MANCHESTER — There was certainly a lot of buzz around the York-Adams League heading into the 2019-2020 boys' basketball season.
One team that may have been overlooked in all of the preseason discussion definitely made a big statement to the rest of the league Monday evening.
Hitting the road to take on a Northeastern squad that entered the evening ranked No. 8 in the latest Class 5-A state rankings, the Gettysburg boys’ basketball team just continued to do what the Warriors have done all year long.
Led by a career-high 30 points from junior forward Quadir Copeland, the Division II-leading Warriors knocked off the Bobcats 63-60 in a crossover contest to improve to 6-0 overall. Gettysburg is the only unbeaten boys' team in the Y-A League. Northeastern fell to 5-2 overall. It was Gettysburg's second win over a Y-A Division I foe this season after downing New Oxford earlier in the season.
“He’s had some really good games,” Gettysburg coach Lawrence Williams said of Copeland, who came into the contest averaging 23.4 points per game. “But I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.”
If that’s true, then the rest of the Y-A League better look out.
Bobcats shorthanded: The 6-foot-4 forward dominated for long stretches of the contest. Copeland’s interior presence only grew after Northeastern senior Zech Sanderson was forced out of the game with an apparent ankle injury.
“We didn’t have an answer for him,” Northeastern coach Jon Eyster said. “And most of his buckets were in transition. He would literally just go 90 feet at times.”
Even with Copeland’s career-best night, the Bobcats led for stretches throughout the night. Eyster is fortunate to have a number of players he can call from the bench to fill in when needed.
So, even with recent 1,000-point scorer Nate Wilson unavailable because of a hand injury, the Bobcats more than held their own.
Maurice Capo tallied 14 points , Kaden Hamilton finished with 11 and Quay Mulbah and Andrew Brodbeck both chipped in nine apiece to round out a balanced attack.
Playing without one standout player is one thing, but compounding it with the loss of Sanderson made things much tougher.
“We were starting to do some good things inside, but then he (Sanderson) got hurt,” Eyster said. “And that may have turned it (the game) a bit there.”
Poor foul shooting hurts Northeastern: Eyster also pointed out the team’s woeful performance at the foul line as a major factor. The Bobcats knocked down just 6 of 16 attempts from the line, which could have easily flipped a three-point deficit had the team shot the 63.2% it averaged going into the contest.
“We just missed too many opportunities,” Eyster said. “Free throw and missed layups.”
While Eyster and the Bobcats were feeling salty about Monday’s outcome, Williams was far from 100% satisfied with his club. He was especially annoyed about a stretch in the second quarter when the Warriors allowed the hosts to stake out to a 32-23 advantage by the intermission.
“They didn’t take over,” Williams said. “We made some serious mistakes. We had some bad passes and took some bad shots. Now they are a very good team and I will commend them, but we did some things that allowed them to get into the game. We just weren’t playing our game.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.