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Sheffer’s Solid Performance Helps Cranberry Beat Keystone

Thursday, December 31, 2015 @ 12:12 AM

Posted by Chris Rossetti

KNOX, Pa. ( – It isn’t a win that Cranberry head coach Pat Irwin will put in any highlight videos, but as the Berries mentor put it “any win is a good win,” after his team went on the road and beat Keystone, 35-25, in a game that featured twice as many turnovers as made shots Wednesday night.

Cranberry won despite being without leading scorer Brendan Zerbe (15.1 ppg) and despite turning the ball over 26 times resulting in 17 Keystone points.

“I like all wins regardless of who we have playing or who we don’t have playing,” Irwin said. “Keystone really got at it with their zone. I am absolutely happy to come out with a win.”

Dechyln Sheffer played a key role in the victory scoring a game-high 13 points to go with eight rebounds while shooting 5 of 8 from the field, the only player in the contest to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.

“He is a solid offensive player,” Irwin said. “He came through big for us last year in a few games. This is the type of output I expect from him.”

The Berries also got a decent game from Evan Lutz, who scored 10 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists despite struggling from the field shooting just 3 of 12.

“That’s kind of been Evan’s thing,” Irwin said. “If his shooting hasn’t been quite there he finds ways to contribute. He hits the boards hard.”

Lutz played a key role in an early fourth-quarter 6-0 run that turned a six-point game, 26-20, going to the final eight minutes into a 12-point cushion, 32-20, that pretty much ended any thoughts of a Keystone comeback.

First, with 6:31 left in the game he grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed 3-pointer by Tylor Ziegler and fed Sheffer for what turned into an old-school 3-point play to put the Berries up 29-20.

Less than a minute later, he was part of a sequence of two offensive rebounds by Cranberry that led to a more conventional 3-pointer by Sheffer with Lutz once again getting an assist.

“That’s been one of the things I think has been holding us back, our effort at times,” Irwin said. “To see a hustle play where we saw a reward come from that directly, that was big play for us.”

Rebounding, especially offensive rebounding, was a big reason Cranberry was able to overcome the 26 turnovers and a 33.3 percent shooting night (12 of 36).

The Berries outrebounded Keystone 38-21 and had 14 offensive boards to the Panthers eight. In addition to Sheffer and Lutz, Caleb McCandless was also strong on the boards with nine rebounds.

“We still do have some size without (Zerbe),” Irwin said. “Dechyln and Caleb McCandless are both decent sized kids, and our guards crash the boards pretty well.”

The game really was a slugfest from the start with Cranberry holding a lead of 7-6 at the end of the first quarter and 21-14 at halftime after outshooting the Panthers 42.1 percent to 31.8 percent in the opening half.

The shooting actually got worse in the second half Keystone hitting just 4 of 21 shots (19 percent) and Cranberry 4 of 17 (23.5 percent).

The two teams combined to make just 23 shots while turning the ball over 42 times.

The difference, though, was Cranberry’s ability to hit four of its 18 3-pointers while Keystone was 0-for-14 from beyond the arc.

Tanner Wilson led the Panthers with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.


Score by Quarter

Cranberry 7 14 5 9 – 35

Keystone 6 8 6 5- 25


Dechyln Sheffer 5-8 1-1 13; Evan Lutz 3-12 3-4 10; Austin Rex 2-6 2-2 6; Tylor Ziegler 1-5 0-0 3; Caleb McCandless 1-4 0-0 2; Josh Tygert 0-0 1-4 1; Bailey Thompson 0-0 0-0 0; Cameron Daugherty 0-0 0-0 0; Tyler MacNeil 0-0 0-0 0; Nathan Marterella 0-0 0-0 0; Andrew Gunn 0-0 0-0 0; Nick Varsek 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-36 7-11 35.


Tanner Wilson 4-8 3-4 11; Mason Rearick 2-5 0-0 4; Brooks LaVan 1-1 0-0 2; Mitchell Hogue 1-2 0-0 2; Braden Jones 1-1 0-2 2; Brayden Shick 1-6 0-0 2; Austin Ion 1-13 0-0 2; Nate Wingard 0-0 0-0 0; Corey Rapp 0-4 0-0 0; Mattson Caun 0-2 0-0 0; Ian Henry 0-1 0-1 0; Dalton Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-43 3-7 25.

THREE-POINTERS: Cranberry 4-18 (Dechyln Sheffer 2-3; Evan Lutz 1-6; Tylor Ziegler 1-5; Nick Varsek 0-1; Austin Rex 0-3), Keystone 0-14 (Tanner Wilson 0-2; Mason Rearick 0-3; Brayden Shick 0-2; Austin Ion 0-4; Corey Rapp 0-2; Mattson Caun 0-1).

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