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 BY JEFF FALK

 PALMYRA – Results will vary. But when inconsistencies do crop up, it’s important to take a step back and bring the big picture into focus.

 When the Palmyra boys’ basketball team views the big picture, those inconsistencies are the exception, not the rule.

 On Friday night, an improving Cougar club took a step back, during a disappointing 58-39 home loss to rival Hershey. Palmyra never led – never quite settled in – and was outscored by the Trojans in each of the four quarters.

 What’s important to remember is that Palmyra is still way ahead of last season’s pace. The result made the Cougars 3-2 on the year and 2-2 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference.

 Hershey improved to 3-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Keystone.

 “We certainly have had some positives,” said Palmyra head coach Pete Conrad, referring more to the season than last night. “We have tough kids who care deeply about winning. We also have kids who aren’t afraid of adversity. We’re not where we want to be. I don’t think many teams are on December 21st. But I’ve got guys who I want to go to battle with.

 “We had some games which were important to get at the beginning of the season,” Conrad continued. “It’s one thing for me to talk process, but the kids have got to live it. It’s very important that we’ve had some early success. We’re striving for much bigger things. It’s kind of like balancing things between ‘this is where we are and this is what we can do’.”

 The outcome was not decided in the latter portions of the first quarter. But that’s when the stage was set for the uphill battle Palmyra would face the rest of the way.

 First, Nick Morder, Christian Kreiser and Jake Wagner scored buckets to get the Cougars off on the right foot. But from the middle of the opening stanza to early in the second – a span of 6:24 – the Cougars went without a point.

 The subsequent 14-0 Hershey run gave the visitors a 21-6 cushion, 1:18 into the second period. From there on out, Palmyra struggled to make the Trojans feel uncomfortable about their lead.

 “Obviously it’s difficult to play from behind,” said Conrad. “When things don’t go your way, you’ve got to chase things a little bit. I think you’ve got to rely on forcing turnovers, but well-drilled teams can take that out of the equation. I think focusing on field goal percentage is a better way to go.

 “I thought we struggled all game, offensively,” continued Conrad. “I thought we tried a lot of hard plays and we weren’t being patient. I don’t know that we have a large margin for error at this point.”

 With a dozen points, guard Jake Wagner was the only Cougar scorer to break into double figures. Cold-shooting Palmyra scored just eight of its points from 12 feet away from the basket.

 Hershey outscored Palmyra 18-6 on three-pointers.

 “We didn’t shoot it great,” said Conrad. “I think that was a little bit of a panic thing. We talked about making easy plays. We really can’t afford to force. But that’s always going to be the case in the game of basketball.

 “I think we’re going to have to be a very good defensive team if we’re going to achieve the kind of success we want to,” Conrad added. “But we weren’t a very good defensive team tonight.”

  After the Trojans led 29-16 at the break, the closest the Cougars would come in the third quarter was 35-24, on a Wagner three-pointer midway through the period. All Palmyra could manage over the final 3:07 of the period was a Kyle Wasilewski bucket.

 “I don’t know if there’s any more juice playing Hershey,” said Conrad. “It’s about us getting better. I’m not sure we got better as a program tonight. We’d be cheating the whole thing by only playing hard against Hershey.”

  Over a 5:28 span of the final quarter, the Trojans hit the Cougars with an 8-1 run that extended their lead to 52-32.

 “We’ve just got to keep working to get better,” said Conrad. “I thought Hershey played with great effort, and a lot of good traits. They (the Trojans) had a good defensive game plan. Offensively, they were able to get the ball inside. It was not the performance we were looking for.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Palmyra Boys’ Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Outcome
12/711:00p  
12/912:30a
Location: Donegal High School
(W) 61 – 28
12/117:30p
Location: Cedar Cliff High School
(W) 50 – 43
12/147:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 62 – 44
12/1812:30a
Location: Red Land High School
(W) 50 – 41
12/2212:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
12/2312:30a
Location: Cedar Crest High School
 
1/512:30a
Location: Lower Dauphin High School
 
1/510:30p  
1/912:30a
Location: Mechanicsburg High School
 
1/1212:30a
Location: Susquehanna Township High School
 
1/157:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/187:30p
Location: Bishop McDevitt High School
 
1/2312:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/2612:30a
Location: Hershey High School
 
1/3012:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
2/212:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 
2/612:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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