Sometimes in life, all you need is a second chance.
In sports, however, one can seldom afford to give the opposition extra opportunities.
Unfortunately for the Central York boys’ basketball team, the Panthers yielded too many such chances Tuesday. The result was a 62-41 loss to Carlisle in a District 3 Class 6-A consolation semifinal at the Milton Hershey School.
With the win, No. 5 Carlisle (17-8) heads to Thursday’s fifth-place game against Central Dauphin East at Cumberland Valley High School. It also gives the Thundering Herd a spot in the upcoming PIAA state tournament, since the top six teams in District 3 6-A advance to states.
The loss ends the season for the No. 9 Panthers at 18-10. Central York was taking another shot at qualifying for the state tourney after dropping a quarterfinal contest against Reading. A win in that game would have qualified the Panthers for the PIAA event.
“It’s disappointing. This isn’t the way you want to go out,” Central York head coach Kevin Schieler said. “We struggled on the interior, handling them on the glass. They did a nice job on the offensive glass tonight and that really hurt us.”
The Herd was getting another chance to go toe-to-toe with Central after dropping a 73-65 decision on the Panthers’ home floor back on Jan. 14. In that game, Central got out to an 18-9 lead after the first quarter.
Tuesday, Central conceded a number of extra opportunities to the Herd on the floor early.
The Panthers were out-rebounded 28-16 in the first half, with many of the rebounds coming on the offensive end for Carlisle. The Herd scored 12 first-half points on offensive rebounds on their way to a 27-17 lead at the break.
The success on the boards only added to Carlisle’s stout inside presence. Nate Barnes was able to find ample room to operate underneath, on the way to scoring eight points in the paint during the first half. Barnes finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Another first-half force in the paint for Carlisle was Ethan Houston. The Herd center scored eight points to go along with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Carlisle would go on to claim a 47-24 rebounding advantage on the night.
“We were cold, whether from behind the arc or around the rim, and that didn’t happen at our place (on Jan. 14),” Schieler said. “We probably missed 10 layups tonight. We probably gave up 15 boards, that’s probably a 15-point swing in each team’s favor. And add that up, and it’s a big loss.”
Central went 8 for 28 from the floor in the first half, and was equally as frigid in the second (9 of 27).
Gavyn Barnes helped put Tuesday’s game away during a 10-0 Herd run midway through the third quarter. Barnes had a pair of highlight baskets during the spurt that saw Carlisle push its lead from 34-23 to 44-23.
First, Barnes crossed over a defender before nailing a step-back jumper. The second came when Barnes collected a pass atop the arc, again quickly crossed over his defender and this time finished with a floater in the lane. The baskets completed an eight-point quarter for Barnes, who finished the night with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Courtney Batts led Central with 12 points and Evan Czulada added 10 more for the Panthers.
Carlisle's Deshawn Millington led all scorers with 15 points.
“To be one of the top eight teams in (Class 6-A), to play in the (York-Adams) league tournament, and play in the league championship game, those are all good things and are things our team should be proud of,” Schieler said.
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.