Message sent — loud and clear.
In a battle of the two top men’s basketball teams in the North Eastern Athletic Conference, it was Lancaster Bible College that delivered a statement.
The Chargers broke open a tight game with a 10-1 run down the stretch en route to an 89-77 win over Morrisville State on Saturday afternoon in LBC’s Horst Athletic Center.
LBC sits atop the South Division with a 10-2 mark, and is 13-7 overall. The Mustangs (10-1, 16-4), meanwhile, dropped their first conference game of the season, but remain in first place in the North Division.
“That was huge,” said LBC guard Luke Beers, a Lampeter-Strasburg grad who finished with six points. “To come out and beat them, our rivals, means everything. That sends a message to our whole conference that this is still our conference.”
Lancaster Bible College trailed 73-71 with 5:14 to play, but dominated down the stretch. It all started with a 3-point bomb from Garden Spot grad Jordan Shewbridge that gave the Chargers the lead for good, 74-73.
It was Shewbridge’s sixth and final 3-pointer of the game, as he finished with a game-high 22 points, matching his career high.
“I don’t really think about it,” Shewbridge said of his long-range shooting. “I just chuck them up. All I do is keep shooting. That’s my role, to shoot and play defense.”
Shewbridge hit 4 of 6 shots from beyond the arc in the first half, when neither team led by more than six points. The Chargers ultimately took a 44-41 halftime lead.
“They were actually playing better than us in the first half, but Jordan saved our butts and hit some big shots to keep it close,” LBC coach Andrew Wingreen said. “That was huge for us going forward.”
A 7-3 run to open the second half put the Chargers up 51-44, but the Mustangs rallied back and grabbed a 58-56 lead with 12:53 to play. From there, the game went back-and-forth and remained tied, 71-71, with 6:31 to go.
“We just wanted it more,” Beers said. “Our fight to the end was unreal.”
Chargers big man Quentin Davis also started to dominate late in the game. The 6-foot-6-inch senior scored eight points in the final 3:35 and finished with 19, including 17 in the second half, and 10 rebounds.
“Q did a great job,” Wingreen said. “He always rises to the challenge and I was really proud of how he kept his composure and did what he had to do to get the job done.”
Alex Whitt added 19 points and a team-high 13 boards, while Britton Beachy had 10 points and 11 assists for the message-sending Chargers.
“We think we’re one of the top teams,” Wingreen said. “We have to work really hard every night just to be there. We can’t go out and win on talent alone.”