Winter weather sometimes wreaks havoc on the high school sports schedule.
It often causes scenarios where teams play four or even five games in a week, with little time to rest. Games on back-to-back nights aren’t uncommon.
With that in mind, it’s easy to forgive a team when they’re not as sharp early on as they need to be. The key becomes finding a way to dig deep and get past the fatigue.
Wednesday night’s game at Dallastown High School saw the Wildcats as the side best able to overcome the tired legs. They snapped into action in the second half and eventually found a way to overcome a tough challenge from Dover for a 65-59 victory.
“One thing we had to have most today was just us hustling,” Dallastown’s Will Barton said. “And defense — getting back on defense to create plays on offense.”
The non-league game saw the York-Adams Division I Wildcats improve to 10-7 overall. The Division II-leading Eagles fell to 13-3.
Both teams came into Wednesday night’s game having played the night before. The fatigue was evident. Neither side seemed to push the action like they’re capable of.
Trailing 30-28 lead at halftime, it looked as though the Eagles would be the one to find a burst. Dover went on an early 9-2 run to take command at 37-32.
Wildcats take control: That’s when the Wildcats reached within and found the push they were looking for all night.
Dallastown’s effort became most evident on the defensive end, forcing a number of Eagles turnovers and converting them into baskets on the other end. A Max Teyral 3-pointer was followed by a steal and then Brandon McGlynn nailed one of his own from beyond the arc to give the Wildcats a 45-39 edge.
Another stop, followed by a Ben Ward basket saw the Wildcats push the margin to 47-39 after three quarters.
“Their guards were tough. It was a good call by coach Sowers (Dallastown assistant coach Troy Sowers) to ... pressure them, trap them a little bit to make them feel uncomfortable,” Dallastown head coach Mike Grassel said. “We did a good job out of that to find shooters. You saw at the end they were tired, we were tired, too. That’s the second game in two nights for both of us and their shots started going a little short. And that’s when we got out in transition.”
Dover finds surge of its own: Dover found a surge of its own with the Wildcats ahead 59-48. The Eagles’ Keith Davis got things started with a hard drive to the basket, absorbing contact before scoring two of his game-high 21 points and adding another point at the line.
The Eagles scored six more unanswered points, and suddenly an 11-point Dallastown lead was down to 59-57 with less than four minutes to play.
Teyral answered with four unanswered points of his own and pushed the Wildcats back to a comfortable margin they would ride the rest of the way.
“We’re not making any excuses, our guys are conditioned for back-to-back games. I think at the end we executed very well, we had our chances,” Dover head coach Brian Schmoyer said. “But I’m more concerned about our defense in the fourth quarter. There was a two- to three-minute stretch where our half-court defense was not very good.”
Scoring leaders: Dallastown got a tough performance down low from Barton early on. Barton posted 14 of his team-high 15 points in the first half, keeping the Wildcats in it.
Dover entered as a team that had hit 108 shots from beyond the arc, the second-highest total in the league. But their acumen from deep betrayed them Wednesday. Dover hit only 6 of 22 from 3-point range.
Braden Caldwell scored 12 points for Dallastown and things opened up for McGlynn in the second half. After being held off the scoresheet in the opening 16 minutes, McGlynn finished with 11 points, with eight of those coming when Dallastown closed things out in the fourth quarter.
Besides the big night from Davis, the Eagles also got 14 points from Elijah Sutton and 13 points from Brady Bowman.
The Wildcats will now turn their attention to a Friday contest vs. New Oxford. The Eagles will next host Susquehannock on the same night.
Red Lion 60, York Suburban 43: At Suburban, Jamel Foster poured in 19 points and Davante Dennis and Tyler Burchett each added 10 to pace the Lions. Red Lion led just 20-19 at the half, but used a 23-8 third-quarter run to take control. Nathaniel Banks and Maxwell Reinecker had 10 points each for Suburban.
Kennard-Dale 66, Pequea Valley 28: At Pequea Valley, the Rams rolled behind 17 points each from Joey Thomas and Adam Freese. Carter Day added 15 points for K-D, which improved to 10-5.
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.