BASKETBALL

Red Lion boys' basketball roars past Spring Grove as D-I win streak continues

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

To say that the 2022-23 season got off to the start that the Red Lion boys’ basketball team was expecting would be grossly incorrect. A year after winning the York-Adams Division I title, the Lions were expecting to remain in the divisional mix this year.

A lung injury that shelved senior Ryan Ehrhart for five games in December didn’t help. Neither did the team’s inability to pull out close contests that included a three-point loss to division-leading Central York, another three-point setback against Cumberland Valley and a four-point defeat at the hands of Hershey.

Instead of sulking, however, the Lions came out of the Christmas break with an eye on turning things around. Entering Friday’s clash with Spring Grove, the Red Lion boys had won three of their past four contests that helped improve their D-I record to 2-3.

In what was expected to be a battle between two teams looking to make a statement, the Lions' message came across loud and clear. After trailing 11-9 after one period, Red Lion throttled the visiting Rockets, limiting the visitors to just 14 points over the final three periods en route to a satisfying 50-25 triumph.

Red Lion's Chris Williams (5) against Spring Grove's Misael Santana (13) and Dawson McMaster (5) during their boys basketball game in Red Lion on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023

The Lions improved to 6-9 overall but were pleased to get back to .500 in the division with a 3-3 mark.

“Our game plan was to focus on their two big players,” Red Lion forward Joe Sedora said of Spring Grove's Ethan Glass and Alvin Myers. “Those two combine to average, like, close to 40 points a game and we held them to just eight total in the first half. So we were just trying to get into Ethan’s head a little bit because he wasn’t getting to the basket like he usually does.”

It worked, as Glass was limited to just 11 points, five under his average of 16.2 per game. Myers also felt the effects, as he managed just six points, which was over 10 points below his team-best average of 16.8.

It’s wasn’t the best of nights, either, for Sedora, who entered the night as the No. 2 scorer in the York-Adams League with an 18.4 points-per-game average. The Lion standout was held to just eight, his lowest output of the season to date.

Red Lion's Joe Sedora (10) against Spring Grove's Ethan Glass (15) during their boys basketball game in Red Lion on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023

Sedora, however, is more than just a scorer. The 6-foot-3 junior grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with six assists as he opened up space for teammates Chris Williams (who finished with a game-high 15 points) and Tyler Jordan (10 points off the bench) to find open looks.

“Both Chris and Tyler Jordan were huge tonight,” Sedora said. “Tyler played his role for us really well and it’s always nice to have a guy like him on the team.”

Sedora acknowledged the Lions' struggles in December were tough for the entire team and coaching staff. With Ehrhart back in the lineup and others playing their roles more effectively, the Red Lion forward feels the team’s recent success is sustainable.

“I feel like we’re really coming together as a team right now,” Sedora said. “Right now it’s critical for us. We started off 0-3 in the division and we had to bounce back if we wanted to have a chance to do something with our season.”

The mood was understandably somber in the Spring Grove locker room afterward. After a good start to the contest, it was a frustrating struggle for head coach Ryan Eisenhart and the Rockets (5-8, 2-4).

“They just played good, solid team defense,” Eisenhart said of the Lions. “They played well on their end and they’re a physical team and we struggled. We struggled shooting the ball and we weren’t getting good looks, and then I thought we started to force some things early in possession and we were just pushing a little too much.”