ARMOLD: Five memorable moments from five standout York-Adams League boys' basketball teams
- Northeastern's Antonio Rizzuto and Fred Mulbah were a dynamic duo for the Bobcats.
- Rizzuto hit a dramatic half-court shot in the York-Adams League title game.
- Kyree Generett provided a number of highlight moments for the Bearcats this season.
As the mass substitutions took place late in Friday’s PIAA Class 5-A boys’ basketball quarterfinal game between Northeastern and Abington Heights, two senior members of the Bobcats were the last to leave.
Antonio Rizzuto and Fred Mulbah met at half court, shook hands and headed to their bench, arms around one another. They left the floor the way their names will be remembered both in Northeastern and York-Adams lore — side-by side.
Their exit served as a fitting end to the area’s boys’ basketball action — with the Bobcats the last local team standing. Northeastern’s 75-56 loss closed out the careers of one of the most impressive duos to come through the York-Adams League in some time.
Here are five other memorable moments to serve as reminders of the teams that achieved notable boys' success this season.
Rizzuto at the buzzer: Speaking of Rizzuto, Mulbah and the vaunted Bobcats, that group has given us too many unforgettable moments to list while putting together one of the most impressive two-year runs in recent history.
The Bobcats were 58-7 over the past two seasons and captured both York-Adams League playoff titles. They were District 3 Class 5-A champions in 2017 before a third-place finish this year.
Perennial all-stars and 1,000-point career scorers, Rizzuto and Mulbah also helped the Bobcats to a PIAA semifinals appearance in 2017 before reaching the quarterfinals this season.
In choosing just one moment from this season, however, the play that comes to mind was an instrumental one in the Bobcats repeating as York-Adams champions.
With 0.7 seconds left in the first half of the Feb. 15 Y-A title game at York College, Rizzuto drilled a dramatic half-court shot at the buzzer. His heave evened the score at 30-30 going into halftime and shifted momentum in the Bobcats' favor after a first half that saw the Central York Panthers lead 27-18 at one point.
Fittingly, the Bobcats would go on to capture the crown by three points, 63-60. The 3-pointer was part of a game-high 28-point effort for Rizzuto.
Kyree for three: Kyree Generett and the York High Bearcats enjoyed a turnaround season in 2017-18 after two campaigns that saw the Bearcats on the sidelines come playoff time.
York would finish 17-11 and go on to a runner-up finish in the District 3 Class 5-A playoffs. They also reached the second round of the PIAA tournament — all coming after an 8-14 season the year before.
The Bearcats were led by senior standout Generett, who provided plenty of memorable moments along the way. But the shot he and his squad might be most remembered for came during the Bearcats’ Feb. 26 District 3 5-A semifinal against Division I foe Northeastern at the Giant Center.
Generett canned a giant 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to knot the score at 74-74. Behind his game-high 36 points, the Bearcats would go on to knock off the defending district champion Bobcats 84-80 in overtime.
It moved York to its first District 3 5-A final and first district title game since 2014 (Class 4-A).
Better yet, that wasn’t the first such shot Generett had hit this season to conquer the Bobcats. His 3-pointer with 52 seconds left in his home gym on Jan. 30 tied the contest with Northeastern at 52-52, the score the two squads would take into their first overtime.
It was Generett’s game-high 22 points that would ultimately propel the Bearcats to a 72-64, double-overtime victory. Northeastern entered that game 18-0.
Greyhounds three-peat: York Country Day provided York County with its only District 3 boys' champion this season by winning its third-straight 1-A title on Feb. 28.
The Greyhounds would have to storm back from a 19-point deficit to claim the crown, 61-54, over Lancaster Country Day. Jonathan Wymard would eventually do the honors of providing the Hounds' highlight moment.
Country Day got six points from junior standout Jalen Gorham early in the fourth quarter before a three-point play from Luke Greisler cut the deficit to 52-49. Greisler would later tie the game at 54-54 with a pair free throws, setting the stage for Wymard.
Wymard’s 3-point basket with 58 seconds left would give YCD the lead for good at 57-54.
Rams reach new heights: The Bearcats weren’t the only team to turn things around in 2018 — far from it.
Kennard-Dale put together a 19-9 season that saw the Rams reach the PIAA tournament for the first time since 1996. Their 9-3, second-place finish in D-II gave them a spot in the Y-A playoffs for the first time since 2003.
While Stonehill College commit and all-star senior Adam Freese, along with fellow senior all-star Joey Thomas, undoubtedly provided plenty of sensational moments of their own, the one here focuses on the Rams’ future.
The rebound campaign in Fawn Grove also saw the emergence of sensational freshman Carter Day. The 5-foot, 5-inch guard played beyond both his age and height during a standout season.
With the third quarter of K-D’s Feb. 22 District 3 4-A quarterfinal with Littlestown winding down, Day hit 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the Rams a 10-point lead going into the final frame.
The shot stifled a small run by the Thunderbolts. K-D would collect a 72-59 victory. The win clinched the Rams' return to the PIAA tournament.
Spectacular Spartans: Perhaps the most surprising turnaround of 2017-18 belonged to the York Tech Spartans. A program that saw just four victories a season ago posted a 14-9 record this time out, and made school history in the process.
The Spartans had only finished above .500 twice in program history and their 11-3 D-III record this year helped them qualify for the league playoffs for the first time.
The Spartans credited their successes this season to a willingness to persevere together. That notion was best personified by an eight-minute effort on Jan. 30 during a 76-65 road victory at Littlestown.
With only a four-point lead at halftime, the Spartans turned it on and recorded a 25-16 edge in the third quarter. Tech would then ride that surge to a comfortable victory.
Led as they were all season by junior standout Terance Romey, who scored a game-high 21 points, the Spartans saw four players finish in double digits. Jahkwan Batty (16), Andrew Reever (15) and Jamal Jackson (10) completed that group.
The game was crucial because it gave the Spartans a 12-7 overall record at the time, officially clinching a winning season. It also moved their D-III mark to 9-3, and trimmed the Bolts’ division mark to 10-2, putting the Spartans back in the thick of the division race. It was also instrumental in the Spartans earning a league playoff spot.
Elijah Armold is a sports reporter for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.