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MIDDLETOWN — Middletown turned up the defensive pressure coming out of the half, and Boiling Springs didn’t handle it well. That was the difference in the contest.

The Blue Raiders won the District 3 Class 4A quarterfinal 72-55 on their home floor Thursday night.

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District 3 Boys Basketball: Boiling Springs at Middletown
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District 3 Boys Basketball: Boiling Springs at Middletown
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District 3 Boys Basketball: Boiling Springs at Middletown
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District 3 Boys Basketball: Boiling Springs at Middletown
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District 3 Boys Basketball: Boiling Springs at Middletown

Boiling Springs (12-10), the sixth seed from the Mid-Penn Capital, drops into the consolation bracket Monday against No. 7 Northern Lebanon (16-9). That game is currently scheduled for 5 p.m. at Lebanon High School.

Middletown (16-6), the No. 3 seed from the Mid-Penn Capital, will move to the semifinals Monday at 6:30 at Penn Manor to face No. 2 Berks Catholic (25-2), 52-34 winners over NL.

Middletown came out firing and took a quick 7-0 lead behind Ryan Hughes and Kyle Truesdale.

But Boiling Springs slowly and methodically rallied behind Dylan LaNoue and Grayson Hacker. A 3-pointer by Michael Wagner and a put-back by Hacker enabled the Bubblers to tie the game at 14 before Hughes drained another 3-pointer.

Middletown led 17-15 after eight minutes, but the Bubbler claimed the advantage and stretched it out to 32-27 after two buckets by Zach VonStein.

They led 37-31 late, but Chris Plummer knocked down a fall-away trey from the deep left corner at the halftime buzzer.

“That was a definite difference,” Bubblers coach Pat Dieter said. “We couldn’t have played better defense on him, and he was able to get the arc on the shot. Instead, they go in on a high and we go in on a low.

“We told the kids they were going to come out and press and force the ball inside.”

That’s what happened. Middletown ran off 10 straight points behind pressure turnovers and not-so-good shot selection when the Bubblers got in their offense.

Hacker broke the streak with a 3-pointer, but the 19-6 quarter gave the Blue Raiders a 53-43 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Boiling Springs’ turnover problems continued, forcing the team to foul to try and stay close.

Boiling Springs must win one of its next two games to be one of District 3’s five PIAA qualifiers from Class 4A. The other consolation semi includes No. 1 Lancaster Catholic (22-4), which was upset by ninth-seeded Bishop McDevitt 47-43, and No. 5 Littlestown (15-9). Placement games are Wednesday.

Hughes led all scorers with 26 points, he also sat out about six minutes due to foul trouble.

Tre Leach added 18 and frustrated the Bubblers with his ability to get to the glass despite being among the shortest players on the floor. Plummer and Truesdale added 12 and 10, respectively.

LaNoue led the Bubblers with 23 and Hacker added 14. VonStein tallied nine for the Bubblers.

It’s the second loss for the Bubblers to Middletown; the other was an 81-68 decision two weeks prior.

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