With last week's District 3-AAA quarterfinal win, the Blazers were assured of a spot in this week's PIAA-AAA state tournament. But on Monday, February 18, the Blazers saw how much they still have to go in order to become a district or state champion when Steel-High defeated them in the district semifinal game, 85-50.After that lopsided loss, the Blazers then lost the consolation round game to Greencastle, 58-53. That means the Blazers finished fourth in the districts and will have a much tougher first round opponent in the state tour-ney.
The Blazers will open the state tournament on Friday, February 29, when they take on the District 11 runners-up Southern Lehigh at William Allen High School in Allentown. The Blazers will head into the game with a 23-7 record, while Southern Lehigh is at 18-10.
"Four us to do well in states, we need to keep playing our style of basketball," said Daniel Boone head coach John Butkus. "We have to play for each other, find the hot hand whoever it may be, and play solid defense. We are definitely confident."
The confidence had to be hard to get back after Boone's convincing loss to Steel-High in the district semifinals. The Blazers were never able to stop the high-powered Steel-High offense, led by senior Josh Proctor who had 23 points and 17 rebounds.
Steel-High jumped out to a 22-14 lead after one quarter, then increased the lead to 15 by halftime, 26-21. They never let up scoring 27 third quarter points to put the game away.
"They were a very good athletic team that was on their 'A' game," said Butkus. "but we also picked the wrong time to come out flat. Steel-High could very well win the state tournament."
Zack Benjamin led the Daniel Boone offense with 12 points in the game. Jimmy McCarthy canned nine points and Kyle Yarmush contributed seven points and a team-high four rebounds (the Blazers were outrebounded as a team, 46-31). Pete Rosenberger and Jeff Sowers each had six points to help the cause.
After the loss, the Blazers had to regroup and come back to play Greencastle-Antrim in Mechanicsburg on Thursday, February 21.
They stayed right with Greencastle-Antrim throughout the game, but came out short, 58-53. Coach Butkus was pleased the way his team stayed in focus after the lopsided semi-final loss.
"I think we refocused," said Butkus. "Greencastle was also a tough, well-coached team that lost to the eventual district champs in quadruple overtime. We played a strong game and things just didn't go our way at the end. I was very happy with the way we played."
The Blazers held an 18-14 lead after one quarter, but Greencastle came back to take a one-point halftime lead, 28-27, then out scored the Blazers in the third quarter, 15-14, and the fourth, 15-12.
Dan Sekulski was the high scorer for Daniel Boone with 22 points in the contest. Sowerschipped in with eight points and McCarthy netted six.