Seth Leonard considers himself a perfectionist.
If even the slightest thing is out of place, Leonard, the owner of the York Mighty Ants, can dwell on it.
So, even after the final whistle blew to signify the end of his team's 142-118 victory over the Maryland Bayraiders at New Hope Academy Sunday afternoon, Leonard wasn't 100 percent happy.
But while the dream in his head was a little different than reality, the truth of the matter is that Sunday's contest — the first home game in Mighty Ants history — went well in most aspects.
"I'm a perfectionist and I'm expecting every seat to be filled," said the former York High standout. "The turnout, the team and the community ... I'll give them a 10 (out of 10). But the operation ... I'm going to have to give myself an 'F' for the day."
Leonard likes to say that he's a hard-hat guy, and that was evident Sunday. The 6-foot, 4-inch guard not only owns the team, but he's also the coach, a player and even a custodian at times.
It was Leonard who was busy running around before tip-off trying to make sure everything was in place for his club's historic day.
"I shouldn't be running around like that," he joked. "But when I take a second to enjoy everything that was happening, I was happy."
And why not? It was a near capacity crowd for York's first-ever home contest at the 300-plus seat New Hope gymnasium. Throw in the fact that the mayor was present for a pre-game ceremony, along with the enthusiasm of all in attendance, and one would have to look hard for any blemishes as the Ants improved to 1-1.
"I thought the atmosphere was great," former West York and York High standout Quinn Howard said. "I thought Seth did a good job picking this gym. It's a smaller gym, but I think it feels better having a smaller gym that is packed up than to have a big gym that's half-empty."
Howard provided a spark to help York win its first game in the ever-expanding Eastern Basketball Alliance (EBA). Howard, who finished with 14 points, knocked down a triple late in the first period that propelled the Ants to a 28-26 lead. From that point on, the Ants never looked back, riding a big night from Jerren Harris (28 points).
Akeem Washington, a former McCaskey star, chipped in 19 points and Jon Casimir added 14 more, while former Red Lion standout Trent Thomas and Leonard each tallied 10.
Darnell Sneed, who played in college at Charleston Southern, led the Bayraiders with 42 points. Glen Stanley added 40, while Mike Manns poured in 27 points for Maryland (0-2).
The flow of the contest resembled the fast-paced kind of play that one might find on the playgrounds, mixed in with some pro aspects. For Howard, who has played mostly in pick-up leagues since scoring more than 1,000 points between York High and West York, getting used to the play has been difficult.
"This is a high-level league," Howard said. "I think the level of competition is good. I think it's tough to get adjusted to the NBA rules (24-second shot clock, 12-minute quarters) and things like that. When you play under those rules you finally get a better respect of just what those players have to go through."
While a number of teams in the league don't really hold any formal team practices during the week, Leonard is hoping that getting in a couple workouts with his club will forge team chemistry and propel the Ants to the top of the league standings.
"Most teams, and when I played in Harrisburg (for the Horizon), they didn't practice," Leonard said. "Basically it was just conditioning and get here when the games are on. I think that will be something that separates us, especially since (right now) we're not the best team. The playoffs start in April and we're trying to place high to get a good seed and push for a championship. And that's our goal."
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.
Jackson 2 3-4 7, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Manns 9 4-10 27, Sneed 14 14-17 42, Stanley 17 6-10 40, Underwood 1 0-0 2.
Three-point field goals — Manns 5. Totals — 43 27-41 118.
Casmir 5 4-5 14, Harbold 4 0-0 8, Leonard 5 0-1 10, Weathers 3 0-0 7, Washington 9 1-2 19, Harris 13 2-5 28, Tipton 3 0-0 8, Dorm 3 0-0 7, Howard 6 2-2 14, Walker 4 0-0 8, Williams 4 0-0 9, Thomas 4 0-0 10.
Three-point field goals — Tipton 2, Thomas 2, Weathers, Dorm, Williams. Totals — 63 9-15 142.