chargers’ game, but the squad looked sharp as ever opening up a 27-8 lead in the initial quarter.
Chip Stambaugh led the initial offensive surge, putting in a dozen points in the first eight minutes, collecting a total of 15 before the half and adding seven rebounds to his resume.
Defense played a major role in the lopsided outcome, as the Chargers’ intensity halted the Bobcats from the get-go.
“We focused on two main things, pressuring their guards full court and passing the ball to score quickly,” noted head coach Kory Pruner.
Hunter Stewart was the night’s high scorer accruing a total of 16, including a 100 percent effort from the line going three-for-three. Aidan Masters tallied 12 points.
Harrison Crick and Brett Taylor led the team in assists, dishing out three apiece, and Hyo Sugita extended the Bobcat defense as an outside threat, netting a pair of three-point buckets.
Eleven different Charger players put points on the scoreboard in the runaway win, and the team took the time to focus on some key aspects of the game as they expect the caliber of competition to increase heading deeper into the post season.
“We wanted to put together a complete game defensively and refine our offensive possessions so that we continued to improve and not regress,” emphasized Pruner. “At this point in the season it’s all about getting better even as the level of competition also improves.”
The hunt for a District championship continues with a semifinal matchup against Lancaster County Christian, again hosted by the Chargers, with the victor advancing to the District Championship game slated for Friday, February 28th at the Giant Center in Hershey.
The Lady Chargers hit a wall in their first conflict of the District III tournament on Friday February 21st, falling behind Lebanon Catholic by a final score of 56-29, rerouting their District tournament track, but keeping their PIAA tournament hopes alive.
“We didn’t play as well as we needed to on either side of the ball,” noted head coach Phil Ferrari. “They are a well-coached team that has several good players that can hurt you, and we didn’t do enough to take away their strengths.”
Seventeen points from Kenzie Baughman kept the Chargers in contention, but with three Lebanon Catholic players notching double digits, the MC club wasn’t able to keep pace.
Baughman took 11 trips to the line and converted nine of them to shoot 82 percent.
The early round loss to the Beavers will bump the Mount Calvary girls out of the running for the District Championship, but puts them into the 3A consolation bracket this week with hopes of working their way to a top five finish that would still qualify them for a berth in state playoffs.
Next up, the Chargers host the eighth seeded Monarchs from Veritas Christian on Tuesday February 25th.