Article by Jeffrey Kauffman, The Sentinel
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Cedar Cliff got a huge second-half effort from Nol Aru and Tim Kelly to snag the championship of the 25th Annual Carlisle Classic, 63-53, over a gallant Thundering Herd team at Gene Evans Gymnasium Saturday evening.
Aru scored all 12 of his points in the second half, and tournament Most Valuable Player Kelly also added 12 in the second half to help keep the Herd at bay as they attempted to rally from a 14-point deficit.
Carlisle (1-1) fell behind early in the game as it struggled to maintain possession of the ball. The Herd turned the ball over seven times on their first nine possessions. They trailed 9-2 before cutting the deficit to 13-10.
Cedar Cliff tallied the final six points of the opening quarter to take a 19-10 lead.
The home team rallied in the second period, outscoring the Colts 14-7 to go into the half trailing by just two points. The Herd started to control the offensive glass, especially Lee Townsend and Reggie Oberton.
Cedar Cliff took off on a 10-2 run at the start of the final period to go up 52-38, and the Colts sealed the game at the foul line and on fast breaks once they broke the Herd’s full-court press.
Townsend and Oberton each had double-doubles for the Herd. Townsend scored 17 points and added 16 rebounds. Oberton had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Mirnes Hrbatovic knocked down three three-pointers to try to keep the Herd within striking distance. The Herd only hit 10 of 19 foul shots and also missed 16 shots in the lane, all inside six feet.
“I challenged some of the kids at halftime because Carlisle was killing us on the offensive glass,” said Colt coach Jim Rowe. “We just needed to get bodies on people, and we weren’t able to do that. Aru is a very good stand-still shooter. He came out to play in the second half. Tim Kelly does his job quietly, and you don’t realize how many points he scores, but he is effective.”
Kelly led the Colts with 18. Logan Stumpf scored 15, and Aru added 12 points.
Warwick took the consolation contest 60-52 against the Mechanicsburg Wildcats, but it went down to the wire. Warwick led three times by 15 points in the second half, but the wildcats kept scrambling back into the game. Three times the Wildcats had the lead down to seven and had possession of the ball, but either turned the ball over or took a bad shot.
Warwick continually hit big shot after big shot when the Wildcats tried to close the gap. Anthony D’Imperio and Alex Soto each canned two three-pointers and scored 19 and 15 points respectively. Deron Thompson added nine more points.
For the Wildcats, Austin Schoffstall scored 14 tough points in the lane, and Collin Farnham drained two threes off the bench. Jimmy Spanos canned three shots from beyond the arc and totaled 11 points. Eleven Wildcats scored in the contest.
“We just struggled to take care of the basketball tonight,” said Wildcat coach Bob Strickler. “We dug ourselves a hole, and D’Imperio and Soto hit big shots just like they did last year in the playoffs against us. We have to get ready for Susquehanna Township Tuesday and then Cedar Cliff on Friday. We are 0-2, and we can start to turn it around or we can lay down. I won’t allow my kids to lay down.”