WAYNESBORO – On a night when the Waynesboro Indians varsity basketball team wasn’t running on all cylinders, senior Ryan Shaffer provided the spark needed to get past a Northern York team that slowed the Tribe’s offense.
Shaffer scored nearly half of the team’s points, finishing a team-best 30-pus minutes of playing time with 21 points (including a pair of three-point field goals). Shaffer dished out three assists, had four rebounds and blocked a shot as well during Waynesboro’s 43-29 Mid-Penn Colonial Division win.
“I think Ryan has had a great start to the season,” said Waynesboro head coach Tom Hoffman. “He’s always been a very talented player. Probably about a week into the preseason he kind of had a sense of urgency in practice and it hasn’t really left him since. He’s playing with a purpose. At times just making play after play after play on both ends of the floor. It’s good to see. We needed every thing he did.”
Shaffer’s singular performance, turns out, was a virtual necessity. Whatever Northern York did on defense, it was enough to slow Waynesboro’s motion offense to a trickle. The majority of passes were of the side-to-side variety, with very few penetrating the Polar Bears zone defense, which they used exclusively the entire game.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that most of Waynesboro’s points came on layups, which made up a good many of the team’s 17 field goals. The Indians were 17 of 31 from the field (55 percent), but Northern York fared much worse. The Bears, who tallied only three points in the third quarter, shot just 25 percent (6 of 24) from the field.
When is the last time Waynesboro made a mere two three-pointers? Probably a while.
“I think Northern does a good job of dictating style of play,” said Hoffman, whose team hosts South Western Monday in a non-conference game. “It’s the zone and ball control offense. Those two items limited our time of possession. It’s a style that against us with the size we have and the ability level.
“We had some unforced turnovers. I think we had 17 where we just lost the ball. It was a combination of things. We’ll get back into the laboratory.”
The Tribe isn’t used to having things go the way they did Friday, even though Waynesboro still won the game to improve to 5-0 and the closest Northern could get along the way was 11-8 thanks to a three-pointer to start the second period.
A Cooper Hough bucket made it 13-8, and after missed scoring chances on the next four times down the floor, Shaffer scored the next four points to make it 25-17.
The score was 19-13 at halftime after Hough scored the final points of the first half.
Then, in the third stanza, the Indians created some separation. They outscored the Polar Bears from Dillsburg 14-3 to take a 32-16 lead. Shaffer made a traditional three-point play and connected on a layup off a close-range pass from Jaylon Bean midway through the quarter.
Shaffer scored nine of his 21 points in the third period, including a trey that upped the lead to 30-13. Reserve Grant Thompson made a follow-up shot to close out the scoring in the third.