New Oxford boys' basketball moves into the PIAA 5-A quarterfinals after a 73-48 victory over York Suburban on Tuesday. York Dispatch
In the midst of a season that won’t be soon forgotten by the New Oxford community, senior Abdul Janneh and the Colonials are trying to block out the noise from their family, friends and fans and keep the historic campaign going.
When the season ends, the 2020 Colonials will likely be known as the premier team in the program’s history, but the Colonials aren’t satisfied just yet.
“Everyone keeps telling us, ‘You guys could be the best team in New Oxford history, (the team that got the) first (state) win in New Oxford history (and earned the) most wins in program history,’” Janneh said. “We keep hearing it, but we just keep it to ourselves and stay humble because we’re still not done yet.”
Janneh and his teammates made sure their season wasn’t done on Tuesday night against York Suburban. The Colonials jumped out to an early lead and got big performances from their core four players en route to a 73-48 victory and spot in the PIAA Class 5-A quarterfinals.
“It feels great,” Janneh said after he posted a game-high 20 points in the win. “At the beginning of the season when we had our goals (one goal was) going as far as we could in states. We know we have the potential to go as far as we can. We just gotta keep going (and) keep pushing.”
The second quarter is where New Oxford (26-5) really unleashed its potential and pulled far enough away from Suburban (21-8) to cruise to a big victory. After he managed just one point in the opening eight minutes, Janneh poured in eight points in the second quarter.
Haugh a key for Colonials: New Oxford sophomore Tommy Haugh held down the offense for the Colonials to start the game with nine points in the first quarter, including a 3-pointer. He added another five points in the game. When he gives New Oxford double-digit scoring in addition to his stellar defense and rebounding, it’s difficult to beat the Colonials.
“Tommy was due for a big one,” Janneh said. “Tommy has some nights where he does a lot, but sometimes shots just don’t go in for him. So, him just pulling through and us just trusting him to get the ball and keep scoring is something big that we have.”
New Oxford outscored York Suburban 18-5 in the second quarter and carried a 33-16 advantage into the locker room.
After Janneh and Haugh did the heavy lifting in the first half, New Oxford junior Connor Jenkins got going in the third quarter to really shut the door on the Trojans.
Jenkins scored eight of his 16 points during the third quarter, including a couple difficult jump shots. Along with nine points from Janneh in the quarter, the Colonials made the final eight minutes a formality.
Brayden Long scored 11 for New Oxford as the team’s fourth double-digit scorer. York Suburban’s offense was led by Anthony Brown with 13 points, Aidan Hughley with 11 points and Camden Brewer’s 10 points.
Experience pivotal: Entering the game, one of the big keys to the game for New Oxford coach Nate Myers was his team’s experience advantage over Suburban. With multiple sophomores and juniors on the court for the Trojans, Myers leaned on his senior class, led by Janneh and Long, to guide the team to the next round.
“Majority of the time, we’re going to have three seniors on the floor, and they’re going to have one,” Myers said of his message to the Colonials before the game. “So, we’re going to rely on our senior leadership, and I thought they came through tonight big time, as they have all year.”
Milton Hershey up next: New Oxford’s next contest will be 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cumberland Valley High School against Milton Hershey (22-4), a team they’ve already played this season. The squads met in the District 3 semifinals at New Oxford on Feb. 24 and Milton Hershey won, 62-52. District 3 runner-up Milton Hershey cruised past District 8 champion Obama Academy (16-9) on Tuesday, 81-57.
Myers and Janneh said that the Spartans’ size gave them issues in the first meeting and the Colonials will have to do a better job of rebounding to earn the win.
While the loss to Milton Hershey a few weeks ago is still in the Colonials' minds, Janneh said playing against a team they are familiar with and battled is a benefit. If the Colonials are going to continue this stellar season and reach their goals, they will have to go through Milton Hershey and they’re ready for another shot.
“It gives us a huge confidence boost,” Janneh said. “We’ve seen them before, we know what they can do. So, just come together, watch their film, see what they do best and attack them.”
Dallas 78, York High 51: At Shamokin, the Bearcats saw their season end with a PIAA Class 5-A second-round setback.
York High, the fifth-place team from District 3, finishes at 21-8. District 2 runner-up Dallas improves to 21-7.
York High fell behind 20-6 after the first quarter and could never recover, although it did cut the deficit to single digits in the second half.
Isiah Carroll poured in 19 points to lead York High. Cameron Gallon added 10 points.
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.