York High s Stephen Dickson, left, drives past South Western s Justin Smith in Wednesday s Division I basketball game in Hanover. The Bearcats nailed down
York High s Stephen Dickson, left, drives past South Western s Justin Smith in Wednesday s Division I basketball game in Hanover. The Bearcats nailed down their fifth straight crown. (Bill Kalina photo)

HANOVER -- There are too many running drills for York High senior Tavon Parker to remember.

It's probably what his coach, Troy Sowers, prefers.

"He has a lot of things to help our conditioning," Parker said of Sowers. "There are ladders, down and backs ... I think he goes home and dreams of them and comes to practice and puts them up on the board."

Lots of running in practice helps the Bearcats improve their conditioning for their up-tempo style of play. And it's one of the reasons Parker has changed his mind about it over the years.

"Before, we would look at running as punishment," Parker said. "Now we're looking at running so we can wear teams down. So when the third quarter and the fourth quarter come around we're still running while other teams are out of gas."

York High s Tavon Parker, left, looks to get around South Western s Mike Duffy. Parker scored 17 points in the Bearcats  61-53 win. He s nine points shy of
York High s Tavon Parker, left, looks to get around South Western s Mike Duffy. Parker scored 17 points in the Bearcats 61-53 win. He s nine points shy of 1,000 for his career. (Bill Kalina photo)

That formula has held true for the most part this season. In all but a few games, York High has held a comfortable double-digit lead in the final period. South Western was one of the few exceptions.

Down by as many as 18 points in the third quarter Wednesday night, the host Mustangs later pulled to within four of York High with under three minutes remaining -- mostly on the backs of star guard Mike Duffy and standout forward Parker Bean. They weren't worn down by the Bearcats in the final minutes.

"We've been rolling, but the teams we've been beating they just wore down," Parker said. "And then here Parker Bean is a big motivator. Especially in the second half, he and Mike Duffy gave the team momentum."

York High senior Derek Wilson crushed any momentum the Mustangs had with an emphatic dunk off a Duffy turnover to put the Bearcats back up six with two minutes to go. Both teams traded free-throws from there and York High came out on top with a 61-53 victory. With the win, York High (13-0 league, 18-2 overall) clinched the program's fifth straight York-Adams Division I title.

"Five years in a row. It's big," Parker said. "Every time we come to the York High gym you get to look up at the banner and say that was your team up there."

South Western’s Scott Hess, front, tries to get around York High s Dai-Quest Casiano.
South Western's Scott Hess, front, tries to get around York High s Dai-Quest Casiano. (Bill Kalina photo)

Entering the night needing 26 points to reach 1,000 for his career, Parker was held to 17. Teammate Ramel Stephens (13 points) and Wilson (11 points) were the other two Bearcats to finish in double figures.

Bean had the game of the night. The 6-foot, 6-inch forward carried the Mustangs (10-3, 13-5) through the second half, draining three 3-pointers in the third quarter and scoring 15 points in the second half to finish with a game-high 29 points. Duffy scored 10 points in the second half after being held to two points in the first two quarters.

Despite nearly blowing such a big lead, Sowers feels a game like Wednesday's is important.

"I love it. I told the kids 'You know I don't want every game to be in jeopardy. I'd like to get every blowout win. But your championship games are gonna be like that. That's how the games are gonna be. We need those kinds of games,'" Sowers said.

Wednesday's win capped off a stretch of four road games in eight days for York High. The Bearcats will finish up with Spring Grove and Red Lion at home before the league tournament begins late next week.

OTHER BOYS' BASKETBALL

NORTHEASTERN 65, KENNARD-DALE 36: At Fawn Grove, Khalid Nwandu poured in 25 points to lead Northeastern to the York-Adams Division II triumph. The Bobcats improved to 9-3 in the division and 12-6 overall. They have already clinched the division crown and have also sewn up a berth in the York-Adams Tournament. It was the second strong outing in two nights for Nwandu, who scored 28 points in a 61-48 overtime decision vs. West York on Tuesday night. Franco Rossi had 14 points for K-D, including four 3-pointers.

YORK CATHOLIC 76, FAIRFIELD 32: At Fairfield, after a competitive first quarter, York Catholic took charge and outscored the Green Knights, 60-22, over the last three quarters. James Dougherty led the Fighting Irish with 18 points, and Andrew Devlin added 11 points. Dougherty and Devlin combined for seven 3-point baskets. Quintin Smith was the only Fairfield player to reach double figures. He finished with 10 points.

HANOVER 46, YORK TECH 25: At Hanover, the Nighthawks led by just one at the half (17-16), but put 14 points up on the scoreboard in the third quarter and held the visitors to just two to capture the York-Adams Division IV victory. Nick Trish led the Nighthawks with 13 points. Teammate Brady Goodfellow knocked in 12 points. For the Spartans, Donte Grim scored 10 points.

CUMBERLAND VALLEY 55, DOVER 43: At Cumberland Valley, the visitors trailed by just two at the half (21-19), but were outscored by 10 in the final two quarters to drop the non-league contest. Ryan Beck led Dover with 14 points. Teammate Josh McMahon knocked in 10.

RED LION 68, SPRING GROVE 48: At Spring Grove, the Lions led 33-22 at the half and went on to capture the York-Adams Division I victory. Mike Fox led the Lions with 22 points. Teammate Kevin Hutchinson knocked in 13. For the Rockets, Nick Spangler scored 13 points, while Darin Gordon scored 11.

-- Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.