LOWER ALLEN TWP. — It was a tale of two halves in the third game of the Scholastic Play By Play Classic at Trinity High School on Saturday.
And the second half is the one Carlisle coach Andre Anderson would like to have back.
“We were a different team in the first half than we were in the second half,” Anderson said. “I scratch my head sometimes about that.”
The Thundering Herd fell to the Coatesville Red Raiders 67-46 to fall back to a .500 record overall (9-9, 7-4 Commonwealth). The game was much closer at halftime.
Coatesville (14-4) led just 23-20 going into the locker room after Carlisle senior Gavyn Barnes scored his game-leading 10th point on a buzzer-beating layup.
The Red Raiders then came out of the locker room on a mission.
Helped by senior Chuck Smith’s 13 third-quarter points, highlighted by a massive dunk while getting fouled halfway through, Coatesville rolled to a 17-point lead by the end of the period. Smith finished with 19 on the day.
Carlisle knew that the way it ended up playing in the second half wasn’t going to cut it against a strong Red Raiders team.
“In the second half, we didn’t come out ready to play,” Barnes said. “It comes down to toughness and we weren’t tough enough. They outboarded us. They got every offensive rebound they could, and they kept getting points because of it.
“We have to box out and man up.”
The Herd did a much better job in the first half. They cut the points they allowed in the first quarter by nearly half in the second, giving up just eight.
In fact, the only field goal they gave up for the first six minutes and change of the second was a putback dunk by Coatesville’s Tyrel Bladen. Carlisle tied it at 18-18 moments later before the Red Raiders rattled off five straight points in the final minute before Barnes’ last-second bucket.
Barnes was the star of the game for the Thundering Herd as he’s been all season, averaging 14.8 points per game.
His 10 first-half points keeping his team in the game early. He continued to find a way to the basket in the second half, despite Coatesville taking over the game, finishing with a game-high 23 points.
Anderson wants everyone on his team to have the same mindset as the senior if they want to have success in the coming weeks.
“He’s the one guy that’s going to be out there playing tough for 32 minutes,” Anderson said. “We need guys to follow his lead and be the same kid that he is. It’s not an offensive or defensive thing with Gavyn, it’s being tough. He’s got the mentality, but we need it from more than just him.”
Carlisle will certainly have to bring the toughness for all four quarters on Tuesday as it hosts previously unbeaten State College on Tuesday. The Little Lions suffered their first loss of the season 75-66 in the showcase’s finale against Reading. An upset win there can go a long way for the Thundering Herd, who entered the weekend in ninth place in the District 3 Class 6A power rankings.
“We have to fight tooth and nail,” Anderson said. “It’s a grind down there in the district rankings. We can beat anybody when we play hard, play tough and we’re clicking on all cylinders. We just have to maintain that focus and take it one game at a time.