SPRY — York Catholic's players didn't leave the York Tech gymnasium on Tuesday night with the championship trophy from the Robert H. Griffith Holiday Classic.
The Fighting Irish players, though, did depart with their heads held high following a tremendous effort against a formidable foe.
York Catholic couldn't get two potential game-winning shots to fall in the final 25 seconds, and Bethlehem Catholic ended up winning the title, 77-76.
York Suburban bested Danville, 57-54, to capture the third-place game..
"We played with a lot of energy," York Catholic junior Malik Martin said. "We fought hard, and you can't get mad (about the outcome)."
Martin was one of four Fighting Irish players to finish in double figures. D'Andre Davis led the way with 21 points, followed by Martin (15), Andrew Forjan (14) and Kyle Derowski (11).
"I think we can take a lot from this game tonight," Forjan said. "Being a little more patient, for instance. They (Bethlehem Catholic) have some of best and quickest guards we'll face all season. We all learned a lot tonight."
The Golden Hawks' Deandre Tillett was selected as the tournament's MVP following a 21-point performance in the championship game. The 5-foot, 7-inch senior guard was outstanding in the clutch, connecting for 10 of his points in the final quarter.
Tillett scored on a driving layup to start the fourth quarter breaking a 60-60 tie. The Hawks led for almost all the quarter, but they couldn't put away the feisty Irish. York Catholic pulled into a 76-76 tie with one minute to play when Forjan stole the ball near mid-court and fed Joe Bauhof for a layup.
Bethlehem Catholic's Micaiah Fraction made the front end of a two-shot foul opportunity at the 59-second mark for what proved to be the winning point.
York Catholic came close but just missed out on capturing the tournament crown for the first time in 10 years.
"I'm not a moral victory kind of guy," Irish head coach Blaine Claiborne said. "But certainly there are things we learned from this game. There are things we need to do, like starting a little bit better, boxing out and being more patient with our half-court offense. If we do those things, they'll serve us well when we come up against a team that is this athletic and this deep."
Donovan Mears pumped in 20 points to lead Suburban in the third-place game. Jack Schultz (12 points) and Collin Mailman (11 points) also hit double figures for the Trojans.
Forjan, Martin and Mears made the all-tournament team, along with Bethlehem Catholic's Justin Paz and Danville's Martin Klena.
Central York 52, Hempfield 49: At Hempfield, Jared Wagner led the Panthers to the tournament championship victory by scoring a game-high 20 points. Teammate Nathan Markey knocked in 16 points. As a team, the Panthers connected for 12 for 16 at the charity stripe. With the win, Central improved to a perfect 10-0 overall. Markey was named the tournament MVP and Wagner was named to the all-tournament team.
York High 65, West York 53: At Lancaster, the Bearcats outscored the Bulldogs 21-6 in the fourth quarter, erasing a three-point deficit and winning the game going away to finish third in the McCaskey Holiday Tournament. York High (7-4) was primarily led by two players, offensively, with Jacquez Casiano leading all players in the game with 23 points and Trey Shifflett adding 21. Montrel Morgan chipped in 10 points. West York (4-4) was led by Darian McCauley, who finished with a team-high 19 points, while Kenton Meckley added 15.
Eastern York 71, Lancaster Mennonite 59: At Elizabethtown, the Golden Knights were led by a game-high 17 points from Brougen Nicholas. Seth Barnstein (15) and Jared Achtenberg (12) were also in double digits for Eastern. Lancaster Mennonite received a 17-point effort from Riche Rosas. Eastern used a 23-8 advantage in the third quarter to pull away after trailing 28-27 at halftime.
Elizabethtown 65, Dallastown 45: At Elizabethtown, Joey Lonardi scored 24 points to push the hosts into the title game of their own tournament, where they will take on Eastern York on Wednesday night. Dallastown was led by a 13-point performance from Aaron Ward.
Red Lion 55, Shippensburg 41: At Shippensburg, the Lions earned the road victory thanks to a strong second half in which they outscored the Greyhounds, 33-21. Ryan Schreckengast led Red Lion with 15 points, while Wyatt Tyson chipped in with 13 and Jamel Faster added 11.
New Oxford 81, York Tech 44: At New Oxford, the hosts cruised to victory in the semifinals of their own holiday tournament behind a pair of 20-plus point nights from Devon Duvall (game-high 26) and John Wessel, who knocked down five 3-pointers on his way to 24 points. The Colonials will face Waynesboro for the tournament title Wednesday night. The Spartans were led 16 points from Luis DeLeon.
Hanover 50, Kennard-Dale 47: At Tulpehocken, the Nighthawks held off the Rams’ second-half surge to earn the Tulpehocken Holiday Tournament championship. Kyle Krout led Hanover with 23 points. Hunter Martz added 12 for the Nighthawks. For K-D, Kyle Wooldridge dropped in 22 points. Adam Freese added 16 for K-D.
York Country Day 77, Meadowbrook 60: At Meadowbrook, the Greyhounds remained unbeaten, knocking off the tournament hosts in the championship game to earn the title. Jordan Ray dropped a game-high 31 points. He was accompanied by DeAireus Brown’s 16-point effort and Tom Wymard’s 11-point game.
Middletown 65, Susquehannock 41: At Middletown, Josh Stoneberg led the Warriors with 10 points. Susquehannock now moves into the third-place game on Wednesday and will face Annville-Cleona.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.