Dover was a dark horse coming into the York-Adams League boys' basketball tournament.
The Eagles were heating up, winning six of their final eight games and looking at full strength with the return of star player Keith Davis to join Elijah Sutton, the league's top scorer.
Through one quarter Saturday night, it looked as if Dover, the No. 3 seed out of Division II, was going to give York High, the top seed from Division I, a tight game. The Eagles led 28-20 after eight minutes, with Davis and Sutton both in double digits.
Then they played the second quarter.
York High, led by Clovis Gallon Jr., outscored Dover 28-7 in the second quarter to take a 13-point lead into halftime. The Bearcats cruised to a 75-53 quarterfinal victory at Central York High School.
“We have a lot of depth, and a lot of teams don’t have that,” Gallon Jr. said about how the team went on the run in the second quarter. “Dover only has three scorers, but our whole team can play. If one guy goes out, we just reload and another goes in and we keep scoring.”
Gallon Jr. led all scorers with 26 points with five 3-pointers, seven made free throws and two thunderous dunks, one of which came in the second quarter off a teammate’s missed layup on a fast break.
“As a coach, you hope a player like (Gallon Jr.) can get opportunities to make plays like that,” York High head coach Clovis Gallon Sr. said. “Our energy from our bench is ridiculously high. ... Those dunks were huge momentum builders for us.”
York High (18-3) will play Littlestown, which defeated West York prior to the Bearcats’ game, in the semifinals on Wednesday. Tip at Red Lion High School will be 7:30 p.m.
“They shoot the stink out of the basketball,” Gallon Sr. said. “They can shoot lights out. Logan (Collins) is a good player. (Tonight) is my first time seeing them. They’re more balanced than I anticipated them being.”
Pregame trickery: At halftime of the Littlestown-West York game, both Dover and York High had a five-minute shoot-around. The Bearcats’ second-leading scorer, Marquise McClean, who had been out for the last two weeks with a hip injury, didn’t participate. He stood in the back of the line, high-fiving teammates and looking like a player who wasn’t going to play in a game an hour later.
When the public-address announcer said the players in the starting lineups, though, No. 20 Marquise McClean was one of them.
“There was a little Bill Belichick in there,” Gallon Sr. said with a laugh. “You try to give the opponent as little as possible to prepare for. We knew we were going to have Marquise back today. I don’t know if they were surprised or not. I’m sure (Dover) coach (Brian) Schmoyer had something prepared.”
McClean scored nine points in his return, grabbing several offensive rebounds and causing havoc in the paint.
“He’s a really important player for us,” Gallon Jr. said. “He can score, and he opens up other scorers like me when he’s in the game.”
Gallon Sr. said McClean had a full week of practice and that he is “100 percent” healthy.
“He was cleared last week,” Gallon Sr. said. “He’s ready to rock and roll.”
Eagles control first quarter: Davis and Sutton combined for 23 of Dover’s 28 points in the first eight minutes, with Victor Dorm chipping in the other five. Davis finished with 18 points, while Sutton ended the night with 17.
“They’re two really good basketball players,” Gallon Sr. said. “We had to take away their strengths and make them play to their weakness. We played good help defense. We didn’t want to let them walk into shots. The guys did a tremendous job with that in the second half.”
Slow second half: Following York High’s explosion in the second quarter, the Bearcats played a slower style in the final 16 minutes. With a deep bench, Gallon Sr. believes he can “wear teams out” with his nine-man rotation.
“I can play 9, 10 or 11 guys in a game, and our guys share the ball,” Gallon Sr. said. “They’re looking to make the right basketball play. … Our guys know if they don’t compete, someone is breathing down their neck for minutes.”
Dayvon Cortez scored at least three points in each quarter for York High, tallying 17 points off the bench. Nine York High players scored in the win.
“We have a lot of guys who are capable of scoring the basketball,” Gallon Sr. said. “We have guys on our bench who can contribute.”
Littlestown (22-1, D-III No. 1) 73, West York (18-5, D-II No. 2) 63: At Central York High School, the Thunderbolts outscored the Bulldogs 26-8 in the third quarter en route to the quarterfinal triumph. Littlestown made six 3-pointers in the period, three by Jakob Lane and three from Logan Collins. Lane scored 15 points, all from behind the arc, and Collins led all scorers with 25. Dan Gazmen and Jayden Weishaar chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Alex McClellan led West York with 28 points. Gabe Mummert chipped in with 10.
New Oxford (17-5, D-I No. 3) 54, Eastern York (19-4, D-II No. 1) 44: At Red Lion High School, the Colonials edged out the Division II champions in the second half to advance to the semifinals. The game was tied 23-23 at halftime, but Abdul Janneh, who had 20 points and one fast-break dunk, led New Oxford in the second half. Brayden Long added 15 points for New Oxford. Kady Wiley (13 points), Trevor Seitz (10 points) and Bryce Henise (10 points) led New Oxford. The Colonials will play Central York in the semifinals on Wednesday. Tip at Red Lion will be 6 p.m.
Central York (17-5, D-I No. 2) 74, York Tech (14-9, D-III No. 2) 43: At Red Lion High School, the Panthers led nearly the whole game en route to the most dominant victory of the boys’ basketball quarterfinal round. After leading 17-13 through one quarter and 35-24 at halftime, Central, led by Evan Eisenhart, outscored Tech 19-8 in the third period.
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