Two years ago, York High's basketball team stormed back from a double-digit, second-half deficit to defeat Harrisburg, 59-58 in overtime.
That Bearcats' club, later in the season, won the District 3-AAAA title. This past Saturday night, it was déjà vu. York High rallied from 15 points down at halftime to stun Harrisburg, 67-60.
The Bearcats defeated the fifth-ranked AAAA team in Pennsylvania, a team it lost to twice last season, on its home floor. They did it after going scoreless for the first six minutes of the game.
"We grew up as a team from the first half to the second half of that game," Bearcats' coach Troy Sowers said Monday. "It was a little ugly in the first quarter and it was a loud locker room at halftime. I thought we were blowing our chance. We were getting great chances in our offense, but we were just missing our shots."
The misses became makes in the second half, when York outscored Harrisburg, 45-27. The Bearcats were a sizzling 9-for-11 from the field in the final quarter.
"In the fourth quarter, they started to press, but we passed well against the press," Sowers said. "Stephen Dickson looked like a solid point guard for us, and he made great decisions."
Dickson (10 points), Ramel Stephens (17 points), Derek Wilson (10 points), Jahaire Wilson (13 points) and Tavon Parker (11 points) each finished in double figures for the Bearcats.
The comeback victory was a reminiscent of the ones that Sowers' teams have pulled off the past four seasons, including rallying from 17 points behind with three minutes to play to defeat Reading at the Giant Center.
"This victory (the one on Saturday) is definitely in the top 10," Sowers said. "We've gotten the kids to believe a game is 32 minutes long, and you can come back. However, we're just four games into the season, and we're not satisfied. We have to get better."
There are a lot of games to be played between now and the beginning of the playoffs in February. The Bearcats' focus now is clearly on Division I of the York-Adams League. York will host two division opponents this week, Central York on Tuesday and South Western on Friday.
"Central is a lot like us" Sowers said. " They really like to push the tempo, and they played great defense against Dover. Dover was playing well going into that game, and Central shut them down. South Western has two outstanding players in Parker Bean and Mike Duffy. It gives us a little boost to pull off something like we did on Saturday. We're steadily getting better, but we need to stay humble and hungry."
Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org.