RED LION -- Usually there are only a few opportunities a game when the York High boys' basketball team can set up a spectacular dunk.
As the season embarks into the latter stages, those chances often decrease.
Wednesday night, in the York-Adams League playoff semifinals at Red Lion High School, was an exception.
The Bearcats dominated Division II champ Northeastern from the opening whistle and opened up a 45-point lead after three quarters.
For much of the contest, the Division I champs were at least 10 points up on the Bobcats, which allowed them a handful of opportunities to finish with an emphatic dunk.
But for all of the fun they had in their 91-32 triumph over Northeastern, however, the Bearcats know that a rematch of last year's title game against South Western won't be so easy. The Mustangs, who finished second behind York High in Division I, advanced to the finals at 7 Friday night at York College after downing Dallastown, 54-34, in the first semifinal at Red Lion.
"We don't get to do that very often in most games," York High's Derek Wilson said of the dunks. "So when we get the chance, we look to do it."
Wilson and Tavon Parker (game-high 26 points) took turns setting each other up in the third quarter when the Bearcats expanded their 45-18 lead at the half to more than 40 points by the end of the period.
Many of those crowd-pleasing dunks came as the result of some impressive pressure defense from Coach Troy Sowers' squad. Northeastern turned the ball over 26 times (22 of them through the first three quarters). That allowed the Bearcats to score easy points in transition.
Those transition points stood out on the final stat sheet. York finished the night by knocking down a jaw-dropping 39-of-57 shots (68.4 percent). That offensive prowess actually kicked the contest into the "mercy rule" after Wilson finished off an alley-oop pass from Parker that increased the lead to 40 (60-20) in the third period.
"We've actually played good basketball, as of late, offensively," Sowers said. "We sort of laid an egg against Bermudian (on Saturday). Tonight I thought we came out with a little more energy defensively and that fuels this offense."
Wilson, who was injured after taking an elbow just above his left eye in the first quarter, enjoyed the challenge of guarding Northeastern's talented guard, Khalid Nwandu. Nwandu, a Mount St. Mary's recruit who averages more than 20 points a contest, finished with just 12 points on the night, all of them in the first half.
"I like guarding the other team's best player," said Wilson, who finished with 10 points. "I like that challenge every game."
Without any prompting, Wilson jumped ahead to his next challenge -- the Mustangs' Mike Duffy. Duffy scored a game-high 19 points in South Western's victory over Dallastown in the other semifinal.
"Mike Duffy is on Friday," Wilson said.
Friday's title contest will be the teams' third meeting this season and sixth over the past two campaigns. York High won both contests this year. But the Mustangs played them much closer in a 61-53 setback on Jan. 30.
"Mike Duffy can take over a game," Sowers said. "And Parker Bean is a man. So we'll have to watch some film of the second time we played them up there, because that was a better game. So we're going to look at some of the things they did and craft our game plan while we watch that game."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.