Third-seeded Sheetz used a balanced team effort to withstand a furious second-half rally by top-seeded Fat Daddy's Wednesday night to win the Central Blair Recreation Commission Mansion Park Summer Basketball League Division 4 championship.
Gary Vermeulen's jumper from the wing with a minute and a half left put Sheetz ahead, 42-41, and that wound up being the final score in the game.
Nick Vrabel led Sheetz with a game-high 15 points, but a total of seven different players entered the scoring column for the champions, which Vermeulen said has been typical of the balance the squad has enjoyed all season long.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Sheetz won the Mansion Park Summer Basketball Division 4 men’s title. Team members include (from left): First row—Josh Bukowski, Seth Rummel, Gary Vermeulen, Dave Shaffer, Matt Decker. Second row—Nick Vrabel, Ryan McMahon, Dave Satka, Josh Madison and league director Skip Dry.
"It's just like it's been all year,'' Vermeulen said. "Everybody contributed. It's been a total team effort. There have been different guys stepping up every game for us.''
Sheetz won despite the fact that Fat Daddy's engineered a fabulous 17-point run midway through the second half that turned a 33-21 Sheetz lead into a 38-33 Fat Daddy's advantage.
Pete Kishpaugh hit a 3-pointer to tie the score, before Mark Mitchell drained another trey and John Snyder hit a turnaround jumper to cap off the Fat Daddy's surge.
"We were just trying to stay in the game - we didn't want them to get too far ahead,'' said Fat Daddy's pivot Mark Saxman, whose 10 points tied Mitchell for team scoring honors. "We weren't rebounding well enough in the first half.''
Even so, the game was tied, 21-21 at halftime.
After Fat Daddy's grabbed the 38-33 lead, Sheetz bounced back on Vrabel's 3-pointer and Matt Decker's bucket to tie it, 38-38. Kishpaugh's reverse layup put Fat Daddy's back into the lead, but Dave Satka's bucket tied the score again, 40-40 for Sheetz.
After Mitchell hit a free throw to give Fat Daddy's a 41-40 lead, Vermeulen's jump shot gave Sheetz the final word.
Fat Daddy's staged a feverish last-ditch bid to pull out a victory, but Saxman's jump shot from the top of the circle went through the basket a second after the final buzzer sounded.
"We hustled and played great defense,'' Vermeulen said.
SHEETZ (42): Madison 4 0-0 8, Rummel 1 0-1 2, R. McMahon 0 0-0 0, Shaffer 0 0-0 0, Vermeulen 3 0-0 6, Decker 1 0-0 2, Bukowski 1 0-0 2, Satka 3 1-1 7, Vrabel 6 1-2 15. Totals - 19 2-4 42.
FAT DADDY'S (41): Kitt 2 2-3 6, Kishpaugh 3 0-0 7, Saxman 4 2-4 10, Snyder 1 0-0 2, Georgiana 1 0-0 2, P. Mitchell 0 0-0 0, J. Clancy II 2 0-0 4, M. Mitchell 3 1-2 10. Totals - 16 5-9 41.
Halftime: Sheetz 21, Fat Daddy's 21.
3-point goals: Sheetz 2-Vrabel 2; Fat Daddy's 4-Mark Mitchell 3, Kishpaugh.