WRIGHTSVILLE — It was not your normal basketball game on Monday night when the Eastern York boys played host to York Tech.
Maybe it was because neither team had school on Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
Regardless of the reason, the result was sometimes ugly, with both teams turning the ball over at an alarming rate.
Despite that, the visiting Spartans were able to hold the advantage throughout much of the first 30 minutes of action. The Knights, however, were able to forge a tie with two minutes left.
Attempting to hold the ball for one final shot, the Spartans instead committed a costly turnover when Dustin Cunningham stole a pass before getting fouled on a layup attempt at the other end of the court. Cunningham made both of his two attempts to put the Knights on top by a basket.
Tech had one last chance to pull off the upset when standout Terence Romey put up a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but Romey’s shot hit the rim and bounced out as the horn sounded, giving Eastern a thrilling 66-64 nonleague triumph.
“The kids really fought hard tonight,” Eastern coach Justin Seitz said. “We didn’t take the lead until there was like (40) seconds left. We just kept believing and finally got a win. This will definitely help us later down the road.”
Spartans had lead for most of game: For much of the night, it seemed as if the Spartans (10-6) were going to surprise the Knights (14-3) on their home court for a second year in a row. Tech won the Wrightsville Holiday Tournament back in December of 2017, although EY won this season’s game vs. Tech at the same event, 55-44, back on Dec. 29.
Romey, who came into the evening fourth in the Y-A League in scoring at 21.2 points per game, finished with a game-high 25 points. At times, Romey was able to hit some big shots, including one midway through the fourth quarter in which he was fouled on a made 3-pointer.
That shot was just one of several that had coach Seitz scratching his head.
“We just couldn’t seem to get over the hump,” Seitz said. “There were multiple times in the third quarter when we’d get it down to one or two, but we’d miss a shot or turn it over and they’d go down the court and push it back to four or five.”
Trevor Seitz plagued by foul trouble: Some of that was the result of foul trouble that plagued Eastern guard Trevor Seitz. Seitz was held to eight points — half of his 16.8 average. He found himself on the bench for stretches of time to avoid fouling out.
“They had a good game plan with their zone,” coach Seitz said. “And we had to make adjustments. I feel like they know us and we know them and it’s always a tough game.”
DeMonte Martin and Cunningham were able to knock down big shots and free throws down the stretch to help keep the Knights in the game. Martin finished with 21 points to lead the Knights while Cunningham hit two 3-pointers in addition to those two final free throws.
“Cunningham was been a key factor for us,” coach Seitz said. “He comes off the bench and sometimes starts for us and we really rely on him to give us some good energy. We had both Trevor and (Kade) Wiley get into foul trouble and (Cunningham) knocked down some 3s that really kind of opened up some things for us in the middle.”
Excelling at crunch time: Martin was happy to see his team put it all together at crunch time, which is an area that he said was a weakness earlier in the season.
“We’ve been learning how to finish quarters,” he said. “We struggled to finish quarters earlier in the season and that cost us a couple of games, but we finished the fourth quarter tonight and came out on top.”
Big games looming: While Monday’s contest was a match-up of a pair of squads that are both hoping to make it into the Y-A League playoffs next month, the test for both sides could prove helpful come later this week.
Tech has big Y-A Division III showdowns with Biglerville on Tuesday and Littlestown on Friday. Biglerville and Tech are tied for second in the division at 7-3 behind first-place and unbeaten Littlestown.
Eastern has a rematch with Gettysburg Tuesday before a showdown with D-II co-leader West York Friday. The Warriors are the only team in the division to hand the Knights a loss, while the Bulldogs will be looking for payback after EY claimed a thrilling last-minute triumph earlier this month.
“One of our goals was to be division champs,” Martin said. “So this week is big for us. We have to get through Gettysburg and then West York and then Dover again (next week) and that’s what we have to do.”
West York 92, Donegal 45: At Mount Joy, the Bulldogs erupted for 76 points in the first three quarters en route to the nonleague triumph. Ty Nalls (17), Jared Shearer (13), Alex McClellan (11), Gabe Mummert (10) and Andrew LaManna (10) each hit double digits for West York, which improved to 14-2 overall. Donegal fell to 0-17.
Carlisle Christian 73, Red Lion Christian 37: Brennan Warner had 23 points in a losing cause for RLC.
Spring Grove 61, Ephrata 26: Haley Wagman (13), Addyson Wagman (12), Ellie Glass (10) and Lexi Hoffman (10) scored in double digits to lead the Rockets (12-3) to the nonleague win. Ephrata fell to 5-12.
Red Lion 40, Cedar CrestEphrata 36: Red Lion knocked off one of the better 6-A teams in District 3, led by an 11-point effort from Julia Beiler. The Lions led 24-17 at halftime and held on. Red Lion improved to 7-9. Cedar Crest fell to 13-4.
Christian School of York 37, York Country Day 34, OT: At York, the Crusaders used a 6-3 overtime edge to earn the win. Emma Bell poured in 18 points to lead CSY, which improved to 7-8. YCD fell to 2-8.
Red Lion Christian 46, Carlisle Christian 24: Bailey Sanders had 17 points and 15 rebounds, Hailee Thompson added 10 points and Jasmine Warner chipped in 11 steals to lead RLC.
Dallastown 6, Shamrocks 5: Brock Stitley broke a 5-5 tie with a late third-period goal to give Dallastown the Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Viola Division win. Stitley also had two assists. Trae Schanberger (two goals, three assists), Camden Schanberger (two goals), Timmy Helmer (goal), Cooper Webber (assist), Duncan Webber (assist) and Brady Frey (22 saves) also excelled for Dallastown, which improved to 4-11. Shamrocks fell to 5-7.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.