York High’s bench reacts to the 59-53 loss to Abington in a PIAA Class AAAA boys’ basketball playoff game at Coatesville High School on
York High's bench reacts to the 59-53 loss to Abington in a PIAA Class AAAA boys' basketball playoff game at Coatesville High School on Wednesday. BILL KALINA-bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

COATESVILLE — Jahaire Wilson stood in front of the York High bench with his hands on his knees.

Looking up at the scoreboard, Wilson saw the clock showed 42.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and his team down seven points.

Wilson had just fouled out, committing his fifth foul seconds after missing a layup that would've made it a five-point game with under a minute to play.

Fifteen seconds later, teammate Stephen Dickson joined him on the bench after committing foul No. 5.

That's how the 2013-14 season ended for York High on Wednesday night, when the Bearcats lost 59-53 to Abington in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA state playoffs inside the Coatesville gym.

York High’s Jahaire Wilson drives past Abington’s Lazaro’s Mackrides, left, and Matthew Penecale in a PIAA Class AAAA boys’
York High's Jahaire Wilson drives past Abington's Lazaro's Mackrides, left, and Matthew Penecale in a PIAA Class AAAA boys' basketball playoff game on Wednesday. Wilson led York High with 19 points. BILL KALINA-bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

York High actually led 28-22 at halftime. But Abington's 2-3 zone defense proved to be the equalizer in slowing down the Bearcats' offense in the second half. That and Abington's one-two combo of junior guards Matthew Penecale (21 points) and Amir Hinton (20 points). Abington (24-5), the sixth seed from District 1, had just two other scorers besides Penecale and Hinton. York High was held to just four points in the third quarter, with Abington taking a 34-32 lead into the final period.

"When your outside shooters are not knocking down any outside shots they lose a little bit of confidence," York High coach Troy Sowers said. "They tend to not want to shoot. But you have to keep shooting. Unfortunately it just never came around for us tonight."


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York High shot 18-of-52 from the floor (34.6 percent), including just 3-of-13 (23 percent) from beyond the arc. The Bearcats, however, were without sophomore starter and leading 3-pointer shooter Trey Shifflett because of injury. Sophomore guard Kris Johnson, who has turned out to be a 3-point threat this postseason, scored all seven of his points inside, but went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc.

All three York High treys came in the final three minutes of action, the first coming from Dickson to cut the deficit to 47-44 with three minutes left to play.

Abington answered with back-to-back layups to put the game out of reach. In a tightly-officiated contest, York High went to the free throw line 28 times but made just 14.

"We really struggled at the foul line tonight. It's not gonna go your way with that against a good team in the second round of states," Sowers said.

Wilson, a junior forward, paced York with a team-high 19 points, mostly inside the paint.

York High (23-7) finished the season with a state loss at Coatesville for a second-straight season. But Sowers did point out that this club wasn't even expected by many to get back there. With a roster of just three seniors, only one of whom saw consistent action all season, the Bearcats had won 15 of its last 16 games, including the District 3-AAAA title, coming into Wednesday.

"I'm proud of these guys. Coming into the season nobody thought we'd play for a county (league) title," Sowers said. "Nobody thought we'd win the district title. I told those seniors I'm proud to send you guys out with a (district) gold medal that nobody thought we would win."

— Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.