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Middletown boys basketball falls to Milton Hershey, Elizabethtown

By Larry Etter

Press & Journal Staff

717-944-4628
Posted 1/15/20

The youthful Middletown boys basketball team is still going through growing pains and lost another pair of games last week.

On Friday, following a weeklong layoff, the Blue Raiders were humbled by …

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Middletown boys basketball falls to Milton Hershey, Elizabethtown

Posted

The youthful Middletown boys basketball team is still going through growing pains and lost another pair of games last week.

On Friday, following a weeklong layoff, the Blue Raiders were humbled by then-unbeaten Milton Hershey in the spacious Spartans Gym.

On Saturday afternoon, the Raiders took part in the Lancaster-Lebanon League/Mid-Penn Conference Showdown at Manheim Central and came up on the short end of a 68-60 game against Elizabethtown.

With the losses, the Blue Raiders remain stuck at 4-8 on the season. The team was scheduled to host Steel-High on Tuesday and East Pennsboro this Friday before taking part in a YIAA/Mid-Penn Showcase this Saturday at Gettysburg. The boys will play host Gettysburg at 6 p.m. and the Middletown girls team will also participate, with a game against the Warriors at 7:30.

Milton Hershey 86, Middletown 34

Following a limited schedule due to the long Christmas break, the host Spartans carried an unbeaten 6-0 record into the Mid-Penn Conference Capital Division contest against the Blue Raiders on Friday.

Milton Hershey had previously recorded easy wins over Susquehanna Township, Camp Hill, Hershey, East Pennsboro, Steelton-Highspire and West Perry. And, with their hot start against the Raiders, it was easy to see why the Spartans were unbeaten.

With less than three minutes left in the opening period, the running, jumping, shooting, defending Spartans had raced out to a commanding 23-3 lead and were never threatened after that.

The lone Middletown score in that rush came on a trey by Jules Nester 50 seconds into the game.

Josh Parra’s 10 points led the Spartans, who also picked up points from Kamiron Webster, Ka’Ron George, Nathaniel Boyd, Clemente Ojinnaka and Avohn Cross. Jarrod Pugh and Tajae Broadie scored late points for the Raiders, who trailed 27-7 heading into the second stanza.

In the second period, the Blue Raiders, led by Tymir Jackson’s 6 points, collected 12 total, but the high-flying Spartans registered 30 and held a 57-19 lead by halftime. Parra collected 8 more of his game-high 22 points to lead the way.

Things did not get any better for the struggling Raiders after that. In the second half, the Spartans did slow down a bit, in part due to the better defense by the Middletown squad, but still managed to put up 29 points in the second half.

Tate Leach, Nester, T.J. Daniels, Tony Powell and Broadie teamed for 10 points in the third, but the Raiders managed to score just 5 in the fourth as the Spartans rolled to the impressive victory.

Elizabethtown 68, Middletown 60

Back on Dec. 28 in the Blue Raiders Holiday Tournament championship game, Elizabethtown claimed a 55-44 victory over host Middletown to earn the trophy.

In a rematch on Saturday at Manheim Central High School, the Blue Raiders really wanted to exact a bit of revenge for that loss.

Head coach Chris Bradford surprised most Middletown fans by starting a revamped lineup in an attempt to send a message to his team as a motivational tool. With Ryan Goff, Brandon Burgos and Brock Welsh drawing the starts along with regulars Nester and Broadie, the team played well in the beginning.

Nester gave the Raiders a 3-0 lead and Broadie tied the game at 4 after the Bears picked up a pair of goals from Pat Gilhool.

A 7-point run by Ryan Parise pushed the Bears back in front 11-4, but sub Julio Rodriguez and Broadie went back-to-back to cut the lead to 11-9. With regular starters filtering into the game, the Raiders pulled to within one, 12-11, on a Goff-assisted goal by Broadie with 1:45 left in the opening period. But the Bears closed it out with a 6-0 run to go up 18-11 heading into the second.

Using an 18-9 scoring advantage in the second stanza, the Blue Raiders fought their way to a 29-27 lead by halftime. The Raiders took advantage of a number of missed shots by the Bears, and Broadie hit a pair of treys to lead the way to the rally. A bucket by Omarion Fanus with two seconds left gave the Middletown squad its halftime lead.

The Bears opened up the third quarter with an 8-2 run, however, to forge ahead 35-31 at 5:31 and never trailed after that. The Raiders pulled to within 39-38 on a goal and foul shot by Daniels with 3:49 left in the third, but the Bears were able to keep ahead and led 47-40 to start the final quarter.

The Raiders kept trying and stayed close in the fourth period and were down by just five, 58-53, with 2:59 left. But E-town’s Gavin Gilhool scored 13 seconds later and the Bears converted a Middletown turnover into a 62-53 lead with the clock winding down.

Derrick Wall scored off a miss by teammate Jackson and Daniels picked up a loose ball off a missed free throw by Wall to make it a 5-point game, 62-57, with 1:40 remaining. But Parise scored at 1:11 and Pat Gilhool’s putback following a missed foul shot stretched the lead to 66-57 after Daniels drew his fifth foul at 1:03.

Broadie scored with 22 seconds left and Jackson made one of two free throws 7 seconds later, but a layup with 13.7 seconds left locked up the win for the Bears.

Daniels and Broadie teamed for 29 points in the loss while Parise led the Bears with a game-high 19 points.