Barons fall to Hempfield in L-L quarterfinals

By on February 15, 2017
Senior guard Jay Barreto launches a three-point shot from the perimeter for the Barons. hoto by Kirk Neidermyer

Senior guard Jay Barreto launches a three-point shot from the perimeter for the Barons. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Following previous losses this season, the message from Manheim Central coach Chris Sherwood to his players was always the same.

Forget about it and move on.

Not this time, however.

Not after suffering a 40-35 loss to Section One runner-up in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff quarterfinals at Warwick on Monday night.

It was the fourth loss in five games for the Section Two runners-up.

“This one is going to sting,” Sherwood said. “I want this one to sting … I don’t want them to get over this. I want this lingering around our practice all week long, like, this feeling you have to not want this feeling anymore.”

While the Black Knights (16-7) advanced to Wednesday’s L-L semi-finals to face Lancaster Catholic (a 66-59 OT winner over Lampeter-Strasburg), the Barons (19-5) got back to work preparing for 12th-seeded Waynesboro in the opening-round of the District Three 5A playoffs. The 5th-seeded MC boys will host the Indians on Monday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

In the meantime, they will no doubt be thinking about what could have been.

Baron senior Taylor Funk, who led all scorers with 27 points, knocked down the second of his two treys with 2:46 left in the fourth, putting MC up 30-29. Moments later, the 6-foot-9 forward/center drew an offensive charge from Hempfield’s Bryan Karl, and the Central boys were in business.

“We felt we were in good shape,” Sherwood said. “We thought the trap was coming out of the 1-2-2.”

It was.

And it was very effective for the Black Knights.

In fact, Ryan Moffatt, who led Hempfield with 12 points, had a steal and fastbreak layup to put them up 31-30 with 2:11 remaining.

“We didn’t show the half-court trap before that, it sorta speeded (MC) up and I think it’s a double-edged sword,” Hempfield coach Danny Walck said, “because if you speed them up with too much space, they dissect you. If you speed them up and you cut down on some of that space … and you’ve got to know where Taylor is. I thought we played really hard through that segment to force them.”

It was the first of three consecutive turnovers by the Barons &tstr; a total of 12 for the game &tstr; and when David Martin-Robinson dropped in a layup with 1:38 to go, it was 33-30.

And the Knights never trailed again.

“Those were key turnovers,” Sherwood said. “You can’t turn the ball over in the fourth quarter against something that we knew was coming. You can’t do it. It’s not good enough.”

A ‘three’ by Funk rimmed out with :47 left, then Hempfield’s Tyler Hilton grabbed the board and buried both ends of a 1-and-1 to make it 35-30.

Kody Kegarise nailed a trey for the Barons from the right elbow with :35 to go, cutting the deficit to 35-33 and keeping MC’s hopes alive.

But Hempfield’s Javon Mitchell made two foul shots, Funk missed a 3-point attempt, Mitchell sank another freebie with :18.0 left to make it 38-33, and Funk followed with a layup. But when Moffatt converted a pair of foul shots with :7.2 remaining, putting the Knights up 40-35, that was the game.

“I’m disappointed,” Sherwood said. “… I think (confidence) is (an issue) at this point. I think with some of our upperclassmen, there’s a confidence thing and we’re kinda at a loss. We have not gotten on guys at all. We’ve kinda nurtured these guys with kid gloves and that has to stop now.”

A low-scoring first quarter ended tied 8-all, and then Funk scored six points in a 9-4 run to start the second &tstr; capped by Connor Hostetter’s triple &tstr; to make it 17-12 with 2:43 left in the half.

“We played that match-up zone and we thought that match-up zone caused (Hempfield) some problems early,” Sherwood said.

The Black Knights, though, remained patient at the offensive end despite shooting just 2-of-12 from the floor in the second quarter.

“I have so much respect for Manheim Central and the job coach Sherwood does, and of course, Taylor’s a special player,” Walck said. “He’s a special player. And the other kids play really hard. I thought it was the kind of game that if you lose your patience, that’s what they have an opportunity to balloon the lead, to blow that lead out because you come down, you take quick shots, you think you’re going to get it back and you can’t do that against that team because they’re going to capitalize.”

Karl, who had five points, capitalized on a layup to cut the Knights’ deficit to 17-14 at the half. Then his ‘three’ tied it 17-17 with :16 gone in the third.

Funk countered with a drive, then buried one of two at the foul line, making it 20-17. But when the Barons’ star picked up his third foul with 4:33 left in the quarter, and Moffatt sank two foul shots, things got interesting.

Moffatt then hit a floater and Hilton (7 points) connected on a three-pointer to put Hempfield in front 24-20. Funk’s three-point play got the Barons within one, 24-23, with 1:22 on the clock, it stayed that way heading to the fourth quarter.

For the game, Funk, while facing pressure from a number of different Hempfield defenders, was 11-of-22, while the rest of the Barons finished just 3-of-10 from the field.

Asked if the Barons relied on Funk to carry too much of the load, Sherwood said, “He’s been carrying the load. We’re begging seniors to step up. We’re begging them to, and you know what, Kody is close. But another senior is going to have to play well down the stretch.”

In the fourth, Hempfield took leads of 27-23 on Mitchell’s trey and 29-25 on Moffatt’s layup with 3:37 remaining in the game.

Funk scored the next five points &tstr; first on the post, then from beyond the arc &tstr; to put Manheim Central up 30-29 with 2:46 left to play.

But it would the Barons’ final lead of the night.

“Everybody’s got to enjoy it for less than 24 hours,” Walck said. “What people don’t always get is, every one of those young men, plus the guys in our travel suits, played an important part in this because you’ve got a scout team and you’ve got other guys that have to be ready if their number is called … So it’s a team win and I think my biggest message to them is, ‘Respect your opponent, but fear none.’ We knew going in it was going to be a grind. (The Barons) are a good basketball team if you discount that, you lose. You lose. So don’t discount that. Be prepared for the grind, and when you come back in here, it’s, OK, you did what we expected. You followed the game plan and this is the result we got. Enjoy it this evening, come back for a late practice tomorrow, let’s get ready to go Wednesday.”


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