VIDEO: Northeastern's Nate Wilson discusses his game-winning 3-pointer in the Bobcats' 47-46 win over Manheim Township on Wednesday. JACOB CALVIN MEYER, 717-505-5406/@jcalvinmeyer
MANCHESTER — Northeastern trailed by two points with about 30 seconds remaining against Manheim Township when assistant coach Don Kauffman suggested a half-court set that the Bobcats haven’t used all season.
They haven’t even practiced it.
The boys’ basketball team went 28-4 last season and made it further than any other York-Adams League team in the postseason, and the play was one of many that Antonio Rizzuto and Fred Mulbah ran together. Rizzuto and Mulbah are now in college, though, so on Wednesday night, it was Nate Wilson and Fred’s younger brother, Quay Mulbah, who executed the play.
Wilson, who scored 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the fourth quarter, took the pass on the left wing from Quay Mulbah, got open because of a screen from Andrew Brodbeck and knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer in the Bobcats’ 47-46 nonleague victory.
“We ran (the play) freshman and sophomore year, but we haven’t put it in our playbook yet,” Wilson said. “It worked, so I’m very happy we ran it correctly.”
Wilson’s hot fourth quarter: Northeastern (9-4) trailed 38-26 with about six minutes left, and it looked like the Bobcats were going to lose their third straight game. Eyster’s squad lost by four points last Friday to undefeated York High and then by 18 on Tuesday at New Oxford.
“He had a tough time getting good looks in the first three quarters,” Eyster said of Wilson. “We were able to get a little more movement out of everybody and some screens, and he got some open looks. He’s big-shot Nate. He’ll make a big shot.”
Wilson, who scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, got an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and scored on a put-back layup, which the junior guard said boosted his confidence.
“I hit one shot, and I felt confident that I would get more in the transition game,” Wilson said. “Seeing a shot finally go in really made me feel better and gave me some confidence.”
He then made four more shots in a row, including three straight 3-pointers, to lead Northeastern to the comeback victory over the Lancaster-Lebanon League squad.
“There are times in games when I believe I need to take over and step up as a leader on the team,” Wilson said. “I need to start doing it more throughout the whole game instead of just when we need it.”
Ugly three quarters: Before the exciting fourth quarter, the match-up featured ugly basketball from both teams.
Northeastern shot 2 of 15 in the first quarter to trail 9-4 after eight minutes.
“I just think we were forcing a lot of our shots,” Wilson said. “We weren’t moving the ball well. Our defense was good enough to keep us in the game, though.”
Manheim (7-5) turned the ball over seven times in the second quarter as the Bobcats went on a run and led 17-16 at halftime.
Then the Bobcats shot 2 of 11 in the third quarter, while Streaks point guard Tyler Crespo, who has offers to play NCAA Division I basketball, got hot, scoring 10 points in the quarter to give Manheim a 31-24 lead entering the last period.
In total, the two teams combined to shoot 20 for 66 (30 percent) and joined for 27 turnovers.
“We were playing back-to-back games, and they are in the middle of five straight road games,” Eyster said. “It’s a tough time to play. You don’t get a lot of practice during this stretch of the season. You have some moments like that. It was two good teams battling it out.”
Capo’s big shot: While Wilson was hot in the fourth quarter, so was Crespo.
After scoring 10 points in the third quarter, making three straight buckets and all three free throw attempts, he wasn’t missing either in the final period. Crespo, who led all scorers with 23 points, made six free throws and both of his shot attempts from the field before Wilson’s game-winner.
For Northeastern to make the comeback, the Bobcats needed more than just Wilson’s sharp shooting.
Maurice Capo, who was also shooting poorly in the first three quarters, scored eight points in the last eight minutes, including a crucial 3-pointer that shifted the momentum in Northeastern’s favor.
“For Maurice, he’s got to recognize how good of a shooter he is and that we need him to do that,” Eyster said. “Right now, he’s not pulling the trigger when he needs to, but he did on that one, and you saw what happened.”
Stout defense: The Streaks had three opportunities to score after Wilson’s 3-pointer, but the Bobcats’ stout defense staved off the attempts from Crespo.
“We didn’t want to foul him, and we wanted to get the rebound, but that didn’t work twice,” Eyster said. “They were contested. We did a good job of not fouling him. He’s a pretty good player.”
Wilson said the comeback triumph is a “huge confidence booster” for the two-time defending D-I champs coming off back-to-back losses.
“We had a horrible loss to New Oxford (on Tuesday), and on the bus ride home, we didn’t talk. We were all down on ourselves,” Wilson said. “We stayed in the game the whole way through. We never gave up.”
OTHER WEDNESDAY EVENTS
York High 52, Executive Educational Academy Charter 51: At Muhlenberg College, the Bearcats ran their record to 10-0 with the narrow nonleague triumph vs. a charter school from Allentown. Clovis Gallon Jr. had 15 points to lead York High, including three 3-pointers. It was York's closest escape this season. Executive Educational fell to 8-3.
Susquehannock 77, Hanover 71: At Hanover, the visitors won a high-scoring, nonleague contest behind a 30-point outburst from Jake Eden. Jalen Franklin (18), Will Ogude (13) and Michael Staub (10) each hit double digits for the Warriors (4-7). Hanover (2-11) was paced by Andre Caban (17), Kwame Myers (17), Michael Killinger (13) and Kyle Garman (11).
York Country Day 38, Christian School of York 34, OT: At YCD, the home team used a 4-0 edge in overtime to grab the victory. YCD is 2-5. CSY fell to 5-5.
York Catholic 50, Berks Catholic 29: At York, in a battle of traditional girls' basketball powers, the Irish rolled to the nonleague win behind 13-point efforts from Gabby Coley and Katy Rader. York Catholic is 9-3. Berks Catholic fell to 5-5.
Eastern York 54, Donegal 43: At Mount Joy, the Golden Knights won their seventh straight in a nonleague contest. Cass Arnold and Addy Malone pumped in 12 points apiece for the winners (8-5). Donegal fell to 7-6.
Christian School of York 33, York Country Day 28: At CSY, Emma Bell (14) and Laura Kruth (11) combined for 25 of the Crusaders' 33 points. Karrington Brown's 13 points led YCD, while Mishamma Fleuristein added 10. CSY is 3-7. YCD fell to 3-9.
York Suburban 56, Fairfield 26: At York, the Trojans dominated behind a 13-point performance from Alyssa Hocker. Maddie Neiderer had 11 points for Fairfield. Suburban is 4-6. Fairfield fell to 6-6.
Manheim Township 44, Central York 30: At Manheim Township, Emily Prowell (16) scored more than half of Central's points in a losing cause in a nonleague contest. Central fell to 6-7. Manheim Township improved to 9-3. Central led 19-18 at halftime, but couldn't hold on.
New Oxford 32, Dover 25: At Dover, the home team lost a low-scoring nonleague affair despite a combined 15 points from Emma Burr (eight) and Ashley Goebeler (seven). New Oxford's Morgan Adams led all scorers with 10 points. New Oxford is 5-7. Dover fell to 2-10.
Spring Grove 36, Manheim Central 34: At Spring Grove, the Rockets captured a nonleague thriller when Clay Baker earned a 13-7 decision in the final bout of the night at 138. The Rockets improved to 9-4. Manheim Central fell to 4-1. The Rockets got pins from Brady Pitzer (145), Anthony Hinson (170), Eric Glass (195) and Sam Meyer (113).
South Western 60, Kennard-Dale 15: At Hanover, the Mustangs (7-3) dominated behind pins from Kasey Doll (126), Ethan Dunnock (220), Tommy Morris (285) and Wyatt Hale (106). K-D (3-6) got a pin from Daemon Davis (132).
Eastern York 42, Delone Catholic 38: At McSherrystown, the Golden Knights took a high-scoring nonleague match. Eastern improved to 6-9. Delone fell to 3-10. Eastern got pins from Hailu Barrow (132), Justin Manganello (138), Drake Brown (195) and Austin Baker (220). Delone's pins came from Nate Hart (120), Artem Reichart (126), Tate Neiderer (145), Robert Partenza (160) and Matt Carpenter (182).
Big Spring 46, West York 30: At Newville, the Bulldogs dropped the nonleague contest to fall to 6-2 overall. West York got a pin from Bryce Weaver (120). Big Spring improved to 7-5.
Central Dauphin 12, Central York 3: At York City Ice Arena, Ryan Myers had two goals and Ryan Smith scored once in a losing cause in a Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Bears Division contest. Evan Bean, Ryan Trujillo and Carter McCormack had Central York assists. Carter Crebs (14) and Conner McCaffrey (22) combined for 36 Central York saves. First-place Central Dauphin improved to 11-3. Last-place Central York fell to 2-12.
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.