York High boys' basketball fell to District 12 champion Bonner-Prendergast on March 13 in a PIAA Class 5-A second-round playoff contest. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
Just when it seemed like a dream scenario may be shaping up, things quickly turned into a nightmare Tuesday night for the York High boys’ basketball team.
Trailing 17-15 after one quarter, Bonner-Prendergast used the devastating one-two punch of Villanova recruit Isaiah Wong and the Friars' impressive size to run away with a victory in the second round of the PIAA Class 5-A tournament at Reading’s Geigle Complex.
Despite a game-high 35-point effort from Kyree Generett, the Bearcats ultimately fell, 93-73. District 12 champ B-P (24-4) advances to the state quarterfinals, while York High's season ends at 17-11.
“They were on tonight,” York High head coach Clovis Gallon said. “Wong had a good game from the perimeter. But when some of my guys got in foul trouble early, it sort of changed the pace of our game we like to play.”
York High led 19-17 early in the second quarter before the Friars got rolling.
B-P started by getting its talented interior duo of Tariq Ingraham and Aijiri Johnson a basket each before Wong took over. Wong scored a pair of baskets during a run that saw the Friars capture a 25-19 lead.
Generett briefly stifled the run with a 3-pointer, his third of the first half and one of six total, to make it 25-22 Friars. Wong, however, countered with a 10 of his team's points during a 13-0 run to make it 38-22 late in the half.
After Generett scored 11 first-quarter points, the Friars shifted to an aggressive 3-2 zone and limited his looks in the second period. They held the Bearcats senior to six second-quarter points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to trim B-P’s lead to 40-27 at the half.
For his part, Generett was tasked with the incredibly tough task of trying to defend Wong early. The two standouts went bucket-for-bucket in the opening quarter. Wong did most of his damage in the middle quarters, scoring 12 in the second and nine in the third, before backing off with only a 3-pointer in the fourth. He finished with 32 points.
Although Wong presented plenty of problems for the Bearcats, it was actually the 6 foot, 8-inch Rider University recruit Johnson who was most difficult for York to stifle.
Johnson turned a portion of the third quarter into his own personal dunk show, putting down a pair of rim-rattling two-handlers to complement one from Ingraham on his way to 26 points of his own.
Ingraham is 6-9 and also drawing D-I looks.
The size disparity also resulted in the Friars getting to the free throw line 45 times, compared to 13 for York. B-P knocked down 32 of those attempts, while York hit six.
“Size matters in basketball,” coach Gallon said. “As the game went on, (Johnson and Ingraham) just got too many opportunities, and blocking shots, changing shots. They were a big factor. Every once in a while we’d fall asleep on a box out, and they’d get the put back and an and-one. That was the difference.”
York also got a 15-point effort from Marquis McClean.
It ends a rebound season for the storied York program that had suffered through two non-playoff seasons in the previous two years. York was back in the PIAA tournament for this first time since 2015.
“This year, the chemistry between the kids really blossomed as the year went on,” coach Gallon said. “They really bought into the team concept and the team philosophy as the season went on. We went through our growing pains for sure … but I couldn’t ask for anything more from these kids.”
Generett was averaging more than 24 points per game in the playoffs entering the night, after averaging just more than 20 points in the regular season.
Tuesday night saw Generett do everything he possibly could and more to try and extend the Bearcats’ run, but it wasn’t meant to be. The senior said afterward he has been fielding collegiate offers, but isn’t close to a decision.
“He’s had one of the best seasons that I can remember in a long time,” coach Gallon said. “When playoff time rolled around, he really turned up his game both offensively and defensively. And he was a leader on the floor.”
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.