York Catholic boys' basketball head coach Blaine Claiborne and senior captain D'Andre Davis discuss one of the Irish strengths this season, their defense, after Monday's win vs. York Tech. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
The York Catholic boys’ basketball team knows it can score in bunches.
It’s been the squad’s prowess on the other end of the floor, however, that has been a real source of pride for the Fighting Irish.
Their defensive acumen was on full display Monday, Jan. 29, when they utilized a smothering effort early to build a big lead and cruise past visiting York Tech, 58-27.
“We like to pride ourselves on defense,” York Catholic senior captain D’Andre Davis said. “And making sure we limit teams to certain scores, and have the best defense in the county, really.”
The win sees York Catholic improve to 14-5 overall. The Irish took another big step toward their third-straight York-Adams Division III title by moving to 11-0 in division play.
The Irish entered Monday’s match-up with the league’s top scoring defense, allowing an average of 46.2 points per game. Their ability to pester the opposition with potent pressure showed from the opening whistle. The Irish forced five Spartans turnovers while racing out to an early 14-4 lead in the first quarter
Riley Brennan and Torrey Thomas each scored six points during the early Irish run. Brennan finished with eight points and Thomas with six. Isiah Carroll added nine points and Eric Phelps pitched in eight more for the Irish.
“It was really big,” Davis said of the early defensive surge. “… Defense creates offense.”
Leading the way on the offensive side of the ball for the Irish was Davis, who went over the 1,000-point mark for his career on Friday. The 6-footer scored a game-high 16 points on Monday and now has 1,043 points for his career.
The Irish also held the Spartans to just 3-of-17 shooting while building a 31-8 halftime lead.
Terance Romey and Jamal Jackson each scored a team-high eight points for the Spartans. Romey entered play as the ninth-leading scorer in the league at 18.2 points per game.
Davis leads an Irish offense that ranks almost as high as its defensive counterpart. Davis came into to Monday’s game sixth in the league in scoring at 19.6 per game for an offense that ranked fourth in the league at 61.9 points.
“I thought we played well defensively. We just talked about keeping penetration to a minimum,” York Catholic head coach Blaine Claiborne said. “Then closing out on their shooters, I thought we were really active. We got some blocked shots that got the fast break started in the first quarter.”
The loss drops York Tech to 11-6 overall. It also damages the postseason hopes of the Spartans by dropping them to 8-3 in the D-III standings.
While their first winning season since 1989 is still very much within reach, the Spartans must turn around Tuesday night and play perhaps their most critical game of the year when D-II runner-up Littlestown (12-4, 10-1 D-III) comes to Spry.
The Irish stay at home for another D-III contest Tuesday night when they host Biglerville. Then comes a Friday trip to Littlestown for what will most likely be the division-deciding game.
Dover 60, Waynesboro 59: At Dover, the Eagles improved to 15-3 overall with the non-league win. Waynesboro fell to 9-9. Brady Bowman scored 20 points for Dover, while Elijah Sutton added 16 and Keith Davis chipped in 13. Dover led 33-23 at halftime and then held on.
Kennard-Dale 56, Bermudian Springs 28: At Fawn Grove, Adam Freese pumped in 30 points to power the Rams. He had four 3-pointers. K-D improved to 13-5 overall.
Carson Long 75, Christian School of York 64: At Carson Long, Tate Pendell poured in a career-high 33 points in a losing cause, including six 3-pointers. Alex Pantelac added 15 for CSY, while Nathan Taylor had 10. CSY fell to 7-10. Carson Long improved to 9-4.
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.