Pioneers Fall to Shippensburg in District Quarterfinals
On Thursday night, the boys' basketball team traveled to Shippensburg to take on the Greyhounds in the quarterfinals of the District III tournament. The Pioneers entered the game with a record of 9-3, defeating Northeastern on Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinals. The 3rd seeded Greyhounds boast an impressive 15-2 record and have won 7 games in a row heading into tonight's matchup.
Berkeley Wagner in Game vs Lancaster Mennonite (Jon Klein)
The Greyhounds looked locked in at the beginning of the game, jumping out to an early lead. Jayden Statum scored 8 points during the quarter, knocking down 3 mid-range jump shots and banking in a layup. Towards the end of the quarter, the Pioneers went on a mini-run to bring the score to 15-8 going into the second quarter.
The momentum carried into the second quarter for the Pioneers. After a scoreless first quarter, Tyler Burton knocked down 2 three-pointers and scored 8 points during the quarter. Isaiah Parido had a great first half defensively, blocking 3 shots. Despite the Pioneers making up some ground, the Greyhounds led 27-22 going into the break. Jayden Statum was the first half's leading scorer, recording 11 points.
The third quarter was a disaster for the Pioneers. Great defense from the Greyhounds combined with a cold shooting touch from virtually the entire team stunted the Pioneers, who only scored 7 points during the quarter. Anthony Smith played well, using his height and ability from the free-throw line to record 6 points during the quarter. The Greyhounds were up 41-29 going into the 4th.
The fourth quarter didn't go any better for the Pioneers, who failed to score until midway through the quarter when Nick del Grande converted on a freebie. The Greyhounds knocked down free-throw after free-throw and won by a score of 60-41.
Anthony Smith: Being 6' 6'' certainly makes basketball a lot easier, but Smith's game is much more than just being the tallest player on the court. The highly touted football recruit knocked down 12 free-throws, shooting 80% from the stripe. Smith finished with 24 points on 60% shooting from the field, also adding 8 rebounds.
Jayden Statum: Despite cooling down a little bit after the first quarter, Statum still had quite the night. He totaled 16 points on an efficient 50% shooting percentage, along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He was also part of a defensive unit that was simply impassible all night, closing down on passing lanes and limiting open shots.
Tyler Burton: Burton has 2 seasons of athletic eligibility remaining, and can take a lot of positives from his first season back in the keystone state. Burton finishes the season averaging just over 20 points, which makes him one of the highest scorers in the L-L League. Tonight, Burton tallied 18 points, 12 of which came off three-pointers.
Honorable Mentions: Luka Vranich, Nick del Grande, Jeremy Thomas.
Points: Anthony Smith, 24
Rebounds: Anthony Smith, 8
Assists: Sean McTaggart/Jeremy Thomas, 4
Steals: Tyler Burton/Jacob Cramer, 2
Blocks: Jacob Cramer, 4
Turnovers: Jeremy Thomas, 4
The Greyhounds have advanced to the semifinals of the District III bracket, which makes them just 2 wins away from qualifying for the PIAA tournament. The Greyhounds will make the trip to Hummelstown to face the Lower Dauphin Falcons on Wednesday night. Section 3 rival Cocalico and York Suburban are the other two teams remaining in the bracket, with the latter defeating previously undefeated Northern York to advance to the semifinals. The basketball season is officially over in West Lampeter, but there is plenty to look forward to next season. Top 3 scorers Tyler Burton, Isaiah Parido, and Luka Vranich all return next season, along with 4/5 of the original pre-quarantine starting 5. It's been an unusual season for the Pioneers, but no doubt a successful one.
-By Logan Moyer, LS News reporter