By Bill Bostic
The Carlisle Area Thundering Herd used a tough to crack zone defense and an outstanding 26-point offensive performance by guard Howie Rankine to upend the Central Dauphin Rams on Wednesday 55-48 at the CD gym.
The Rams scratched out a 23-21 lead in the first half, but Carlisle outpointed the Rams 19-9 in the third quarter to take command of this contest. Plus, Carlisle had the benefit of having penalty free throws starting late in the third quarter, and netted 22 of 28 from the charity line in the second half.
But the Rams didn’t go away quietly. Down by 10 early in the fourth quarter, CD clawed their way back to within two points of the Herd with 1:33 on the clock.
The Rams had two good looks late that did not go down – Ryan Smith failed to convert a reverse layup with about a minute to go and Tyrese Fuller just missed on a layup with 30 ticks left on the clock after driving the lane.
Carlisle then sealed their victory by hitting free throws when the Rams put them on the line during desperation time.
Scoring leaders for the Rams were Ryan Smith (16) and Rance Russo (11).
The loss put the Rams’ at 7-2 in the division (11-3 overall), which most likely puts them in a tie for the conference lead with Cumberland Valley and Harrisburg.
CD hosts the Altoona Mountain Lions on Friday. Junior varsity game starts at 5 pm and the varsity at 6:30 pm.
Pictured at top is Carlisle’s Howie Rankin who burned the Rams for 26 points Wednesday. He is one the premier guards in the Mid-Penn Conference. (Photo by PennLive.com)