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York College men's basketball team exits Capital Athletic Conference with a championship

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
  • York College won the Capital Athletic Conference men's basketball title Saturday.
  • York beat Christopher Newport in Newport News, Virginia, 79-77.
  • The York women fell to CNU, also in Newport News, 86-66.
  • The York athletic programs are leaving the CAC after this season.
Spring Grove High School graduate Darin Gordon, right, was the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player.

Thanks to standout efforts from two York County players, the York College men's basketball team is leaving the Capital Athletic Conference as a champion.

The Spartans closed out their 29-year tenure in the CAC by claiming their fourth conference title in program history and second in the last three seasons with a 79-77 victory Saturday at Christopher Newport in Newport News, Virginia.

The news wasn't as good for the York women, who dropped their CAC championship game vs. CNU, also in Newport News, 86-66.

York's athletic programs will leave the CAC at the end of this school year and begin play in the Middle Atlantic Conference next season.

The York men improved to 22-5 and ran their winning streak to 12 straight games. CNU fell to 21-6.

The 2020 CAC Player of the Year, Central York High School graduate Jared Wagner, led all players with 28 points, while Spring Grove grad Darin Gordon added a career-high 23 points.

Junior big man David Giuliani was also a catalyst on both ends of the floor for York, posting 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds. He also had the game-clinching block on CNU's Dalon McHugh with two seconds left.

Gordon earned CAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. He was joined by Wagner and Giuliani on the all-tournament team. Both Wagner and Giuliani are seniors.

The Spartans capped off a run of three-straight CAC title-game appearances with two championships in that span. All three title-game match-ups have been against CNU at the Freeman Center.

York will now make its third-straight NCAA Division III Tournament appearance after earning the CAC's automatic bid.

York trailed at the half, 47-40, before using a 39-30 second-half surge to grab the victory. The Spartans still trailed 56-50 with just more than 12 minutes left in the game when they went on 13-0 run to take a 63-56 edge.

York stretched the lead to 71-62 before CNU stormed back to take a 72-71 advantage with less than two minutes remaining. Gordon, however, made two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch and Giuliani got an offensive rebound and made a layup with 19 seconds left to give York a 79-77 edge with 19 seconds remaining. 

Giuliani's block with two seconds left then clinched the victory.

York women fall: York's hopes of earning a second CAC title on Saturday came up short when the Spartan women fell at CNU.

York finished at 17-11, while CNU, the unbeaten CAC regular-season champion, improved to 23-4.

New Oxford grad Haley Luckabaugh led York with 21 points, six assists and three rebounds. York Suburban grad Molly Day added 13 points and four rebounds. Gettysburg grad Alana Bortner (11 points, five rebounds, two assists) and Kayla Ferria (10 points, five assists, five rebounds) also excelled for York.

Spartans win in men's lacrosse: At Lynchburg, York earned a 14-7 men's lacrosse win on Saturday.

York came in ranked No. 10 in NCAA Division III, while Lynchburg was No. 14. York improved to 3-1, while Lynchburg fell to 1-3.

Chandler Schmidt  and Brendan O'Sullivan each had three York goals. Eric Ranck had two goals and three assists. Gunnar Reynolds had two goals and an assist, Jarrod Marenger had two goals and an assist and Jacob Wilhelm had a goal and three assists.

York wrestling team takes seventh: The York College wrestling team finished seventh with 75.0 points and had six place winners at the 2020 NCAA Division III Southeast Regional Championships as action wrapped Saturday at Messiah College.

Eric Hutchinson highlighted the Spartan effort as he punched his ticket to nationals with a third-place finish at 149 lbs.

In addition to Hutchinson, York's other five place winners included sophomore Jared Kuhns (fourth, 125), sophomore Billy Myers (fifth, 184), senior Thomas Tabatneck (sixth, 285), junior Michael Reinhart (seventh, 197) and redshirt-sophomore Damian Maver (eighth, 133). 

York has now finished top eight in the regional team standings five straight seasons and has sent a wrestler to nationals in six straight years.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.