Kehler on Hoops: SUSQUEHANNOCK DEFEATS MIDDLETOWN AREA 61-56
Written by: Dell Jackson on Sunday, February 6th, 2022
SUSQUEHANNOCK DEFEATS MIDDLETOWN AREA 61-56
In an upset in a non-league game between PIAA District 3 teams, Susquehannock led most of the way to defeat host Middletown Area 61-56 on Saturday afternoon. For the most part, the game was well played and competitive. The difference between the two teams was Susquehannock’s depth; three players came off their bench to combine for 18 points.
The game was tied a couple of times in the opening minutes, then Susquehannock took a 6-4 lead on a hoop inside by junior Josh Franklin, and they never trailed from that point. 6′ 4″ Susquehannock senior Ezra Davis was particularly effective in the early going, netting a couple of field goals and grabbing several rebounds. However, with Susquehannock up 8-4, Davis committed his second foul and went to the bench. He was replaced by junior Abass Ndiaye, who had a sensational game, ultimately finishing with 11 points while being a stout defender and a sure handed rebounder. A three pointer by junior Chase Robert gave Susquehannock an 11-6 lead, at which point they changed from a switching man-to-man defense to a 1-3-1 zone. Midddletown Area’s first possession against the 1-3-1 was confused, but, the next time downcourt, 6′ 3″ Middletown senior Tajae Broadie hit a three pointer from the right corner. After that, Susquehannock used their 1-3-1 zone sparingly. Broadie was almost the entire Middletown offense in the first half, scoring seven of their nine first quarter points and eight of their 13 points in the second frame. Susquehannock led 30-22 at halftime, having out-rebounded Middletown 13 to eight in the first half. Both teams are obviously well coached, and both showed lots of offensive structure and offensive motion. The teams varied their defenses somewhat, but both seemed to succeed the most with man-to-man.
In the third quarter, Susquehannock seemed to concentrate more on stopping Broadie, a player who is effective attacking the hoop from in close and also when shooting from behind the arc. Broadie’s Middletown teammates stepped up, though, and they went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 34, with 3:00 left in the third quarter, on two drives by 5′ 8″ senior Tate Leach, a three pointer by Broadie, and a pivot move plus a free throw by 6′ 2″ junior Braelan Huber. Susquehannock quickly responded with a fast break layup by Franklin, a hoop inside by Ndiaye, and a basket inside by Franklin, and they led the rest of the way Early in the fourth quarter, Susquehannock went ahead 49-38 on a hoop inside by junior Joey Smith. At this point, Susquehannock seemed to lose focus, and Middletown forged back into contention. A couple of free throws by Leach cut Susquehannock’s lead to 59-56, but Middletown would get no closer. While the last few minutes of the game were a bit ragged, the first three and a half quarters were played with skill and verve.
Susquehannock is now 13-6 on the season, while Middletown, suffering their first non-league loss of the campaign, is 17-3.
Susquehannock had a slight edge on the boards, 28 to 26. Susquhannock committeed 12 turnovers to 11 for Middletown Area. From the line, Susquehannock was 9 of 15, and Middletown was 12 of 20. Susquehannock made five three pointers, and Middletwon made six, four of them by Broadie. There were three ties and two lead changes.
Susquehannock scoring: Jalen Franklin 14, Josh Franklin 13, Abass Ndiaye 11, Ezra Davis 7, Dan Benna 5, Joey Smith 5, Chase Robert 4, and Ricky Ferguson 2.
Middletown Area scoring: Tajae Broadie 26, Tate Leach 13, Braelan Huber 9, Aleel Batts 6, and Bamm Appleby 2.
Susquehannock 16 14 13 18-61
Middletown Area 9 13 14 20-56
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