The wait is over.
After 33 straight losses, dating back to Jan. 31, 2011, the Spring Grove boys' basketball players are winners again.
The Rockets ended the skid with a 55-54 non-conference victory over visiting Waynesboro.
The victory was clinched when Matt Kline hit a free throw with a half second left in the game to break a 54-54 tie. Kline was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound. He made the first shot and intentionally missed his second attempt.
"The players were very excited and very happy," Spring Grove head coach Ryan Luckman said. "Getting off the snide was great for them. There were a lot of smiles and a lot of hugs. It was a good feeling for everybody. ... To pull out a one-point game was great for them. Hopefully we can parlay this into some momentum and get some more wins."
Luckman said some of Spring Grove's seniors tasted victory for the first time since their freshmen season. They were winless on the junior varsity level as sophomores and winless on the varsity level as juniors a season ago, when they finished 0-22.
"It was a pretty hard-fought game," Luckman said. "The crowd was into it. It was a great atmosphere for the kids. I hope they enjoy it and sleep well tonight."
Logan Hagerman, a 6-foot senior and the Rockets' leading scorer at about 13 points per game, paced the winners on Wednesday with 19 points. But Luckman said the team got "contributions from nearly everyone."
Darin Gordon added nine points for Spring Grove, while Levi Krause and Nick Spangler collected eight points each.
Spring Grove entered Wednesday's game at 0-9 this season. Waynesboro dropped to 3-6. The Rockets fell behind 18-13 after one quarter and still trailed at halftime, 30-27. But a 17-12 third-quarter surge put Spring Grove ahead entering the final eight minutes, 44-42. Waynesboro held a 12-11 edge in the final period.
"I felt we had a chance to win tonight," Luckman said. "It was all about stopping their penetration. We didn't do a great job of that in the first half. In the second half we did a much better job and we made some shots that we missed in the first half. And we probably rebounded the best we have since the injury to Colton Crouthamel."
Crouthamel, a 6-foot, 4-inch senior, was injured against South Western on Dec. 18 and will miss the rest of the season.
The Rockets' last victory came on Jan. 31, 2011, with a 62-61 triumph vs. Red Lion. Coincidentally, Spring Grove's next game is Friday at Red Lion.
"I'm interested to see how we react (against Red Lion)," Luckman said. "Every game is a different challenge and every game is winnable. We've competed well at times this season. But is this game going to propel us to have better practices, be more focused and play a full 32 minutes? It will be interesting to see how we play against Red Lion. We don't want to go back to losing."
-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com.