One word that keeps popping about the York College men’s basketball team this season is exciting.
The players, sensing a potential special season, are excited.
Coach Matt Hunter, after you get through some typical coach-speak, is pretty excited as well.
The fans, after watching an experienced and athletic York squad play at a frantic rate for 40 minutes a game, are possibly the most excited of all.
The Spartans gave the post-holiday crowd at Charles Wolf Gymnasium a glimpse of what to expect this season in York’s home opener against Gettysburg College on Sunday, Nov. 26. York overwhelmed the visiting Bullets from the opening tip, with the home squad sprinting out to a 17-2 advantage. It was smooth sailing from there for the Spartans, who cruised to an 83-59 victory.
York improved to 3-0, while Gettysburg dropped to 1-3.
High energy: “Our goal is come out and fly,” York senior forward Dalton Myers said. “We just want to go out, start fast and get the energy up. If we start with high energy, it’s a lot easier to keep it throughout the game.”
That energy was clearly visible on the bench throughout Sunday’s victory. On more than handful of occasions, the referees had to remind the Spartan bench, which applauded each and every big play, to remain seated.
“We always say that you’re never out (of the game), because the ones that aren’t playing, their jobs are to have energy and keep that energy up for us on the court,” Myers said. “We’re all going crazy, and the refs have to keep telling us to sit down like 30 times a game.”
Lots of pressure: York forced 20 turnovers from the Bullets, with 13 coming in the opening half. The Spartans pressured Gettysburg on every made basket in the opening half, with guards Jason Bady and Mike Frauenheim each recording three steals.
Part of what helped create many of those turnovers was the York pressure, spearheaded by forward Blayde Reich. The 6-foot, 5-inch senior gave Gettysburg players trouble while inbounding the ball after made baskets. That created some errant passes that Bady and the other guards were able to pick off.
“Blayde is so long and he’s on the ball,” Myers said. “It’s hard to get it by him some times.”
The Spartans are able to play that way because they have the 6-foot, 7-inch Myers in the back in case the pressure is beaten.
“I think that having two athletic bigs really helps us out at times,” Myers said. “It helps the guards out.”
Myers, Scamuffo lead way: Myers, a fifth-year senior after taking a medical redshirt because of a shoulder injury last season, and Matt Scamuffo combined for 15 of York’s first 17 points. Scamuffo, a first-team Capital Athletic Conference all-star last year, led the Spartans with 21 points, while Myers, a first-team CAC all-star two years ago, added 15.
While there's certainly excitement in the air at Wolf Gym these days, Myers remembers the days during his freshman and sophomore seasons when the conditions were not nearly as joyous. York finished 5-20 during both of those campaigns, which makes this season’s potential success all the more satisfying for the York senior.
“Winning the conference is a goal, but it’s a dream really,” Myers said. “And, with this team, I don’t really think that we have a ceiling if we continue to play like we can play. I know that we just keep getting better and better every day, and that’s really the expectation that we have.”
Central York High School graduate Jared Wagner added nine points, three assists, two steals and two rebounds.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.