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Chambersburg Area Defeats Central Dauphin in a PIAA District 3 Class 6A Playoff Quarterfinal

Chambersburg Area Defeats Central Dauphin in a PIAA District 3 Class 6A Playoff Quarterfinal

Written by: Dell Jackson on February 24, 2024


Chambersburg Area Defeats Central Dauphin in a PIAA District 3 Class 6A Playoff Quarterfinal
Article by David Kehler

Chambersburg Area used two explosive second half runs to defeat visiting Central Dauphin 53 to 39 on Friday night in a PIAA District 3 Class 6A playoff quarterfinal. It was the third meeting this season of these Mid Penn Conference Commonwealth Division squads. Chambersburg won both previous games by narrow margins.

On Friday night, Central Dauphin got off to a fast start, taking a 6 to 2 lead on a pair of 3-pointers by 6’ 3” junior Wayne Fletcher II. Chambersburg tied the game at 6 on two free throws by 6’ 5” senior Jemere Jones followed by a power move by Jones. Jones had a terrific game and was a difficult matchup for Central Dauphin most of the night. Trailing 10 to 8 late in the first quarter, Central Dauphin launched a 13 to 0 run when 6’ 4” senior Shawn Wright blocked a shot and took it back the other way for a layup. The Central Dauphin run continued into the second quarter and dominated that frame beginning with a hoop inside by Wright followed by another 3-pointer by Fletcher, this one in transition; 3-pointer by 6’ freshman Shakur Starling; two free throws by 6’ sophomore Richard Chase; and a free throw by Fletcher. Chambersburg stopped the Central Dauphin run with a jumper by 6’ 5” sophomore Landon Buhrman with 35 seconds left in the first half, the only points that the home side scored in the second quarter. Central Dauphin led 23 to 12 at halftime, and the momentum was all theirs.

In several other games this season, Chambersburg has taken command in the second half, and that was the case once again on Friday night. J.J. Kelly, Chambersburg’s 6’ 6” junior sensation, opened the third quarter with a personal 10 to 0 run on a jumper, two free throws, a baseline jumper, an ally-top dunk on a fast break, and a turnaround jumper. Kelly’s one man scoring run cut the Central Dauphin lead to 23 to 22. Central Dauphin finally got back in the scoring column on a hoop inside by 6’ 3” senior Lleyton Fried and a Fletcher fast break layup. Chambersburg took their first lead of the game since midway through the first quarter with a baseline drive by Kelly, a clutch 3-pointer by 5’ 6” senior Ari Snyder, and—with 2:12 left in the third quarter—a floater by Kelly. That made it 29 to 27, Chambersburg. After the teams exchanged hoops, Central Dauphin tied the score at 31 at the end of the third quarter on a putback by 6’ 5” sophomore Jelani Easter. Chambersburg’s Kelly had scored 14 points in the third quarter.

Central Dauphin recaptured the lead at the outset of the final quarter, 33 to 31, on a couple of free throws by Fletcher. The teams then exchanged 3-pointers: Chambersburg’s by Kelly and Central Dauphin’s by Fried. That made it 36 to 34, Central Dauphin, and it would be the visitors’ final lead of the contest.

With 3:53 left in the final quarter, Chambersburg went on a 19 to 0 run, consisting of a fast break layup by Jones, a putback by Kelly, a hoop inside by Jones, a free throw by Jones, two free throws by Snyder, a breakaway dunk by Kelly, a power move by Jones, a fast break layup by Jones, a hoop inside by Jones from an assist by Kelly, and a drive by Kelly. That made it 53 to 36, Chambersburg. This surge was aided by five fourth quarter turnovers by Central Dauphin and some rushed shots by the visitors that didn’t find the mark.

For most of the way, this was actually a tactical game, with both teams often switching defenses and changing man-to-man matchups. Strong second half play by Chambersburg’s Kelly and Jones was the major factor in the victory. Kelly scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half, and Jones scored 13 of his 19 points after the break. Central Dauphin scored only one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Kelly deserves special mention. The junior is one of the top players in Pennsylvania, a leaper and shot blocker who can drive, shoot from mid-range, and shoot from long distance. He would be an outstanding player in any league in the Commonwealth.

With this win, Chambersburg qualifies for the PIAA Class 6A state championship tournament. Central Dauphin, which has had an outstanding season, still has a chance to qualify.

For the game, both teams had 26 rebounds. Chambersburg had eight turnovers, while Central Dauphin had 12 miscues. Chambersburg was seven of 11 from the free throw line, while Central Dauphin was seven of 12 from the stripe. Chambersburg made two 3-pointers, and Central Dauphin scored five times from beyond the arc. Chambersburg shored up their perimeter defense in the second half; CD scored only one 3-pointer after the break. There were seven ties and eight lead changes.

Chambersburg Area scoring: J.J. Kelly 25, Jemere Jones 19, Ari Snyder 5, and Landon Buhrman 4.

Central Dauphin scoring: Wayne Fletcher II 14, Lleyton Fried 8, Shakur Starling 7, Jelani Easter 4, Shawn Wright 4, and Richard Chase 2.

Central Dauphin          10    13    8    8  – 39
Chambersburg Area    10    2    19   22 – 53

On Twitter: @david_kehler


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