McCaskey vs Chambersburg-District 3 6A First Round

McCaskey's Samir Gordon (45) drives to the hoop as Chambersburg's Gus Mace (35) defends during second half action of a PIAA District 3 6A first round boys basketball game in Shultz Transportation Gymnasium at JP McCaskey High School in Lancaster Tuesday Feb. 18, 2020.

McCaskey entered Tuesday’s District 3-6A boys basketball playoff opener averaging nearly 70 points a game, in part thanks to an uptempo, push-the-pace style of play.

Its opponent, Chambersburg, was very much the opposite, with a lights-out defense and a patient half-court offense having led to opposing teams being held under 50 points in 15 of 22 matchups before Tuesday.

Uptempo won out, with the host Red Tornado topping the visiting Trojans, 70-64. It was the most points Chambersburg allowed all season, and just the second time it had allowed more than 60 points.

“Defensively I watched a ton of their games,” second-year McCaskey coach Freddy Ramos said. “We saw  lot of man (defense) from them. I thought we’d see some zone. And we did. They played a couple teams that have some speed like we do. In particular, the Central Dauphin East games.”

Chambersburg split its two regular season matchups with CD East, while McCaskey won in double-overtime, 100-99, against CD East two weeks prior on the same floor.

“So seeing that gave me some ideas on some looks we’re going to see versus them, and I think it helped against their zone,” Ramos said. “Stop trying to dribble and force, settle for midrange shots. And Samir Gordon was the beneficiary of those junk buckets inside.”

More on Gordon in a bit.

Ramos picked up his first career postseason victory, while the program won its first district playoff game since 2016. With the victory, the eighth-seeded Tornado (16-8) advance to Friday’s District 3-6A quarterfinals at top-seeded, one-loss Wilson (24-1). The Bulldogs’ lone defeat this season was to York-Adams League champ and second-seeded Central York (18-3).

“We scrimmaged them (Wilson) at their gym in the preseason,” Ramos said. “They’re obviously a good team.”

First half: Ninth-seeded Chambersburg (16-7) opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers to take an early 6-0 lead before L-L Section One runner-up McCaskey got rolling, with the Tornado taking a 13-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and pushing the advantage to 37-26 on a corner 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas at the halftime buzzer.

A Samir Gordon free-throw at the end of the third quarter made it 52-48. Chambersburg closed the deficit to 56-53 with under four minutes left when Gordon came up with a clutch block that soon led to a pair of free-throws on the other end from Makai Ortiz-Gray, quickly followed by back-to-back layups from Gordon.

“We were just trying to calm ourselves down and get everything together,” Gordon said. “I was just trying to time it (the block), I went for it and it turned out good.”

Ortiz-Gray tallied a career-high 27 points, but could’ve had more if not having sat most of the third quarter in foul trouble. Then leading scorer Elijah Terry (12 points, eight rebounds) left for a few minutes in the third quarter after dislocating a finger on his right shooting hand. Terry had two layups the rest of the way, but made plays in other ways by drawing in the defense and dishing to the open teammate, like he did on the back-to-back assists to Gordon in the final four minutes. Gordon scored 11 of his 15 points after halftime. He also pulled down seven rebounds to help McCaskey win on the boards, 28 to 17.

“It’s my first playoff win,” Gordon said. “It feels good.”

BOX SCORE

Central Dauphin 66, Manheim Township 60, OT: Down 18-5 at the end of the first quarter, the Blue Streaks outscored the Rams 25-10 in the second quarter to take a 30-28 lead into the break. After a back-and-forth second half, the teams needed overtime to settle it. Central Dauphin outscored Manheim Township 8-2 in the extra period in a District 3-6A opener. Central Dauphin advances to Friday's District 3-6A quarterfinals at No. 4 Cedar Crest. Meanwhile, Manheim Township saw its season come to a close. And what a season it was. The Blue Streaks began the year 1-4 before winning 12 of their next 16 regular season games, including their final five to qualify for the postseason. Manheim Township finished the year 13-9 overall. BOX SCORE