MC boys win 13th straight

By on January 14, 2015
 MC guard Tony Staffieri scores two of his eight points against Columbia on Monday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

MC guard Tony Staffieri scores two of his eight points against Columbia on Monday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

After giving up a combined 112 points last week in wins over Cocalico and Northern Lebanon, the Manheim Central boys basketball team got back to the basics at practice on Saturday.
Defensive basics, that is.
“We just kinda discussed and worked on what I think has made us tough to play for many years, not just the last two,” Barons’ coach Chris Sherwood said. “And that’s having a defensive-first mentality.”
Their hard worked paid off when Columbia visited on Monday night.
Led by Matt Walsh’s game-high 19 points and eight rebounds, the Manheim Central boys won their 13th in a row, defeating the Crimson Tide 54-29 in a Section Three-Four crossover in Manheim.
The victory kept the Barons (9-0 L-L, 14-1 overall) two games ahead of Cocalico (7-2 L-L) in the Section Three race with seven regular-season games remaining. The MC boys are also ranked 5th in the latest District Three Triple-A power ratings.
“Our guys did some really good things tonight defensively,” Sherwood said. “We thought we forced (Columbia) into situations to take shots that they weren’t used to shooting, that we didn’t see on tape. And we really dominated the glass. I thought we rebounded the ball well and we just kept them a little uncomfortable.”
With the victory, Sherwood improved his career record in seven seasons at Manheim Central to 101-62. His milestone 100th victory came last Friday as the Barons held off upset-minded Norlebco 63-54.
In typical fashion, Central’s skipper deflected credit to his players and the Manheim community.
“Yeah, it’s really neat,” Sherwood admitted, “but I think we all need to understand that I have 100 wins because I’ve been fortunate to coach some really good players. I mean, we as coaches haven’t invented this game. We’re just fortunate enough to be around great players and have some longevity. I can continue to say it’s the best-kept secret in Lancaster County &tstr; it’s a great job because of the families, the parents, the administration and I’ve been fortunate to have some really good players.”
On Monday night against Columbia, the Barons welcomed back one of those real good players, Matt Walsh, who missed the Norlebco game due to a sore ankle. But he was 100 percent in his rehab exercises and had no restraints against the Tide.
“One of the reasons I’m not holding him back is he’s got seven regular-season games left in his career,” Sherwood said. “We’re going to push our guys to the limit this year, all these guys (seniors), because there’s no tomorrow for them. We don’t want them to have any regrets when it’s all over.”
There were no regrets against the Crimson Tide, as the Barons took a commanding 28-12 edge at the break and were never threatened.
MC owned a 28-18 advantage on the glass, holding Columbia to just two offensive boards the entire night &tstr; both on the same possession.
Point guard Tony Staffieri chipped in with eight points and Walsh hit four of the Barons’ nine treys.
“(Matt) looked fresh, I thought he shot the ball really well tonight and that’s what it came down to,” Sherwood said.
Isaac Ray, a star QB for the Northern Lebanon football team, shot the ball real well for the Vikings last Friday night, pouring in a team-high 21 points.
But it wasn’t enough, as Baron sophomore Taylor Funk led all scorers with 22 points to help pace the MC boys in a 63-54 win in Fredericksburg. Staffieri had a season-high 16 points, including a 4-of-5 effort at the foul line.
Manheim Central took an early 18-9 lead, but the Vikings, sparked by Ray, remained close at the half, trailing just 36-26.
“I thought Isaac played with a lot of confidence and he always did, he always played with a lot of confidence and a lot of emotion,” Sherwood said. “One of the reasons I felt we had to get back to our defensive roots was because of what I thought Ray was able to do to us on the offensive side of the floor. It’s a team job to defend and Isaac had a really good game because good players will do that when you don’t play team defense.”
The Barons still led 48-38 after three and then put it away down the stretch. For the game, the MC boys shot 10-of-13 at the foul line.

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