HARRISBURG — Cedar Cliff’s season came to a tough ending Tuesday night.
The Colts dropped a 57-45 decision to the Harrisburg Cougars at Harrisburg’s Kimber Gymnasium in the District 3 Class 6A opening round.
“We came into tonight with only one person having any District 3 experience, and that was Gerald [Jarmon III] at Susquehanna Twp. last year,” Colts coach Tigh Savercool said. “I told these kids I was proud of their effort and how far they came this year and how hard they worked in the offseason. Now we need to take the next step.”
Harrisburg took a 9-6 lead in the first quarter, and then Jarmon bombed in two 3-pointers and the Colts led 12-9. The Colts extended the lead to 18-11 on another Jarmon trey and a Patrick Weistling three-point play spanning the first two quarters.
Tony James scored twice for the Cougars, but the Colts went on a five-point run at the foul line and led 23-15.
Three minutes later, the Cougars led 25-24 after a Na’Reece Glenn 3-pointer. Justin Carter scored at the buzzer for the Colts, but they trailed 27-26 at the half.
“We started a bit slow, but our intensity picked up in the second quarter and we forced some turnovers and got some easy buckets,” Cougars coach Kirk Smallwood said. “We felt we had a bit of a size advantage and could crash the boards and get second-chance points. We did get our share.”
Glenn and Nyzeir Brannon led the Cougar charge in the third quarter, and they jumped all over the Colts to force several turnovers. Harrisburg grabbed a 40-32 third quarter lead.
Harrisburg (14-9) switched defenses and put freshman John McNeil and Stephen Jones on Jarmon and really slowed down the Colt offense.
Jarmon scored the final bucket of the game and finished with 20, with only seven in the second half.
“NcNeil is a very athletic freshman and he has worked his way into the line-up — you don’t see too many freshmen in my lineups,” Smallwood said.
Harrisburg’s final six points came at the foul line before Brannon swiped a pass at the mid-court stripe and raced in to throw it down for the only dunk of the game.
“Their pressure just wears you down, and over the course of 32 minutes it wore us down and forced us to make some decisions we don’t normally make,” Savercool said.
Weistling tallied 11 points and Justin Gause added seven, but the rest of the Colts squad only tallied seven other points.
Glenn led the Cougars with 18 and James added 12 to help the Cougars move on to the next round, where they will travel to face fellow Mid-Penn Commonwealth foe Chambersburg, a team that has beaten the Cougars twice.