BOYS' HOOPS: York Catholic takes Griffith championship
- York Catholic beat Bethlehem Catholic 60-54 for the Robert H. Griffith Holiday Tournament title.
- It was the first time the Fighting Irish won the tournament in 11 years.
- Melik Martin scored 20 points for York Catholic and was named the tournament MVP.
SPRY — This time, there would be no disappointing ending.
A one-point loss in the title game of the 2015 Robert H. Griffith Holiday Tournament motivated this year's York Catholic team to close out the 2016 portion of their schedule as champions.
The Fighting Irish achieved their goal with a 60-54 victory over Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday night.
Melik Martin and D'Andre Davis combined for 37 points as York Catholic (7-1) won the Griffith tournament for the first time in 11 years.
Martin, named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, led all scorers with 20 points, while Davis supplied 17.
"I'm honored," Martin said of the MVP award. "It means that I did what I had to do. But, it's not about individuals. We were the MVP team, and that's what really matters."
The Fighting Irish prevailed in crunch time, the fourth quarter, by outscoring the Golden Hawks, 18-12, after the teams played to a 42-42 standoff through three quarters.
The 6-foot, 5-inch Martin, who used a variety of moves to score in the paint, also delivered a 3-point basket. The 5-10 Davis, meanwhile, supplied 17 points, including two 3-point shots.
"Before the game, Coach (Blaine Claiborne) put on the board, 'this is our game,'" said Davis, who along with Martin transferred to York Catholic from York High last year. "When it came down to the fourth quarter, we wanted it more."
Bethlehem Catholic led 49-48 with 5:23 to play in the fourth quarter, but York Catholic's Robert McNamara nailed a 3-point shot 13 seconds later to start a run of nine straight Fighting Irish points. It was McNamara's only basket of the night, but it was a huge one. It gave his team the lead for good.
"We're a deep team," Claiborne said. "We have six or seven guys who could be double-figure scorers. It feels good to win this game. They (the players) needed that. They need to know that they can pull out a win against a good team."
Claiborne was surprised that Bethlehem Catholic went to a zone defense.
"I expected an up-and-down game with both teams in the 70s," he said. "I'm trying to get away from zones, but everyone keeps throwing them at us."
York Catholic connected on 21 field goals (six 3-pointers) and was 12 of 16 at the foul line.
Bethlehem Catholic knocked down 20 field goals (seven 3-pointers) and made 7 of 11 foul shots.
York Suburban won the third-place game by defeating Danville, 53-48. Jack Schultz led the Trojans with 17 points, and Luke Babinchak delivered 14 points.
Babinchak earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team, along with Martin, Davis, Justin Paz and Ryan Young, both of Bethlehem Catholic, and Dyson Harward of Danville.
Dallastown 58, Manheim Township 56 (OT): At Manheim Township, the Wildcats rallied in the second half to force overtime and then secured a big road, non-league win over the Blue Streaks. Donovan Catchings led Dallastown with 18 points, followed by Brandon McGlynn adding 13 and Will Barton chipping in with 12. Will Barton's basket at the buzzer won the game. Dallastown is now 7-1. Manheim Township fell to 4-3.
Bishop McDevitt 45, West York 28: At Elizabethtown, the Bulldogs fell to the Crusaders in the championship game of the Elizabethtown Tournament. No players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs.
Red Land 60, York Tech 55: At Red Land, the Spartans got 20 points from Terrance Romey and 11 from Jed Smith in the loss.
Fairfield 61, Christian School of York 40: At CSY, the Green Knights booked their spot in Friday’s title game. Chase Stadler led Fairfield with 15 points, Leland Sailors added 12 and Gabe Maturo chipped in with 10. CSY got 15 points from Soaw Draybill and 12 points from Tate Pewdell.
Columbia 53, Kennard-Dale 35: At Fawn Grove, the Rams dropped their home tournament title game. Adam Freese led the Rams with 18 points, including a 10-for-12 night from the charity stripe.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.