Indians fall in title game
MIFFLINBURG - The number one rule in any sport is to play hard.
In basketball, the number two rule, and a close second, is make your shots.
Shamokin did the first Saturday, but not so much the second.
The Indians made just 14 of 61 shots and dropped a 51-42 decision to Mifflinburg in the championship game of the Mifflinburg Tipoff Tournament, and only because they did play hard was the final score as close as it was.
The Indians trailed, 36-18, with about 6½ minutes to play. At that point, Shamokin had made 6 of 37 shots. But by ratcheting up the press, Shamokin finally flustered the Wildcats, who had executed their game plan almost perfectly to that point.
That plan was to sit back in a deep 2-3 zone on defense and force the Indians to beat them from outside. Shamokin didn't do it. Shamokin did make six 3-pointers, but took 27 attempts to do it, and was unable to get the tempo to its liking until it was too late.
The Indians did cut the lead down to 41-35 with less than two minutes to go, but the Wildcats dropped in 11 of 16 foul shots in the last quarter, including eight in those final two minutes, to hold the lead.
"Part of the problem with a press is that you have to make shots to get into it and force that pressure," Shamokin coach Chris Zimmerman said. "I think if we had made three or four threes early in the game, the whole game might have been different. As it was, we got a little frustrated."
Trying to overcome the shooting frustration, the Indians tried to force the ball inside to Kevin Carsto and Josh Pappas and came up empty most of the time, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half and 18 times for the game.
"We have good shooters but you wouldn't know it by tonight," Zimmerman said. "I hope we don't have more confidence in them than they do themselves. We did a little better in the second half. We were stepping into the shot better."
To be fair, it was also just one of those nights. The Indians had several in-and-outers but couldn't buy a basket for most of the game.
Guard Jordan Wagner was the only Mifflinburg player to score in double figures, with 11 points. After missing his first three foul shots, he went 6-for-6 in the final minutes. Braden Lee added nine points, and Kyle Failor had eight points and eight rebounds.
Dan Delbaugh and Austin Stine scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, to lead Shamokin.
"These are all good kids," Zimmerman said. "They really played hard all the way
to the the end, and they feel badly about how they played. That's a good thing."
Stine and Carsto, who had 10 rebounds in the game and 23 for the tournament, were named to the all-tournament team.
SHAMOKIN (42) - Sebasovich 0 1-2 1, Weaver 1 0-0 2, Delbaugh 5 3-4 15, Stine 4 2-2 12, Carsto 1 1-3 3, Deitrick 0 0-0 0, Yost 0 0-0 0, Moyer 2 0-0 5, E. Taylor 0 0-0 0, Pappas 1 2-3 4. Totals 14 9-14 42.
MIFFLINBURG (51) - Zack 2 1-3 6, Failor 2 4-6 8, Derk 2 0-0 4, Lee 2 5-6 9, Wagner 2 6-9 11, Wiand 3 0-1 6, Uscouskos 3 1-2 7, Raker 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 17-27 51.
3-point FGs: Shamokin (5) - Delbaugh 2, Stine 2, Moyer; Mifflinburg (2) - Zack, Wagner.