He's a sophomore by academics standards. By maturity level, though, Penn State York's Logan Steckel speaks with the level-headedness of a senior.
After the PSY men's basketball team lost its first game of the year Wednesday night to snap the Lions' perfect record 18 games into the season, Steckel put things in perspective.
"We're trying to get the No. 1 seed in our conference. This is a great game to test us out of our conference. Thankfully, it's a loss, but it's outside of the conference," Steckel said.
For a moment, the Red Lion Christian grad put Penn State York on his back. His jumper to close out the first half gave the local Lions a two-point lead over visiting Central Penn College. Steckel then opened up the second half by scoring 10 of York's next 12 points to open up a six-point advantage. York later grew its largest lead to nine points on back-to-back 3-pointers from Dallastown grad Judd Gemmill before Central Penn stormed back to tie it and later pull away in the final two minutes to come away with a 97-90 non-conference victory.
"They pressed us a little bit more. When they pressed us we weren't making our layups," said Steckel, who finished with a game-high 24 points. "Some of our shots didn't go. It wasn't our night."
Wednesday marked just the third time all season the previously unbeaten Lions (17-1 overall, 11-0 Penn State University Athletic Conference) allowed at least 90 points. Twice it's come against Central Penn, with York having won at Central Penn, 95-90, in the second game of the season back in November. Central Penn's 13-7 overall record is a bit deceiving, considering four of its losses have come against NCAA Division I teams.
"This is a team that goes to nationals every year," Penn State York coach Parrish Petry said. "They're going to the (United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II) tournament. They're a nationally recognized team on this level."
The home loss was also York's first in nearly two years, having last done so in a PSUAC playoff game on Feb. 21, 2012.
"It kind of gets the monkey off our back. The undefeated season starts to wear on these guys," Petry said. "It's unrealistic to think you're going to win every single game of a college season. It just doesn't happen."
The defending PSUAC champions, York next hosts Penn State Beaver (13-4, 8-1) at 8 p.m. Friday in what has quickly become a conference rivalry. The last four matchups between the teams have been decided by single digits, including a one-point York win in last year's PSUAC title game.
"That's a big game for us," Petry said. "We don't have a whole lot of time to recoup from this. Like I told them, the second week in February, that's when we want to be playing our best basketball."
PSY women win: The Penn State York women's basketball team improved to 11-6 overall Wednesday night with a 77-67 non-conference win over visiting Central Penn. York Suburban grad Brittany Kint (25) and Delone Catholic grad Courtney Riggs (26) combined to score 51 points in the victory. Riggs also tallied 11 rebounds. The local Lions (6-4 PSUAC) next host Penn State Beaver (8-9, 5-2) in a conference battle Friday at 6 p.m.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.