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York High's Cameron Gallon scored a game-high 29 points as the Bearcats picked up their first win in District 3 playoffs over York Suburban. York Dispatch

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Through 24 minutes of game action, it looked as if York High would cruise to a first-round victory over York-Adams League foe York Suburban in the District 3 Class 5-A playoffs.

The Trojans, however, weren’t ready to quit just yet. 

Suburban opened the fourth quarter on a 16-3 run and cut the Bearcats’ lead to three points, the lowest since the first quarter.

When his team needed him to come up big and close out the game, York High senior Cameron Gallon stepped up to the foul line and drilled a pair of clutch free throws to guide York High to an eventual 81-65 win.

Coach gives Trojans credit: While his team made him sweat out the final minutes, enough so that he was forced to remove his suit jacket, York High coach Clovis Gallon was pleased with the effort of his team. He credited the Trojans’ talented, young team with trying to fight out of the massive 47-21 hole they found themselves in after a dreadful first half.

“I told the guys, ‘What do you think is going to happen if you’re in a corner and somebody is pounding on you?’” Clovis Gallon said. “You’re going to fight, scratch and claw to get back into it and that’s what they did.”

Clovis Gallon said his team’s struggles with turning the ball over allowed the 10th-seeded Trojans (17-7) to get back into the game. Ironically, it was the Bearcats’ ability to force turnovers in the first half that allowed the seventh-seeded team to jump out to a 26-point advantage at halftime.

Taking pride in defense: York High’s best offense early on was its solid defense and easy fastbreak points that came from steals.

For Clovis Gallon, he takes pride in his team’s ability to defend. He will put up his current edition of the Bearcats against any other defensive group during his tenure at the school.

“This is probably the best defensive team I’ve ever coached at York High,” Gallon said.

The coach also said his team can be equally as inefficient on offense as it is proficient on defense. Monday, however, the Bearcats’ scoring ability showed up. Cameron Gallon poured in 29 points, with five 3-pointers, two of which beat the respective halftime and third-quarter buzzers.

“When we as a team are shooting in the (20% range) from the 3-point line, when a 3-point shot goes in it's definitely a plus for us,” Clovis Gallon said. “It definitely helps when our leading 3-point shooter gets off to a good start.”

Lee, McLaurin get credit: In addition to Cameron Gallon, Antoine Beard added 17 points and Rashim Lee chipped in 13 for the Bearcats (17-7).

Clovis Gallon credited Lee and Mario McLaurin for their key minutes in the contest. The Bearcats were without Kelvin Matthews and Tobee Stokes and needed players to take on bigger roles. 

Stokes was out with an illness, according to Clovis Gallon, and Matthews also missed York High’s district basketball game because of transfer rules.

Colonials up next: With the big roles that Lee and McLaurin played for the Bearcats, Clovis Gallon was excited about what those minutes will do for them as the team heads into the quarterfinals against York-Adams Division I rival New Oxford (22-4) at 7 p.m. Thursday on the Colonials' home court.

“It’s definitely a major thing when you see guys get that experience and not be nervous going forward,” Gallon said.

Aidan Hughley led Suburban with 23 points, while Camden Brewer and Savon Sutton scored 13 and 10 points, respectively.

As York High prepares for a fourth meeting vs. New Oxford this season, Clovis Gallon will look back to the team’s meeting last week (a 60-54 Colonials win in the Y-A semifinals) for what the Bearcats need to replicate and what they need to fix this time around. He will also force himself to watch the league title game from last Thursday.

After the Bearcats were eliminated, Clovis Gallon didn't watch the rest of the tournament because his passion to win is so strong.

“I’m an extreme, fierce competitor,” Clovis Gallon said. “I want to win everything. I want to win the district championship. I want to win the state championship. So, if we’re knocked out of it, I am dejected because somewhere in my crazy, warped mind I believe that we can win everything.”

But after New Oxford standout Abdul Janneh was held to three points by Central York in the league title game, Clovis Gallon said he will have to see what the Panthers did against the New Oxford star and try to replicate it.

While the second-seeded Colonials own the lead in the season series through three games, Clovis Gallon said if his team plays the way he knows it can, he’ll take them over anybody in the league, district or state.

“I believe in our guys,” coach Gallon said. “Going forward, I feel like if we really hone into our keys, we have as good of a chance as anybody to continue to move forward in the district playoffs.”

Suburban falls into the consolation bracket and will play host to 15th-seeded Big Spring (12-10) at 7 p.m. Thursday.

OTHER BOYS'

BASKETBALL

New Oxford 55, Big Spring 30: At New Oxford, the second-seeded Colonials (22-3) cruised to a District 3 Class 5-A first-round victory over 15th-seeded Big Spring (12-10). Connor Jenkins led New Oxford with 20 points, while Brayden Long added 10.

Gettysburg 76, Hershey 65: At Gettysburg, the top-seeded Warriors improved to 23-1 behind a 31-point, 11-rebound outburst from Quadir Copeland in a District 3 Class 5-A first-round contest. No. 16 seed Hershey is 11-12. The Warriors move to the quarterfinals and will face Muhlenberg at 7 p.m. Thursday at Gettysburg.

Muhlenberg 66, Northeastern 61: At Muhlenberg, the ninth-seeded Bobcats suffered a District 3 Class 5-A first-round loss to eighth-seeded Muhlenberg. Northeastern dropped into the consolation bracket at 14-9. Quay Mulbah had 22 points to lead Northeastern. Austin Richards added 11 points. The Bobcats will get a home game at 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Hershey. Muhlenberg is now 18-6.

Milton Hershey 76, West York 64: At Milton Hershey, the 14th-seeded Bulldogs fell to the third-seeded Spartans in a District 3 Class 5-A first-round contest. West York saw its five-game win streak snapped and dropped into the consolation bracket at 13-11. Milton Hershey improved to 18-3. West York will next face No. 11 seed Lampeter-Strasburg (16-9), which dropped its first-round district 5-A game to No. 6 seed Elizabethtown, 62-56. The West York-LS game will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at LS.

Octorara 65, Susquehannock 55: At Glen Rock, the eighth-seeded Warriors' season ended with a District 3 Class 4-A loss to ninth-seeded Octorara. It was Susquehannock's first district appearance in 14 years. The Warriors finished at 12-11. Jalen Franklin had 13 points to lead Susquehannock, while Josh Franklin added 11 points. Octorara improved to 15-8.

Camp Hill 83, Hanover 34: At Camp Hill, the Nighthawks were no match for second-seeded Camp Hill in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round contest. The seventh-seeded Nighthawks saw their season end at 13-11. Camp Hill improved to 16-6.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.

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