Waynesboro’s dream season comes to an end


DOWNINGTOWN – The Waynesboro varsity boys’ basketball team may never have another season like this.

And, despite a loss in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament, the 2022-23 season will go down in school history as the best ever.

On Saturday, the Indians put a scare into host Downingtown West, leading at one point 11-4 in the first quarter and roaring back from a double-digit deficit to get to within three points, 52-49, by the end of the third quarter.

Led by a superlative effort from senior Dylan Blair, the Whippets (22-7) pulled out a 64-60 victory to advance to the second round against District 7 New Castle on Wednesday. Blair led all scorers with 32 points, half of his team’s total points in the game.

The win was Downingtown West’s first ever state playoff victory. It would also have been Waynesboro’s first state tournament win as well.

Waynesboro’s dynamic trio of Ryan Shaffer, Jaylon Bean and Tanyon Shaull all contributed with big games. Shaull led the way with 19 points, followed by Shaffer with 17 and Bean with 16 points.

The Tribe (21-7) led 18-12 after the first period, but Downingtown West outscored Waynesboro 24-9 in the second quarter to lead 36-27 at the half.

With two minutes to play, Shaffer made a shot in the lane to make it 60-58, and the Indians got the ball back following a missed shot at the other end.

But Waynesboro, under the leadership of veteran head coach Tom Hoffman (who finished his 23rd season at the position) turned the ball over and the Whippets made two free throws to lead 62-58.

The Tribe connected on a pair of free throws of their own to make it 62-60 with 24 seconds remaining. Blair made two free throws to make it a two-possession game with 15.4 seconds, and Waynesboro couldn’t make a desperation shot down the stretch to give it a chance for one more scoring opportunity before time expired.

Waynesboro’s season was highlighted by an undefeated Mid-Penn Colonial Division season (14-0) and an outright league championship.

The Indians won their first two District 3 playoff games against Red Lion (59-41) and William Penn (60-45) before losing in the semifinals to Reading (55-31) and then to Hempfield (53-41) in the fourth-place game.

All five starting players (seniors) – Shaffer, Bean, Shaull, Michael Young and Cooper Hough – played their final games on Saturday.

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