Colbert’s return sparks Q94
By John Hartsock
Anthony Colbert is a 2015 Altoona Area High School graduate who took some time away from organized basketball between his ninth-grade school year and his participation in the Mansion Park Men’s Summer Basketball League as a young adult.
Colbert made up for any lost time Tuesday night, leading his Q94 team to the league’s Division 4 championship by scoring a game-high 16 points in sparking a second-half comeback that produced a 53-47 win over a determined Sheetz team.
Colbert scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, when top-seeded Q94 wiped out a 22-21 halftime deficit.
“We crashed the boards in the second half, and we started executing,” Colbert said. “It feels good (to win the championship). It’s the first time I’ve been part of (an organized) team since the ninth grade.”
Colbert helped Q94, which boasted some impressive size underneath the basket, to a 40-31 lead with 7:20 left when he made a jump shot from the top of the circle.
Earlier in the second half, Colbert scored a breakaway layup off a pass from teammate Mo Bullett to give Q94 a 31-28 advantage, then hit an inside runner later in the half to help Q94 go up, 37-31.
“The sun was in my face (in the first half),” said Colbert, explaining his shooting touch in the second half.
Big man Kevin Floyd, a former Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School standout, scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, converting a putback, tip, and inside drive for field goals.
“You have to give credit to Q94,” said Sheetz player-coach Gary Vermeulen, who scored a team-high 11 points. “They were very physical, and they played hard. They hit some key shots, and overall, their big men inside got a lot of rebounds.
“They got some second-chance putbacks and wore us down with their physical play,” Vermeulen said.
Even so, third-seeded Sheetz cut Q94’s lead to just four points, 45-41, on Josh Madison’s second 3-pointer of the game with 1:47 remaining.
Free throws by Corey Henderson and Floyd gave Q94 a 47-42 lead with 1:13 showing, and three free throws by Colbert down the stretch built the lead to five points, 50-45.
Matt Hrzic’s inside bucket pulled Sheetz to within 50-47, but Sheetz could get no closer. Three free throws from Floyd in the waning seconds set the final score.
“We had a good season,” Vermeulen said. “The two games we lost this season were by a total of five points. We had good team chemistry.”
Q94 (53): Floyd 13, Geist 2, Bullett 6, Colbert 16, Henderson 9, Stever 6, Schmidt 1.
SHEETZ (47): Rummel 9, Vermeulen 11, Madison 8, Vrabel 8, Burk 7, Hrzic 4.
3-point goals: Q94 6 (Stever 2, Bullett 2, Colbert, Henderson); Sheetz 5 (Vermeulen 2, Madison 2, Vrabel).
Halftime: Sheetz, 22-21.
Officials: Denny Betar, Ken Plesinski, Rob Warren.