Summer basketball, for high school players, is all about improving skills and expending loads of sweat and energy in the hopes that the sacrifice will pay off in the winter.
Members of the Eastern York High School boys' basketball team are eagerly looking forward to the scholastic season after putting together a tremendous summer season while playing under the Wrightsville banner.
"We didn't lose all summer, we have a winning mentality," Wrightsville's Broguen Nicholas said after his team edged AllTackle.com, 51-49, in double overtime, to win the York Summer League Division II title on Tuesday evening at Voni Grimes Gymnasium. "We played in three summer leagues, Red Lion, an AAU league and here. Playing a double-overtime game against older guys will give us tremendous confidence."
Nicholas led all scorers with 21 points, while Jared Achterberg added 13 points for the winners. Patrice Claudio (13), Pat Gibbons (12) and Emmanuel Torres (10) each finished in double figures for AllTackle.com.
Achterberg's turnaround shot in the left of the lane gave Wrightsville the lead for good at 46-45.
"To win all our games in here, that's a testament to this team," Wrightsville and Eastern York High head coach Jon Reichard said. "The commitment of the players has been tremendous. I've had everyone every night."
Reichard said playing an extremely physical game such as Tuesday's contest will benefit his team in the long run.
"It makes you tougher. They (the players) were getting bounced around," he said.
Division I: Not to be outdone by the opening game of the doubleheader, the second title game at Voni Grimes Gymnasium was also a back-and-forth contest that went down to the final possession.
Weber Insurance edged Showtime, 50-49, to capture the Division I crown.
Steve Horst delivered 18 points for Weber and Tyler Brooks added 13. Showtime's Chanta Weathers led all scorers with 21 points, and Zach Strang supplied 13.
Horst's foul shot with just 7.2 seconds remaining in the second half (the games were played in two, 20-minute halves) broke a 49-49 tie.
"My teammates put me in a great position, and I had to come through for them," said Horst, who missed the first of his two foul shots.
Showtime did manage to get off a shot before the buzzer, but it was blocked.
Weber's team is a mix of veterans and youngsters.
"Some of us have been playing for 10 years, but we have the young kids, too" Horst said.
– Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.