MONT ALTO, Pa. – Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to put Mont Alto up 76-75 forcing a Central Penn timeout. Daylin Davis answered with a jumper out of the break putting the Knights up 77-76. Mont Alto wasn't able hit a last second shot for the win as the team dropped to 3-2 on the season.
Central Penn began the game scorching from the field as it built a 21-8 lead at the 13:17 mark, before the Nittany Lions tightened up their defense and made a run of their own. Over the remaining minutes of the first half Mont Alto out-scored the visitors 33-13 taking a 41-34 lead into the break. A pair of freshmen keyed the run as Jordan Gillis (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin East) poured in nine points within the half in his first career start and Javon Mitchell (Lancaster, Pa. / Hempfield) added eight off the bench and was 2-for-2 from downtown.
Mont Alto built up a 12-point lead within the second half but the Knights chipped away at the lead and eventually went on a 13-0 run to retake the lead 51-50 with just over 11 minutes to go. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch with neither leading teams leading by more than three points.
Mont Alto made the most out of their efforts at the free throw line shooting 84% (21-for-25). Gillis finished with a game-high 24 points and Ryan Hege (Chambersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan) had a solid night in the post with eight points and seven rebounds. Jalen Smith (Ranson, W.Va / Jefferson) poured in 18 points in the loss.
Mont Alto returns to action after the Thanksgiving holiday. The team will travel to Penn State Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, Nov. 28 for a 7 p.m. tip-off.