WRIGHTSVILLE -- The Eastern York boys' basketball team enjoyed several years of major success during the careers of Andrew Nicholas and Austin Tillotson.
One youngster often dreamed of enjoying similar success when he started high school. Now that Broguen Nicholas is finally there, he's doing everything in his power to make that dream come true.
Nicholas, the cousin of Andrew and the brother of former Eastern standout Bryton Abel, helped the Knights break open a close contest against Dover Thursday night at Eastern. The freshman poured in 10 of his team-high 19 points during the fourth period to lead Eastern to a 49-38 victory.
The Knights improved to 6-2, while Dover fell to 3-3.
"I always wanted to have a team like that," Nicholas said. "It would be my dream to go to states."
While achieving that goal won't come for a couple months, Nicholas and Coach Jon Reichard are content with the team's progress. A year after Andrew Nicholas, Abel and Tillotson graduated, the Knights suffered some growing pains under Reichard in his first season at the helm with a 7-15 record in 2011-2012.
During this year's preseason, it didn't look like the Knights were headed where they are today -- just one win shy of matching last season's output. Reichard called the team's first scrimmage against Dover and Dallastown, "putrid."
"I was thinking, 'wow ... what kind of season are we going to have?,'" he said. "But in the stretch of a couple of weeks we've gone from there to a team that plays pretty well together."
Nicholas whole-heartedly agrees.
"We have some young players stepping up now," he said.
Neither team looked particularly great in the early going. The teams combined for just 31 points in the first half, with Eastern in front, 16-15. The Knights, however, scored just four points in the second quarter.
"Both teams looked out of sync," Reichard said. "And there were a lot of missed shots on both sides of the court."
The stats certainly can attest to that. The Knights made just 6-of-28 attempts (21 percent). The visitors weren't much better, connecting on just 6-of-23 attempts (26 percent).
While the numbers weren't pretty, Dover coach Brian Schmoyer gave credit to the home team for causing missed shots as well as his team's 20 turnovers. The Eagles were also held to single digits in scoring in the first three quarters, only managing to break out for 15 points in the final stanza.
"That's a very good basketball team," Schmoyer said. "From seeing them at that first scrimmage to seeing them now, they've improved tremendously. They played very well tonight and the credit is to them."
Dover forward Josh McMahon scored a game-high 21 points (17 in the second half) while adding 17 rebounds.
"We made it the game plan to pound the ball inside to Josh," Schmoyer said. "I think early in the game, we struggled getting him the ball. In the second half we did a really nice job of getting the ball to him and he did a great job of finishing."
Those points came even though Reichard tried his best to prevent the 6-foot, 5-inch senior from getting those touches.
"He's tough," Reichard said. "He's a legitimate post threat. Sometimes we doubled on him, but sometimes we made some mistakes and he took advantage of them."
Dalton Reichard added 12 points in the victory while junior Christian Buser chipped in nine points and eight boards for the Knights.
Nicholas was the one who hit the big buckets down the stretch, although not every shot pleased his coach.
"He's just a freshman and he has the ball in his hands 90 percent of the time (late in the game)," Reichard said. "He nearly gave me a heart attack when he came down with an eight- or 10-point lead and just jacked it up. But each step in his career he learns a little bit and when he's a senior he won't make those mistakes."
OTHER BOYS' BASKETBALL
HANOVER 51, YORK TECH 45: At Spry, Nick Trish led the visitors with 17 points, while Dylan Krieger knocked in 13. For the Spartans, Ryan Ford scored 13 points and Ron Henderson knocked in 10.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.