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High School Boys' Basketball - Upper Dauphin 57, Millersburg 55
Tribe, Trojans play 'Thriller 2.0'

By Mike Hutchins, CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Millersburg's Christian Keiter attempts a shot against UDA's Alex Uhler earlier this season. (Sentinel photo by Lon Zeiders)

MILLERSBURG • Upper Dauphin Area managed to pull off a very difficult task, beating an opponent three times in one season.

It’s even more difficult when that opponent is one of your biggest local rivals.

The Trojans accomplished that Jan. 6 with a 57-55 win over Millersburg.

“It was a great game. Both teams left everything they had on the court,” Upper Dauphin Area Head Coach Anthony Weaver said.

To win games like this, it takes a total team effort, from the top starters to the guys who come off the bench for only a few minutes a night.

Matt “Mookie” Miller got off to a fast start for the Trojans, burying a pair of three-point baskets in the first 1:30 of the game to lift the Trojans to an 8-0 lead.

But the Indians made a defensive adjustment on Miller, with Mike Prime getting the chore of having to guard him man-to-man in a box-and-one style defense. Miller did finish the night with a team-high 14 points.

The Indians shook off that early UDA onslaught and built a lead, 27-24, at halftime.

The Indians remained in the lead, with the exception of trailing 31-29 early in the third quarter, until late in the fourth quarter.

Millersburg’s biggest lead came with 6:16 to play in the game when Christian Wingard’s baseline drive made it 44-38. Wingard led all scorers with 20 points.

Jordan Gessner, who had a triple double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, heated up in the first half of the fourth quarter.

After Wingard’s bucket, Gessner scored the next eight points for UDA. His final two were a pair of free throws to make it 48-46, the Indians leading with 4:09 remaining in the game.

Prime hit a big bucket with 3:47 to play, and the Tribe opened the margin to four points, 50-46.

Less than 30 seconds later, one of UDA’s bench role players came up with a big shot. Teddy Calnon drained a three-pointer from the corner to cut Millersburg’s lead to 50-49.

Alex Uhler (12 points) tied the game with a free throw with 2:50 to play. The foul shot was the culmination of a play in which Uhler made a big defensive play, then ran the floor and was fouled attempting to finish a fast break.

Miller then hit a free throw with 2:18 left to put the Trojans in front, 51-50, for the first time since the 6:21 mark of the third quarter.

The Indians regained the lead, 52-50, on an offensive stick back by Christian Keiter (15 points, 13 rebounds) with 1:45 to play.

Miller then made a pair of free throws with 1:30 remaining to put the Trojans back in front, 53-52.

Another one of UDA’s bench players came up with a big defensive play when Andrew Norris came up with one of his three fourth quarter steals. This one led to a bucket by Uhler with 1:03 to play, making it 55-52.

“We have a lot of depth and have different guys stepping up each night. Calnon’s three was huge and Norris made three big defensive plays down the stretch,” Weaver said.

Wingard made a pair of free throws with 55 seconds remaining to cut the Trojan lead to a point, 55-54.

Calnon made one-of-two  free throws with 39 seconds left, raising the scant margin to 56-54.

Keiter attacked the glass on Millersburg’s ensuing possession. After two offensive rebounds, he went to the foul line, making one-of-two freebies.

With nine seconds left, Miller made one-of-two and the Trojans had a two-point lead, 57-55.

Millersburg had one last chance, racing to midcourt and called a time out with less than five seconds on the clock.

The Indians set up a play to inbound to Keiter on the low block, but Norris managed to get a hand on the ball and tap it out of reach, and time expired.

“This was a big win for us in the league to keep within one game of Halifax in our division and to keep momentum going as we move into the second half of our season,” Weaver said.

Robbie Burger added 10 points for the Indians.




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