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DOVER — The good thing about the early part of the York-Adams League boys’ basketball schedule is that teams cannot dwell on their losses.

Especially not with five, or even six games, over an eight-day period.

Both teams that took to the floor Thursday night at Dover High School can be thankful for that.

Visiting York Suburban already had suffered a pair of heartbreaking loses to Dallastown and Gettysburg over the first week of the season. But a chance to knock off an undefeated Dover side provided more than enough motivation for Coach Dustin Boeckel’s club to shake out of a mini-funk.

The Trojans led throughout the fourth quarter against the Eagles, but it wasn’t easy. The home team had a chance to even the score with under 10 seconds remaining. Suburban, however, caused a turnover with a defensive switch that ended the home team’s chances.

Trojan senior Thomas Merkle, who led the football team to the Division II title this fall, was able to knock down a free throw with 2.1 seconds left to give the visitors a 50-46 triumph.

“We’ve been knocking on the door,” said Boeckel, whose club improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Division II. “In our first couple of games we’ve spotted good teams 10-, 15-point leads and it takes a lot of energy to come back. We really wanted to make sure that we didn’t do that tonight.”

Suburban was playing a night after a tough loss against Gettysburg. Trailing by 19 at the half, the Trojans were able to take a lead in the second half in that game, but couldn’t hold on.

“Yeah, we just couldn’t close it out,” Merkle said of Wednesday’s loss. “Wins like this, when we close games out strong, is what we need. And that hasn’t been our strength so far. But throughout this season we have to get better, (especially) with these tough division games.”

Neither side was able to pull away from the other as the game remained within six points all night long. Suburban took a five-point lead midway through the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer from Donovan Mears (game-high 16 points) and a free throw by Jack Schultz.

The Eagles, however, responded back behind the inspired play of Jerry O’Neal, who drew fouls on three consecutive possessions. The final of those came with 1:37 left, but O’Neal (team-high 14 points) missed a free throw that would have pulled his team even.

Mears had a chance to put the game away when he stepped to the line with 12.1 seconds left. With the Trojans up 48-46, Mears made the first free throw but missed the second to keep the game within three points (49-46).

Dover’s Najah Fink (nine points, 16 rebounds) grabbed the miss and got the ball into the front court before a timeout was called with seven seconds left. The home team got the inbounds pass to freshman Keith Davis, who tried to drive around a screen at the wing. Davis, however, was called for a travel as the Trojans switched on the screen.

“We tried to set a 3-play for the 3-pointer,” acting Dover coach Jay Betz said. “But they jumped it and Keith turned it over before he could make a move to go to our second option.”

Merkle was quickly fouled after taking the inbounds pass with 2.1 seconds left. The Trojan standout hit the first attempt to push the lead to four, which sealed the outcome.

Now it will be Dover, which entered the night with a 3-0 record overall, which must bounce back on short notice. The Eagles will travel to take on Division II favorite Northeastern Friday night in a pivotal early-season showdown.

“Hopefully they’re not too tired,” Betz said. “We only ran six tonight, so hopefully they get their rest. I’m sure they’ll be up for the challenge, though.”

Chey Carter finished with 14 points for the Trojans before fouling out, while Brady Bowman tallied nine points in the setback for the Eagles.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

York High 62, Red Lion 54: At York, the Bearcats used a big first half to gain a nice cushion and then rode that lead through the second half to earn the Y-A League Division I victory. Trey Shifflet led all scorers with 21 points, while Kris Johnson added 16 and Jacquez Casiano chipped in with 11. The Lions were led by Jason Rebuck, who had 15 points. Kendrick Boyd-Gillespie added 11 and Ryan Schreckengast had 10.

Dallastown 51, South Western 37: At Dallastown, the Wildcats’ Da’Trail Albert and Mike Diaz each scored 12 points to lead all scorers. Aaron Ward (10) was also in double figures for Dallastown. Brock Geiman hit three shots from beyond the arc for nine points, leading all Mustang scorers.

Biglerville 68, York Tech 61: At Biglerville, four of the Canners’ five scorers reached double figures, including Noah Ayers going for a team-high 21 points. York Tech’s Ty Brown led all scorers on the night with 23 points.

Eastern York 52, Gettysburg 44: At Gettysburg, Dom Particelli scored 15 points and Jared Woods added 13 to lead Eastern. The Golden Knights built up a 29-17 halftime lead and held on. Gettysburg's Marquise Camel scored 24 to lead all scorers, including five 3-pointers. Max Lampe added 14 for the Warriors, including four 3-pointers.

York Catholic 53, Delone Catholic 40: At McSherrystown,  Melik Martin had a game-high 15 points and DeAndre Davis added 11 for the Irish. Logan Alexander had a team-high 13 points for Delone and Bryce Mondorff added 11 of his own.

Susquehannock 68, Kennard-Dale 53: At Fawn Grove, a balanced scoring attack from the Warriors helped them fend off a game-high 33 points from Kennard-Dale’s Adam Freese. Josh Stoneberg was the leading scorer for the Warriors with 16 points. Adam Hedgeland came off the bench to score 16 points for Susquehannock, and teamamtes Nick Tannura and Jordan McMillion each scored 10 points.Kyle Wooldrige scored 13 points for the Rams.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

York Suburban 34, Dover 23: At York Suburban, Molly Day and Georgia Dumars each scored 12 points to lead the hosts to victory. Caylee Hayes led all Dover scorers with seven points.

Gettysburg 45, Eastern York 39: At Wrightsville, the Warriors got a 14-point night from Devetche Johnson to pace themselves to the road win. Alana Bortner added 10 points for Gettysburg. Hannah Myers and Cassidy Arnold each dropped eight points for the Golden Knights and Catherine Tillotson added seven.

York Catholic 63, Biglerville 14: At York Catholic, the Fighting Irish raced out to a 19-5 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back. Gina Citrone led all York Catholic players with 12 points, while Kate Bauhof chipped in with 11.

South Western 44, Dallastown 33: At Hanover, Taylor Geiman knocked in a game-high 18 points to lead the Mustangs. For the Wildcats, Julia Sutton and Samantha Miller each scored 10 points.

Red Lion 55, York High 34: At Red Lion, the Lions rolled. Courtney Dimoff scored a game-high 18 points for Red Lion, while Amy Madejewski added 13. For York High, Chyna Steele led her team with 14 points.

York Country Day 36, Hanover 29: At Hanover, Steph Watersdorff led the Greyhounds to the road victory by scoring a game-high 16 points. Teammate Kirstyn Evans knocked in 12 points. For Hanover, Emma Bell scored 13 points.

Susquehannock 57, Kennard-Dale 21: At Glen Rock, Anna Mahan led the Warriors to the home victory by scoring 10 points. The Warriors led 16-1 after the first quarter.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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