Waynesboro defeats West Perry, improves to 13-1

Waynesboro's Jevon McIver (32) takes a high pass on the point as the Indians run their half-court offense. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS

WAYNESBORO – In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Waynesboro Indians varsity basketball team is putting together yet another memorable season.

As if last season’s 17-win campaign wasn’t enough – or a 17-win season in 2018-19 – the 2022-23 edition boasts an incredibly talented senior starting five featuring (not in any particular order) Jaylon Bean, Ryan Shaffer, Tanyon Shaull, Michael Young and Cooper Hough.

And, on Friday night, the future leaders of head coach Tom Hoffman’s team got plenty of playing time during Waynesboro’s 54-20 Mid-Penn Colonial Division win against the West Perry Mustangs.

Farin Parks, Kellan Smith, Will Campbell, Jevon McIver and Alex Torbica all had 10 or more minutes of court time. Grant Thompson had nearly eight minutes of playing time.

“We’ve got guys that work just as hard in practice as our starters, have to be at every film session and every weightlifting session,” said Hoffman of his “second five.” “Every role is important, and when you get an opportunity to be on the floor, you need to take advantage of it, show you know where to go and what to do, even if your reps in practice aren’t as great. They definitely played hard and it was good to reward some guys for their great efforts they’ve been giving us all season.”

Torbica scored five points and added five rebounds.

More importantly was that there was hardly any drop off in performance, which no doubt enabled Hoffman to take full advantage of allowing his reserve players to play as if they were full-time players.

“We know we’re a senior dominated team, so those guys are the future,” Hoffman said. “It’s important they get on the floor and get the shock out of their system like the other guys before them.

“It’s the middle of January so we’re a little beat up; it’s not a bad thing to get rest, but we have to keep our edge. You can’t go four days without playing hard and expect to be your best.”

The game marked the start of the second half of the league season. The Tribe (13-1, 8-0 MPC) defeated West Perry 60-21 in the teams’ first meeting back on Dec. 13.

The individual statistics paled in comparison to the overall team aspect of the game. Shaffer led the way with 13 points, followed by MIcheal Young with 11. In fact, Shaffer and Young made three-point field goals to start the game, and after Bean made a layup, West Perry head coach Tom Schmeigh signaled for a time out to slow things down.

Following the stoppage of play, the Mustangs did slow the tempo of the game = enough to get on the board with seven first-quarter points but still trailed 19-7 after the first eight minutes.

Like most of Waynesboro’s wins this season, the Indians steadily and methodically employed a cosmetic press defense following points and then resorted to a stifling man-to-man defense that led to 17 turnovers and probably contributed to some of West Perry’s fouls. The Mustangs committed 14 fouls compared to five by Waynesboro.

Perhaps an oddity on the stat sheet is that the Indians outrebounded West Perry only 20-18, anomaly considering Waynesboro had a 53-29 edge in total shots (including free throws).

The Indians led 39-14 at halftime and took a 47-17 lead early in the third quarter which triggered the running clock.

The second half had, more or less, the feel of a scrimmage, with turnovers and fouls and very little scoring. Waynesboro outscored West Perry 10-5 in the third period and 5-1 in the final stanza.

 Waynesboro will find out soon if it can keep its perfect league season going when the Indians take to the road to play Northern York on Tuesday.

Next Friday is Pack the House Night when Waynesboro plays host to Big Spring. Four games are on tap and lots of energy as a multitude of elementary, middle school and high school students will occupy the bleachers.

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