WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior varsity basketball teams played their second straight quadruple-header, this time in the friendly confines of the Waynesboro Area Senior High School gymnasium.
On Tuesday, the teams played at Big Spring, a “tune up” for the upcoming Pack the House Night on Jan. 20.
On Friday, they hosted James Buchanan in a “tune up” for another four games slated for Mercersburg in January. The Maidens lost a 49-47 thriller to the Lady Rockets as a last-second shot bounced off the rim to preserve JB’s win.
In the nightcap, Waynesboro’s varsity boys struggled early but overcame mistakes and a hot-shooting hand by Buchanan’s Drew Crouse to record a 69-55 Mid-Penn Colonial Division victory.
“It was a good victory, one we needed,” said Waynesboro head coach Tom Hoffman, whose team is now 3-4. “Buchanan is much-improved. They have a bunch of kids who can dribble, pass and shoot. When we substituted and went to a 1-3-1 zone, that seemed to help. They got used to it and found (Crouse).”
Crouse scored eight of his team’s first 11 points that gave the Rockets an 11-3 lead with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter.
Once again, Hoffman played a game of musical chairs with substitutions. At game’s end, the moves paid dividends, especially on offense. Rayshawn Frazer-Hewitt came off the bench and sparked the offense, as did Nate Nystrom. The two finished the night with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Julian Mencia, who entered the game with Frazer-Hewitt, knocked down a pair of three-point field goals.
“Our success has come from multiple guys being a part of it,” Hoffman said. “It’s always more comfortable as a coach to have a set rotation. But it’s working.”
Nystrom helped get the cylinders moving when he made back-to-back shots, and Farin Parks (14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) made a free throw to make it 11-8.
The Rockets hit two straight shots to go back up 15-8, but the trend going forward favored Waynesboro. The Indians scored six of the final eight points of the opening period and eventually overtook the Rockets when Parks made a three-pointer to give the Tribe a 25-22 lead, Nystrom followed with a two-pointer and Kellan Smith chipped in with a trey.
If Waynesboro was going to win, Buchanan wasn’t going to make it easy. The Rockets refused to give all the momentum to the hosts, and they came back to take a 32-31 in the early moments of the third quarter when Crouse made a traditional three-point play.
Perhaps sensing the window closing, Waynesboro began to assert itself on both ends of the court. Grant Thompson (9 points) tied the game by making one out of two free throws. Alex Torbica (13 points, 9 rebounds) was fouled while attempting a put-back shot and made both charity tosses to give the Indians a 34-32 lead. That was the last time Waynesboro was either tied or trailing in the game.
Mencia swished a three-pointer, and Frazer-Hewitt drained another trifecta to give the Tribe a 40-32 lead. Frazer-Hewitt made a nice pass to Torbia inside, who converted with the inside bucket. Then, Mencia made it 44-34 with 1:46 to play in the third quarter.