Boys Basketball - Hempfield vs Penn-Trafford
Penn-Trafford Outlasts Hempfield 50-48 in Closely-Contested Section Battle
It was a matchup that had all the potential of a high-scoring, fast moving, down to the wire battle of Class 6A Section 3 opponents. Hempfield and Penn-Trafford have past history of high intensity games decided by buzzer-beater bombs, and recent performances would suggest that this one could follow suit. But it didn't play out that way this time. An uncharacteristically low scoring first half led to a back-and-forth second half that saw Hempfield's potential buzzer-beater go off the mark, and Penn-Trafford beat the Spartans 50-48 on Friday, January 14, at Hempfield's Spartan Fieldhouse.
Hempfield's Harrison Sowers broke the ice with a 3-pointer just over 2 minutes in the contest and it looked like the Spartans' long-range weapon was gearing up for a big night. It would be Sowers only points of the game, and Hempfield's only 3-pointer of the contest, and foreshadowed a game where the usual high scorers weren't a big part of the game.
Hempfield led 12-7 after the opening quarter, and only led 18-16 at halftime.
The pace picked up a bit in the second half as Penn-Trafford scored the first 4 points of the third quarter to take their first lead. Hempfield responded, and the lead went back and forth for the next several minutes. Conlan Greene drained a pair of free throws for the Warriors at the 2:01 mark to put the Warriors out front 31-30. They extended the lead to 35-32 by the end of the quarter, with Hempfield sharpshooter Sean Gordon sitting on the bench with 3 personal fouls.
The Spartans battled back in the final quarter, closing to within one point at 47-46 with just over a minute to play. A pair of free throws by Penn-Trafford's Noah Wright and one by Greene extended the Warriors' lead to 50-46 with 20 seconds left. The Spartans' Chaz Ewer hit a floater with 14 seconds on the clock, Hempfield called a timeout, then fouled the Warrior's Nick Crum out of the timeout with 13 seconds left. Crum missed on the one-and-one to give Hempfield possession and a chance to pull off a last second miracle. Dom Hipps took a shot from the top of the key at the buzzer under pressure from Greene, but the shot went off the mark and Penn-Trafford celebrated the 50-48 win.
Penn-Trafford's Tommy Kalkstein led all scorers with 17 and Noah Wright added 10. Chaz Ewer had 16 points for the Spartans and Brandon Learn had 12.
Next up for Penn-Trafford (6-7, 2-2) is a home section matchup with rival Norwin on 1/18. Hempfield (4-8, 1-3) is right back in action Saturday with a non-conference home game at noon against undefeated and top-ranked North Hills.
Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game.
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