By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
In a 30-second span Friday, Shikellamy’s C.J. Tyler put a damper on Selinsgrove’s chance of a comeback inside a rowdy and noisy Shikellamy Field House.
The junior guard hit a perfect 3-pointer and scored an easy layup shortly thereafter. The scoring capped a 7-0 run that put the Seals into a 14-point hole.
From there, Selinsgrove could do little to gain momentum and make the game close as it lost to its cross-river rival, 58-45, in a HAC-I showdown.
“I thought their defense was giving us trouble all night for us trying to score,” Selinsgrove coach Ray Moyer said. “We gave them too many second chances on the offensive end for rebounds.”
Rebounds played a huge advantage for Shikellamy (5-4, 3-0), as the Braves grabbed 33 boards, 23 on the defensive glass. Zach Herbster, who was crucial under the basket, led the game with a team-high 14, almost out-rebounding Selinsgrove (15).
“I don’t know how many boards he (Herbster) had, but he was going crazy on the boards and that really helps with extra shots,” Shikellamy senior guard Ernie Tyler said. “Me or C.J. miss, or (Austin) Mowery (misses), and they get a rebound and kick it back out and we put it back in. It’s great. It’s a real big confidence thing.”
The Braves’ confidence on the hardwood continued to build throughout the second half as Shikellamy built a double-digit lead for the first time. The closest the Seals cut it once the Braves went up by double digits was nine points in the fourth quarter.
C.J. Tyler scored 21 points, pulled five boards and dished a team-high five assists, while Ernie Tyler scored 11. Ryan Kenney added 13 points and five boards for the Braves.
The Seals kept it interesting throughout the first half, never allowing Shikellamy to get too far ahead. The Braves led by six points about halfway through the first quarter before Selinsgrove made some runs to take an 18-17 lead with 25 seconds left in the first.
The Seals tied it and again took a one-point lead late in the second quarter; they went into the half down just 28-26.
Shikellamy continued a 7-0 run across the second and third quarters and forged a 14-5 run to put the game all but out of reach.
“I thought Selinsgrove shot the ball extremely well in the first half. They had a couple guys that were scoring beyond their scoring average; they had that at halftime,” Shikellamy coach Tim Foor said. “We weren’t playing rotten defense — we only gave up 26 points in the first half — but I thought we left some people loose a little bit.”
David Aurand did the most damage offensively for Selinsgrove, leading with 11 points, while Dillon Hoke scored 10. Shikellamy’s defense didn’t allow Hoke to get any easy looks in the second half, though, as the senior guard drained just one trey for his only second-half points.
“I thought they did a good job taking Dillon Hoke away a lot,” Moyer said. “I thought they keyed on Dillon, did a nice job, and they helped better on our penetration. We were driving in the first half, got some fouls, got some baskets and I thought they did a better job rotating in the second half.”