Dallastown’s Mike Gibbs, left, pressures West York’s Noah Cable during basketball action at West York on Wednesday. West York won 79-71. Cable
Dallastown's Mike Gibbs, left, pressures West York's Noah Cable during basketball action at West York on Wednesday. West York won 79-71. Cable had 12 points for West York. ( BILL KALINA -- bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

The Bulldogs didn't bare their teeth until the second half of the boys' basketball game against Dallastown on Wednesday night.

After giving up 44 points in the opening half, West York's tenacious defense took a bite out of Dallastown's offense in the third quarter, holding the Wildcats to 10 points.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, scored 23 points in the third quarter to seize the momentum. West York built its lead to 12 points and held off a Wildcats fourth-quarter rally to earn a 79-71 crossover victory.

"Forty-four points is outrageous for a half," West York head coach Bill Ackerman said. "We challenged them to cut that in half (in the second half)."

The players got the message. They may not have cut the yield in half, but they came close enough to win praise from their coach.

"I was impressed with the way we played tonight," Ackerman said. "The last two or three years, we have not held serve on this court. It was nice to get a quality win on the home court."

The victory was truly a team win.

Ackerman played 11 players, and four of them finished in double figures. Kevin Rice led the way with 18 points, followed by Darian McCauley (16), Parker Weekly (13) and Noah Cable (12). Weekly also handed out 10 assists.

"We have so many good players," Rice said. "That third quarter was really a big one for us. But we didn't get overconfident after that. We knew that Dallastown could shoot the lights out, and we had to keep grinding."

West York, along with tightening the defense in the third quarter, cut down on the 3-point attempts and began attacking the basket.

The Bulldogs mixed layups with short jumpers to score 23 points in the quarter, connecting on 11-of-15 shots from the field.

Dallastown's outstanding shooting, from the field and foul line, was the story of the first half.

The Wildcats nailed 6-of-10 3-point attempts and were a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line.

Jonny Sutton led Dallastown with 23 points. Ben Doorn added 17 points and Mike Gibbs had 13. Sutton knocked in five 3-pointers and Gibbs targeted three.

"We didn't find their shooters," Weekly said. "We were losing Gibbs and Sutton the whole first half. We ratcheted it up in the second half."

Weekly is friends with most of the seniors on the Dallastown team.

"It was kind of weird playing those guys," he said.

The Bulldogs' senior enjoys setting up teammates more than scoring.

"I would much rather hit the open guy than hit a 15-footer or a drive," he said.

Weekly got to do both on Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs won their York-Adams League opener while improving to 3-0 overall.

Dallastown slipped to 0-1 and 2-1.

Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.