For anyone who showed up to the Red Lion-Dallastown boys' basketball game a little late on Wednesday, it looked like the contest was already decided in the first few minutes.
Dallastown’s Kobe Green and Jadon Green combined for 19 points and the Wildcats led 19-4 after the first quarter.
The second quarter wasn’t much better for the Lions. They went to the locker room down, 28-11.
Red Lion, however, came out of the break looking to pull off an unbelievable second-half comeback, but fell short, 45-40.
“Those first 16 minutes were beautiful,” Dallastown coach Mike Grassel said. “We came out flat in the second half. At least we didn’t come out flat the whole game. We got a win against our backyard rival. We’ll take it.”
With the big halftime lead, Dallastown played like it believed it already had the game won, but there were still 16 minutes left and Red Lion wasn’t ready to give up.
Red Lion’s Davante Dennis was a force in the second half and gave the Wildcats issues during his team’s comeback.
He had 22 points in the game and a huge block and buzzer-beating layup in the third quarter that got the Lions’ fans back into the game.
“Believe it or not, we game planned to stop (Dennis),” Grassel said.
Dallastown’s Michael Dickson helped get the Wildcats’ offense back on track late in the game and closed out the contest with a couple clutch free throws.
He finished the game as his team’s high scorer with 15 points after both Greens were held to a combined two points after the first quarter. Kobe Green finished with 11 points and Jadon Green added 10.
Grassel took the blame for his team’s lack of effort after halftime and said he needed to get them more prepared for the various defensive schemes that Red Lion used throughout the game.
“That’s on me,” Grassel said. “I gotta do a better job of holding them accountable. No lead is ever safe. I pulled the brakes on them a little bit there.”
Despite the dropoff in effort and watching the lead dwindle down, Grassel was proud that his team pulled off the win in an important game. He hoped the victory would carry over into increased effort for the Wildcats' next game against Central York on Friday.
“It’s a win,” Grassel said. “It gets us a half game closer to the leaders.”
Dallastown improved to 8-3 overall and 4-2 in York-Adams Division I. Red Lion is 5-6 and 2-4.
Littlestown 59, York Catholic 37: At Littlestown, the Thunderbolts remained unbeaten in York-Adams Division III action with the victory. Littlestown improved to 8-2 overall and 5-0 in the division. York Catholic fell to 4-8 and 4-2. Littlestown was led by Jayden Weishaar (14 points), Tyler Biser (13 points) and Dante Elliott (12 points). Dylan Durbin and Preston Boeckel had 10 points each for the Irish.
Manheim Twp. 78, Northeastern 62: At Manheim, the Bobcats dropped the nonleague contest to fall to 9-3 overall. Manheim Twp. improved to 7-6. Andrew Brodbeck had 16 points for the Bobcats, while Quay Mulbah added 15 points.
Berks Catholic 50, York Catholic 47 (OT): At Reading, the Saints won the nonleague battle of parochial programs. Berks Catholic improved to 7-2, while York Catholic dropped to 5-7. York Catholic led 24-17 at halftime, but couldn't hold on. Gabby Coley (12 points), Drew Kile (11 points) and Sam Bulik (10 points) paced York Catholic.
Northeastern 48, Annville-Cleona 27: At Annville, the Bobcats earned the nonleague triumph to improve to 5-6 overall. AC fell to 1-12. Jordan Jennings and Mackenzie Spickler had 10 points each for the Bobcats.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.