Manheim Central's Taylor Funk readies his game for career in Atlantic 10
Pennsylvania 124  Maryland 107

Manheim Central forward and St. Joe's signee Taylor Funk dunks during Saturday's Roundball showcase at Harrisburg Christian. (For PennLive/Vicki Vellios Briner)

By Eric F. Epler |
on April 09, 2017 12:30 AM, updated April 09, 2017 12:48 AM
No one could blame Manheim Central ace Taylor Funk.

One of Pa.’s top basketball recruits in the Class of 2017 could have shunned Saturday’s Roundball finale and continued to rest following another titanic basketball season for the 6-9 talent.

The pull of fun over competition, however, was a little too strong.

“I focused on having fun with my friends. All of those guys over there are great friends, on and off the court,” said Funk. “That’s what these games are all about.”

Funk’s future is about to get serious real soon, so flashing a few no-look dimes and the occasional dunk on Saturday was a welcomed distraction.

The St. Joe’s signee expelled enough energy to score 12 points against Maryland’s all-stars and lead Pa. to a 124-107 triumph.

“To be honest, I’ve been resting a lot since the season ended. Whoever I talk to says that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Funk said. “I should have made some shot but I really haven’t touched the ball that much.”

When Manheim Central’s season closed with a first-round loss to East Stroudsburg in the opening round of the PIAA Class 5A tournament, the Barons’ all-time leading scorer turned his attention on the future.

Funk set the program bar extremely high, netting 1,977 career points after leading the Lancaster-Lebanon League in scoring for the past two seasons.

Playing alongside fellow program leaders Eli Brooks of Spring Grove, a Michigan recruit, Carlisle’s Deshawn Millington, Pace recruit Austin Gilbertson of Trinity, and Elco sharpshooter Mason Bossert, Funk fancied the role of facilitator on Saturday.

It was a little different role than the one he played in helping the Barons win 84 games in his tenure. Now, he’ll focus on working his way into coach Phil Martelli’s line up at St. Joe’s.

“Keep getting stronger, keep getting quicker, and keep working on my shot is the plan,” said Funk. “I leave in June to go down there for six weeks, so it’s about getting better every day.”

First half highlights from Saturday's PA-Maryland all-star game

Mechanicsburg seniors Kyle Scheib, Cade Alioth enjoy one final run at Roundball showcase
Mechanicsburg's Cade Alioth and Kyle Scheib, both back right, aided Pa.'s 124-107 victory over Maryland on Saturday in the Roundball showcase at Harrisburg Christian. (For PennLive)
By Eric F. Epler |
on April 08, 2017 11:40 PM, updated April 09, 2017 12:55 AM
Three weeks have passed since Mechanicsburg’s memorable boys basketball season concluded deep in the PIAA postseason.

But at least two members of the Wildcats’ engaging senior class, the one was produced high drama and 25 wins, got a second chance to say goodbye.

In a less pivotal setting.

Point man Kyle Scheib and forward Cade Alioth were all smiles following a second curtain call in Saturday’s Roundball All-Star Classic at Harrisburg Christian.

Point guard Kyle Scheib was a key figure in Mechanicsburg's run to the MPC and District 3 finals this season. (PennLive)

While the outcome was hardly relevant -- Pa. defeated an all-star contingent from Maryland 124-107 to close the 41st weekend showcase -- the 40-minute run was.

“Him and me, we kind of grew up together,” said Scheib, who connected on his only bucket, a 3-pointer, in the opening half.

“In fourth grade, we were the only ones that got to play up, so we were the only ones in the same age group playing with the older kids. We had to stick together.”

Good thing for Wildcats head coach Bob Strickler, the tandem did.

And both were key elements to putting Mechanicsburg in the Mid-Penn and District 3 discussion since mid-December.

Along came a Mid-Penn Keystone Division title and runner-up finishes in the MPC Tournament and District 3 Class 5A bracket.

“It was great. Scheibs and I have been playing together since, well, I don’t know. It’s been awesome playing with him,” Alioth said.

Cade Alioth goes to the rack against Wilde Lake (Md.) forward Marquis Bullett during Saturday's Roundball all-star game. (For PennLive/Vicki Vellios Briner)

“Over the years it’s been nice just having someone that I knew could get me the ball in the post. It was kind of funny tonight. We were sitting on the bench tonight just goofing off, something we really haven’t done since freshman year. I’m definitely going to miss him next year.”

Mechanicsburg’s energy was still rising when the Wildcats ran into eventual-champ Archbishop Wood in the second round of states.

The Vikings proved too much on March 16, winning 80-56 at Pottstown High School.

“It was really difficult because that was the only thing going through my head, that I’m not going to go back out there with my teammates again,” said Scheib.

“Playing on our home court with our fans, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Alioth agreed with his running mate, although the memories of his final season with last a long time.

“It was just an awesome run. Nobody really thought we were going to make a run like that,” said Alioth, headed in Wheaton College in Illinois in the fall. “When you’ve come up together, you just know each other like the back of your hand. That was our group.”

Alioth chipped in nine points Saturday for Pa., led by Spring Grove’s Eli Brooks (20 points), Bishop McDevitt’s Chris Briner (19), Elco’s Mason Bossert (18), and Palmyra’s Bryant Willis (17).