Shippensburg tried a bunch of different defenses against Central York in the District 3-AAAA boys' basketball match-up on Wednesday night.
None of them worked.
The hot-shooting Panthers seized control of the game in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 67-38 victory.
"We ran into a real buzz saw," Shippensburg head coach Ray Staver said. "They shot the lights out."
How sizzling was top-seeded Central (21-3) in the opening eight minutes?
How about 9 of 11 from the field, including 6 of 8 from behind the arc. Nathan Markey and Onterio Edwards were both 3 of 3 on 3-point attempts, helping Central bolt to a 24-13 lead.
"I knew they were going to play a zone," Markey said. "My teammates gave me good passes, and I knocked down shots. Shooting 9 of 11 early, that definitely helped."
Shippensburg also played a triangle and two and some man-to-man, but the Greyhounds weren't able to get the deficit under double digits after the first quarter.
"We knew we would see a lot of defenses, but we weren't sure which one we would see early," Central head coach Kevin Schieler said. "Our kids did a nice job of getting set up and being in the right spots."
Schieler was concerned how his players would bounce back from the loss to Spring Grove in the York-Adams Tournament title game this past Saturday. The players put their coach's concern to rest with their impressive first-quarter salvo.
"I'm always nervous about that (recovering from a loss)," Schieler said. ""But we have a resilient group here, and they're super competitive young men. I didn't think we let (the loss) hang over our heads."
Central's leading scorer, Jared Wagner, scored just four points in the first half, but the 6-foot, 1-inch senior delivered 16 points after halftime to finish with a game-high 20 points.
"He (Wagner) hurt us in the second half," Staver said. "You have to keep him in front of you, and we didn't do that. He's very athletic and very aggressive. He probably should foul out of every game. He's always reaching."
Shuntan Hickman and Carter VanScyoc each scored 12 points for No. 16 seed Shippensburg (17-8).
Central will next return to the Giant Center in Hershey to face No. 9 seed Hempfield (15-7) in a quarterfinal game. The match-up is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. The Panthers defeated the Black Knights in a regular-season meeting. Hempfield beat No. 8 seed Cedar Crest on Wednesday
"The Giant Center, it's always fun to play there," Markey said. "I played there my last two years, and I'm looking forward to it again."
OTHER BOYS' BASKETBALL
Carlisle 69, York High 54: At Carlisle, the Bearcats dropped the Class AAAA first-round District 3 match-up. Kristopher Johnson led the Bearcats with 22 points. Teammate Montrel Morgan knocked in 11 points. York High (12-11) was eliminated from the tournament. The Bearcats were the two-time defending District 3-AAAA champ.
Delone Catholic 62, Antietam 49: At McSherrystown, Bryce Mundorff's 22 points led the Squires to the District 3-AA first-round victory. Teammate Brady Alexander knocked in 10 points. Delone Catholic (11-12) moves on to the quarterfinals and will face the No. 2 seed Trinity (16-6) on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.