Third-quarter run powers the Barons

By on December 21, 2016
Manheim Central’s Connor Hostetter (back) and Jake Novak (right) go for the steal while trapping a Solanco guard during last Friday’s action. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Manheim Central’s Connor Hostetter (back) and Jake Novak (right) go for the steal while trapping a Solanco guard during last Friday’s action. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

There was a bad sign during the Manheim Central boys’ pre-game preparations Monday night.

Readying themselves to host Donegal, the Baron players were slow to put on their game faces.

“When I walked into the gym at 5:30, there were just some things I was witnessing that veteran teams that have goals shouldn’t be doing,” Manheim Central coach Chris Sherwood said.

Despite a stern talk, it carried over into the game, as the Indians, led by Michael Lyons and Avery Walker, took a 26-25 lead into the half.

Manheim Central, though, was a different team in the third quarter, going on a 31-7 burst, and that was the difference, as the Barons went on to earn a 73-52 Section Two victory in Manheim to improve to 5-0 on the season (2-0 L-L).

Taylor Funk led the way with a game-high 25 points, passing former teammate Matt Walsh (1,365) to move into second-place on the Barons’ all-time scoring list with 1,389 points. Only Tom Kenneff stands in front of Funk with 1,706 points.

In all, four players scored in double figures for MC. Connor Hostetter added 16 points, while Roman Wagner and Trevor Hosler had 12 and 11 points, respectively.

But Sherwood knows his team has a lot of work in front of them.

“I remember (former Dallas Cowboys coach) Jimmy Johnson always said that he loved learning experiences when they were after wins,” Sherwood said. “We’ve got a lot to learn and we’ll go back to work tomorrow, but I love getting back to work after a 21-point win.”

Monday’s contest was the third in four days for the MC boys. And perhaps the Barons might have been looking past Donegal somewhat after the Indians suffered an 84-33 loss to L-S last Friday.

Asked about the sluggish start, Sherwood said, “Maybe three games in four days, maybe a little bit of not respecting their opponent. Probably a little bit of everything. It’s kinda not acceptable. I don’t think our guys accept it.”

While the Barons struggled to find their rhythm, committing five of their 11 turnovers in the opening stanza, Donegal used an 11-3 run to go up 15-7 late in the first. Walker and Lyons, who finished with 20 and 16 points, respectively, did all the damage at the offensive end for the Indians.

“We had trouble keeping Walker out of the lane,” Sherwood said. “And we thought that the moment wasn’t too big for those guys. I thought those two guys really played well for them. Again, we’re going to have to make some adjustments for the second time we play them. Like I said, we had trouble keeping Walker out of the lane and Lyons played fearless for them.”

Wagner’s inside bucket gave MC a 25-24 lead in the second quarter, but it was brief. Walker answered with a floater and the Indians carried a 26-25 advantage into the locker room.

“At halftime,” Sherwood recalled, “I basically said to them, ‘Hey, well, at least you guys understand what I was talking about today at 5:45.’ And we just went right back to business.”

Wagner, Hostetter and Funk meant business in the third quarter, combining with a full-court trap to lead the Barons on a 19-3 run to open the period. Funk’s baseline drive, followed by a J from Hostetter, made it 44-29.

Funk led MC with 11 points in the period, Wagner added nine and Hostetter had seven.

“I thought Roman had a really good third quarter,” Sherwood remarked. “He was stronger around the bucket, he finished going to the bucket instead of fading away, didn’t avoid contact. I thought he did a really nice job. He played with a presence down low and that really help out.”

Later, Funk scored on a slam, then an alley-oop tip, and Trevor Hosler’s triple with :01 left made it 56-33, MC, heading to the fourth. MC’s 31 points in the period marked a single-quarter season-high.

“We just did some things with a little more purpose (in the third quarter), I would say,” Sherwood remarked. “A little more precise.”

And when Kody Kegarise buried a fadeaway J early in the fourth, the Barons had their biggest lead of the night, 60-35. But then Donegal scored the next eight points, capped by Lyons’ trey from the left elbow, to cut its deficit to 60-43.

“We kinda fell right back into what we were the first two quarters,” Sherwood said. “So we played about eight minutes tonight and got a win. We have a lot of work to do.”

Late in the quarter, Walker and Andrew Stwalley went 3-of-4 on back-to-back trips to the foul line, but Hostetter’s putback completed the scoring and sealed the Barons’ 21-point victory.

“We have a ways to go to be where we want to be,” Sherwood said. “We need to tell ourselves, ‘It’s December 19th. We need to get a lot better if we have goals, and we do.’”

Last Friday’s showdown with Solanco also meant a head-to-head match-up between Division-One recruits Funk and the Mules’ Dylan Hastings.

On this night, however, it was Funk who prevailed, leading all scorers with 19 points to power his Barons to a 78-42 Section Two victory in Manheim.

Hostetter chipped in with 18 points and Hosler added 11 in the win. Hastings paced Solanco with 13 points and Robert McHugh had 10.

In the first half, MC broke open a close three-point game by outscoring the Mules 22-9 in the second quarter.

The Mules were still within 18 points at the end of three, but the Manheim Central pulled away with a 26-8 run in the final stanza.

In non-league action on Saturday, Funk netted a game-high 22 points in Manheim Central’s 63-40 win at Susquehannock. Hostetter added 10 points for a Barons team who took command with a 37-18 lead in the first half.

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