Staffieri’s return sparks the Barons

By on January 30, 2014
Baron junior Matt Walsh slams home two of his 17 points against Daniel Boone last Saturday. photo by Mike Shull

Baron junior Matt Walsh slams home two of his 17 points against Daniel Boone last Saturday. photo by Mike Shull

Welcome back, Tony Staffieri.

With the junior point guard sidelined by a football injury, the Manheim Central boys were without a key piece of their team through their first 17 contests this season.

In game No. 18 on Tuesday night, Staffieri made his season debut, coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

The emotional return, to go along with his game-high 11 points, helped to lead the Manheim Central boys in a 58-33 drubbing of Donegal in a Section Three game in Manheim.

“There was a little bit of extra emotion with our guys today,” MC coach Chris Sherwood said. “With Tony coming back tonight, that really sparked our guys. That gave the gym a little bit of energy.”

The Barons’ 13th straight win since suffering a 57-50 loss to Columbia on Dec. 13 put them on the doorstep of winning their first Section championship since 1980. Having earned a tie for the crown with their win over Donegal, the Central boys (12-1 Section Three, 16-2 overall) can clinch it this Friday when they host Lampeter-Strasburg (9-4 L-L), a 63-50 winner over ELCO on Tuesday.

Oh, by the way, with a non-league win over Spring Grove last night (Wednesday), the Barons can also equal the program-high of 18 wins in a single season on Friday night.

“There better not be a motivational problem on Friday when the Section title’s on the line,” Sherwood laughed. “Part of our job I think will be to understand that we play (Wednesday) night. I want to build this excitement for them. We’re going to play in League playoff games. We’re going to play in District playoff games that are uncomfortable at times. I want to learn from this. Obviously, we’ll do our normal routine, etc., but I don’t mind them knowing the magnitude of 1980 and how long that has been. I don’t mind them thinking about it. They deserve to think about it and kinda enjoy it.”

On Tuesday, they enjoyed getting out to a commanding 18-0 lead in the first quarter, capitalizing on a pressure defense which forced numerous turnovers.

Matt Walsh added 10 points for the Barons, who outscored the Indians 14-6 in the second quarter and that was basically the game.

For the Central boys, getting Staffieri back on the floor was a welcome sight.

“He was our floor general all summer,” Sherwood said. “Selfishly, (Tony’s injury) was devastating to our team and his teammates, but it was devastating to him. He’s worked really hard for this. He considers himself a basketball player and anyone who watches him play does too. He’s got long arms, he’s got great basketball instincts, he handles the ball as well as anyone that I’ve coached. He sees the floor incredibly well.”

Last Saturday in non-league action, Central pulled away from Daniel Boone by going on a 19-10 third-quarter run, lifting them to a 60-45 win in Manheim.

Taylor Funk led the Barons with 18 points, including four treys, while Walsh and Dan Wiederrecht chipped in with 17 and 11 points, respectively, in the winning effort.

Manheim Central was in action last Friday, when they handed Lebanon Catholic a 57-54 loss in Section Three-Four crossover play in Manheim.

The Barons led by just one, 34-33, after three, then outscored the Beavers 23-21 down the stretch to earn the win. They finished 12-of-16 from the foul line to help seal it.

Walsh led all scorers with 25 points and Wiederrecht added 19.

Last Thursday, Dan Wiederrecht scored 19 points to lead four players in double figures and the Barons withstood a fourth-quarter run from Sam Light-led Northern Lebanon, taking a 63-62 Section Three win in Fredericksburg.

Funk added 15 points, including three treys, while Walsh and Steve Young finished with 11 points apiece to lead the Barons, who won for the 10th straight game.

About lititzrecord

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *