GREENCASTLE, Pa.—High school athletes strive to win every game, but one game is circled on the calendars of every senior — Senior Night.
Senior Night is the one last chance to go out in front of your home crowd and perform in front friends, family and loved ones.
Tuesday night, the Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils’ seniors were sent off in a grand way with a 60-56 overtime victory over rival Mid-Penn Colonial rival James Buchanan.
“You know it’s was very fitting (to end the season) with a climatic, epic, tight game against your rivals,” Greencastle coach Gary Martin said. “They’ve been in things and there was no quit in them.”
Trailing for much of the contest, the Blue Devils (15-3, 9-2) rallied in the third and fourth quarters. Trailing by one with a minute to play, Holden Baker struck for his only 3-pointer of the game, giving Greencastle a 50-48 lead.
However, James Buchanan (5-14, 1-9) struck back.
Aubrey Brown earned a trip to the charity stripe for the Rockets and converted on two free-throw attempts to knot the game at 50. After a Greencastle turnover, Jake Muller had one last shot to win it for the Rockets, but his shot clanked off the rim.
The miss foreshadowed the future of the Rockets’ night.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 57-56 lead late in the overtime session. With less than 30 seconds to play, Joel Zola swatted away a layup attempt and sent off a pass to the high-flying Zach Faulkner for an easy layup and foul to cement the game.
Senior Daniel Stepler took advantage of performing one last time in the Greencastle gymnasium as he exploded for 23 points, including two game-tying shots in overtime. The senior dominated the post, using the high screen to set up his drives into the post.
“He’s very aggressive,” said Martin. “Stepler did a great job inside the post tonight.”
Muller finished the game with a team-high 12 points for the Rockets. Garrett Malanka, Grant Strawoet and Liam Corcoran each scored in double digits for James Buchanan in the defeat.
Zola finished the game with nine points for the Blue Devils.
Greencastle-Antrim 60, James Buchanan 56
JAMES BUCHANAN (5-14, 1-9)
Muller 12, Malanka 11, Strawoet 10, Corcoran 10, Brown 5, Hege 4, Metzler 2. Totals 19 16-25 56.
GREENCASTLE-ANTRIM (15-3, 9-2)
Stepler 23, Zola 9, Puffenbarger 7, Scott 6, Baker 6, Faulkner 6, Englehart 3. Totals 22 11-23 60.
J. Buchanan 14 12 12 12 6 — 56
Greencastle 6 16 15 13 10 — 60
3-point goals — James Buchanan 2 (Brown 2), Greencastle-Antrim 2 (Baker, Englehart).