CARLISLE — The only thing that could slow down Chambersburg’s Joel Torres on Friday night at the Gene Evans Gymnasium in Carlisle was the foul trouble that eventually saw the 6-foot-6 senior foul out with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter.
But by then, Torres had done the bulk of the damage for the Trojans as he went off for 24 points in the 55-40 win over the Thundering Herd.
Both teams scored often and early as Carlisle raced out to a 17-16 lead after one quarter. The Herd made their first four 3-point attempts to keep the advantage over Chambersburg, but Torres had the answer each time as he rolled off the Trojans’ last 13 points of the quarter.
“He has evolved quite a bit as a player as the year has gone on,” Chambersburg head coach Shawn Shreffler said. “I was a little worried. He was sick and hadn’t been feeling well all day, so for him to come out and give that effort when he didn’t feel his best really says a lot.”
Chambersburg (13-3, 7-2 Commonwealth) kept finding success down low as Terell Williams and Tyler Collier provided the offense while Torres sat with his second foul after chipping in another five points in the second quarter.
Gavyn Barnes put the Herd on his back. The guard tallied 13 first-half points, repeatedly drawing contact going to the rim. The 5-foot-10 senior knocked down six of eight free throws to go along with three baskets, including one from long range, to keep the Chambersburg halftime lead at 30-26.
“We didn’t set the tone from the gate, and that’s an issue right now,” Carlisle head coach Andre Anderson said. “We need to do some searching to fix it.”
Carlisle (8-7, 6-3 Commonwealth) came out of the break struggling on the offensive end as Chambersburg turned up the heat with its defense.
The Trojans held the Herd to just three points in the period while they pushed their lead out to double-digits. Tyron Williams capped the quarter with five unanswered points off the bench.
“This wasn’t the same team that came out against Spring Grove the other night,” Anderson said. “We didn’t play with that same energy. It was a six-point game and we just didn’t go out and play hard the second half.”
The Thundering Herd, who were one-point victors the last time the two teams met a month ago, never seriously challenged in the final eight minutes as they couldn’t cut into the deficit.
“They have so many weapons and they’re very hard to guard,” Shreffler said of Carlisle. “I think the kids were really locked in and did a nice job defensively against a really good basketball team.”
Barnes, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, led Carlisle with 18 points. Joe Mastrangelo punched in eight for the Herd, including six in the second half.
“Everything we do is going to revolve around toughness and heart,” Anderson said. “They have to know they have to go out and play smarter and tougher. If they do that we’ll be fine.”
Carlisle returns to the hardwood Tuesday night as it hosts division rival Harrisburg.