Having talented players who can turn up the intensity at any moment and take over a game can be a blessing and a curse for a coach.
Dallastown head coach Mike Grassel knows his team is talented enough to win every time they step on the floor, but his players know that’s true as well.
Leading by a point after the first half against York Suburban in the championship game of the tournament hosted by the Trojans, the Wildcats tapped into the level of intensity required to create separation and secure a 69-58 victory on Saturday.
Dallastown was one of six York-Adams boys' teams to win tip-off titles on Saturday.
“(We) flipped the switch on and got out and ran,” junior guard Michael Dickson said. “They couldn’t keep up with us, so we had to get out and go.”
Double-digit dominance: Dickson, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player after a 15-point performance, handled the Trojans’ full-court press with ease in the third quarter. He got into the paint, and after looking to score in the first half, used his vision to set up teammates with easy baskets.
Senior forward Kobe Green was a force around the rim with 20 points. He took advantage of the York Suburban defense’s inability to stay in front of Dickson and finished at the rim all night, highlighted by a dunk that brought the Dallastown fans out of their seats and forced the Trojans to call timeout.
Fellow senior Roman Owens provided the perimeter shooting for the Wildcats. The 6-foot, 3-inch guard knocked down five 3-pointers during his 19-point night.
“When the first one goes (and) I see it, it’s like repetitive,” Owens said. “I just keep shooting the same way and it goes in.”
The fourth Wildcat in double figures was junior forward Jadon Green. His presence was also felt on defense, getting into passing lanes and creating fastbreak chances for Dallastown.
One of the turnovers he forced resulted in one of his two thunderous dunks that created the intensity that Grassel hopes the team can sustain throughout each game this season.
“That’s the goal,” Grassel said. “As a coach, we strive to be perfect. Obviously they’re kids, they’re going to make mistakes. I am going to make mistakes, but they brought it tonight. We’re just going to try and emulate that every quarter and let (the) chips fall where they may.”
Trojans hung tough: Suburban battled to stay in the game in the second half, but just couldn’t put together enough stops on defense to get the win.
Sophomore guard Camden Brewer led the Trojans with 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while junior forward Aidan Hughley added 17 points.
Building off the victory: Starting the season off by winning a trophy, regardless of what it’s for, was important to the Wildcats. Last season began with a loss and Dickson said the victory shows that the team’s goals, which include a York-Adams League title, are possible.
“It’s a boost for us for real,” Dickson said. “County championship, we want (to win that title). That should be easy for us.”
Although he had already turned his attention to Tuesday’s contest against Northeastern, Grassel said the Wildcats’ performance against another talented team in a championship game gave him hope for what will happen later this season when the big games they plan on winning take place.
They have placed big expectations on themselves this season and if the Wildcats can bring the same intensity they showed against the Trojans in the second half against their Y-A Division I opponents, this won’t be the only trophy they end up with this season.
“We have a lot of goals that we keep in our locker room (and) this was one of them,” Grassel said. “Hopefully this helps because this atmosphere was great in here. In Division I, there’s no nights off. It’s not like some of the other divisions, where you might get some cupcakes here and there. Our division is loaded and this is good to get us prepared along the way.”
OTHER BOYS' BASKETBALL
Bobcats take own title: Northeastern came into the season ranked No. 9 in the state in Class 5-A, according to one poll.
The Bobcats lived up that ranking in their own tip-off tournament, rolling past Eastern York in the title game on Saturday, 86-44.
Karron Mallory (12), Austin Richards (12), Andrew Brodbeck (11) and Nate Wilson (10) each hit double digits in a balanced Northeastern attack in the final. Eastern's Trevor Seitz led all scorers with 25 points.
Eisenhart wins MVP for Central: The Central York boys' team started the season strong by winning the Manheim Twp. tournament with a 56-26 pounding of the host team in the final.
Evan Eisenhart was named the tournament MVP, while Taylor Wright Rawls was picked for the all-tournament team.
In the title game, Nolan Hubbs scored 12 points, while Wright Rawls and Gabe Guidinger added 10 each.
Gettysburg edges New Oxford for championship: Gettysburg captured its own tournament championship with a 56-51 triumph over New Oxford.
Gettysburg junior Quadir Copeland earned the MVP award with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the title contest after posting 22 points and seven rebounds in the semifinals.
Gettysburg's Charles Warren and New Oxford's Brayden Long were named to the all-tournament team.
Hanover rolls in final: Hanover won its own tournament crown with a 43-28 triumph over Biglerville. Zyaire Myers' 13 points paced Hanover in the final.
Susquehannock grabs crown: Susquehannock won the Southern Border Shootout on its own court with a 64-57 win vs. South Western in the semifinals and a 54-41 win vs. Littlestown in the title contest.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.