The loss hurt, probably more than any other one, for the eight seniors on the West York boys' basketball team.
The Bulldogs, though, filed out of their new home gymnasium for the last time on Tuesday night with their heads held high.
Buried under a 12-point deficit with 5 minutes, 24 seconds to play in the game, West York put on a spirited rally to take a one-point lead when Ian Lalic calmly nailed two foul shots with 4.1 seconds remaining in the District 3-AAA first-round contest..
The Bulldogs' joy, though, turned to heartbreak when Berks Catholic's Isaac Lutz connected on two foul shots with just 0.4 seconds left on the clock.
Berks Catholic 47, West York 46.
"It's a hard way to end on a situation like that," West York head coach Bill Ackerman said. "I'm proud of the way we fought back. We showed a lot of character. At the end of the day, that's more important than a win or a loss."
Lalic capped the comeback by knocking down both of his foul shots for his only two points of the night.
"I had to come through for our team and get us to the second round of districts," he said. "It's hard (to lose), but we had a great season, and I'm glad I had a great season my senior year."
Another senior, Darian McCauley, led the comeback by scoring 11 of his 19 points in the final quarter.
"After that kid (Berks Catholic's Tyrone Nesby) hit that 3-pointer after we had gotten it down to eight, we said 'we can crumble, or can turn this around,'" McCauley said. 'We played our hearts out. We left it all out on the floor, and that's all you can ask for."
West York, which struggled offensively for three quarters, scoring just 23 points, matched that total in the fourth quarter.
Josh Bailey supplied five points in the last quarter to finish with 15 in his final varsity game for the Bulldogs. Nesby, whose father played in the NBA, poured in 30 points, 18 coming on 3-point baskets.
"He's (Nesby) a hell of a player," McCauley said.
After the final horn sounded, West York's players gathered in the locker room.
"There was a lot of hugging and a lot of emotion," McCauley said. "I'm getting teary eyed just talking about it. It's crazy that it (the season) is over."
No. 8 seed West York ends at 12-9. No. 9 seed Berks Catholic improves to 17-8.
OTHER BOYS' GAMES
Lampeter-Strasburg 67, Dover 58: At Lampeter-Strasburg, the Eagles dropped the Class AAA District 3 first-round match-up. Keith Davis led the Eagles with 16 points. Also for Dover, Brady Bowman knocked in 13 points, while Najah Fink and Brady DeShong each scored 11 points. Dover (13-11) has now been eliminated from the tournament.
Gettysburg 45. Palmyra 44: At Palmyra, the Warriors grabbed a narrow District 3-AAA first-round victory. Max Lampe led the Warriors with 20 points. Teammate Marquise Camel knocked in 11 points. Gettysburg (13-8) will now move on to the quarterfinals and will face Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday at the Giant Center at 6:30 p.m.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.