WEEKEND BOYS' BASKETBALL: In showdown of top scorers, Kennard-Dale, Day emerge victorious

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports

In a game that featured two of the York-Adams League's best scorers, it was a defensive play that most impressed Kennard-Dale boys' basketball coach Jake Roupe.

K-D senior Carter Day led the Y-A League in scoring last season, but someone on the Rams needed to step up and shut down Susquehannock junior Jalen Franklin, who finished fourth behind Day in scoring in 2020 at 19 points per game.

Roupe said Day told his teammates he would guard Franklin with less than one minute left in the game and the Rams up by two. Despite the height advantage that the 6-foot, 1-inch Franklin held over the 5-9 Day, he let Franklin know they would decide how the game ended when the Warriors' junior received a pass.

Kennard-Dale's Carter Day, right, takes the ball to the basket while Susquehannock's Chase Robert defends during boys' basketball action at Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Township, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 50-48. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“Just me and you, Jalen," Roupe said, relaying Day's comment as the pair squared off for a showdown at center court.

The K-D senior forced Franklin to pass to a teammate, who missed a shot and allowed the Rams to extend their lead and eventually hold on for a 50-48 win. Franklin won the scoring showdown with a game-high 28 points, while Day poured in 21 in a contest that saw the respective standouts show why they ended up at the top of the league's scoring list in 2020.

“It makes it more fun, just for the fact that off the court, me and Jalen are friends,” Day said. “On the court, we hate each other and we’re trying to go at each other’s necks… I respect every team off the court, but when we’re on the court, it’s a whole different game.”

For the final stretch of the fourth quarter, Day and Franklin traded baskets as their teams battled to pull ahead on the scoreboard.

Day hit a contested layup off an inbounds play to put the Rams up by three. Franklin came down the court and tied the game with a clutch 3-pointer.

Susquehannock's Jalen Franklin, center, works to get past Kennard-Dale's Ryan Schubert, left, and Koy Swanson during boys' basketball action at Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Township, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 50-48. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In response, Day finished a layup through a foul, but couldn't complete the three-point play, which left the Rams up by two. Franklin missed a shot on the next possession and then drilled a deep three over Day to cut the lead to two again after K-D added points on free throws.

“That was just really cool to see,” Roupe said. “I was like, ‘Here we go.’ That’s the relationship they have, which is cool to see. Susquehannock has always been a rivalry, since I played. Seeing those guys go back and forth, that was one heck of a high school basketball game.”

The Warriors had a chance to tie the game when they got the ball back with half a second left, but had to go the length of the court. The entry pass was deflected and time ran out as the Rams celebrated a 3-1 start (2-1 in Y-A Division II).

A key to his team's early success for Roupe has been the performances by younger players. That has allowed Day to work off the ball and not be the Rams' entire offense, like has was in years past. Freshman Levi Sharnetzka brought the ball up and ran the offense at times, while sophomore Koy Swanson added scoring with 11 points.

Kennard-Dale's Levi Sharnetzka, left, works to get the ball past Susquehannock's Zach Pecunes during boys' basketball action at Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Township, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 50-48. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“It’s what we have been waiting for as a team and what he’s been waiting for,” Roupe said. “The past two years he has had to take on handling the ball all the time and getting looks off the ball and it’s tough to win that way. Especially when every defense in the county is keying in on you. Now, we have some younger guys stepping up with more experience and he’s doing a good job sharing the ball.”

Day entered game averaging 11.3 ppg, far from the league-best 23.4 mark he had in 2020, but he is fine with that. Not having to handle the ball the entire game allowed Day to have the energy to score points and provide clutch defense down the stretch and leave with the victory.

Susquehannock vs Kennard-Dale during boys' basketball action at Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Township, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 50-48. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“It’s a perfect balance,” Day said. “The team is jelling really well and Coach Roupe has been saying every year, ‘Take each game as one game and don’t look at the games ahead.’ I think that’s what this team is doing. We don’t think about anything but that game in the moment and that’s helping us win.”

Roupe said he is proud of how Day has matured and become a true leader on the team and is willing to do what it takes to win, whether it be defend, pass to a teammate or score himself. When the team's best player is willing to sacrifice for wins, it makes it easier for the rest of the squad to do the same.

The Rams' 3-1 start has Roupe excited and the ability the squad showed to pull out a close victory against the Warriors only increased the hopes he has for where the team will end up when the season ends.

Susquehannock vs Kennard-Dale during boys' basketball action at Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Township, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 50-48. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“It’s been a couple years since we had this feeling,” Roupe said. “We knew it was coming. The guys have taken their lumps the past couple years. I’m really proud of all these guys. They’re really stepping up and doing the right thing as a team. They’re not worried about stats or scoring, they just want to win.”

Susquehannock fell to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in Y-A D-II.

OTHER BOYS' BASKETBALL

Saturday

Red Lion 59, Eastern York 28: At Red Lion, the Lions improved to 5-0 overall with the nonleague win. Red Lion was paced by Davante Dennis (14 points), Masen Urey (13 points) and Evan Watt (11 points). Red Lion held Eastern to single digits in scoring in each quarter.

Mount Calvary Christian 82, Delone Catholic 57: At Elizabethtown, the Squires dropped the nonleague battle to the defending District 3 Class 1-A champions. Trenton Kopp's 24 points paced Delone, which fell to 1-3.

Friday

Central York 86, New Oxford 52: At  New Oxford, for the second time in two games, the Panthers put up more than 85 points on the scoreboard. Friday, the Panthers put up 48 points in the first half alone. Wednesday, Central scored 88 points in a win vs. Spring Grove. Kairyn Brown (19), Nolan Hubbs (18), Steven Betancur (12), Greg Guidinger (12) and Jacobi Baker (10) each hit double digits for the Panthers vs. New Oxford. The Colonials were led by Torbyn Eakins' 22 polnts.

Red Lion 53, York High 40: At Red Lion, the Lions improved to 2-0 in Y-A D-II. Evan Watt (13 points), Masen Urey (12 points) and A.J. Virata (11 points) led the Lions. Rashim Lee's 14 points led York High (1-3 and 1-1).

West York 78, Gettysburg 40: At West York, Ty Nalls pumped in 25 points, including six 3-pointers, to power the Bulldogs. Jaden Walker (15), David McGladrie (12) and Anthony Williams (11) added double-digit support for the winners. Trenton Ramirez-Keller led Gettysburg with 15 points. West York is now 3-1 overall and 3-0 in Y-A D-II.

York Catholic 65, Fairfield 44: At York, Preston Boeckel poured in 25 points to power the Irish. Luke Forjan added 22 points for the winners. Fairfield was paced by Eric Ball's 20 points. The Irish improved to 3-0 both overall and in Y-A D-III.

Bermudian Springs 52, York Tech 22: At Spry, the Eagles improved to 4-0 overall (3-0 in Y-A D-III) behind Ethan Beachy's 14 points. Jaylen Martinez added 13 points for the winners.

Delone Catholic 69, Bigleville 35: At McSherrystown, freshman Camdyn Keller (13), Ryan Wildasin (12) and Bryson Kopp (10) each hit double digits for the Squires. Drew Parker's 13 points paced Biglerville.

Dallastown 70, Spring Grove 45: At Spring Grove, Dallastown rolled in its Y-A D-I opener and improved to 1-1 overall. Spring Grove fell to 0-3 overall and in the division. Michael Dickson poured in 24 points to lead Dallastown, going 12 for 14 from the floor. Jadon Green added 19 points and eight rebounds. Spring Grove was led by Ethan Glass (14 polnts) and Caleb Watson (11 points). 

York Suburban 58, Dover 36: At Dover, the Trojans cruised to improve to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Y-A D-II. Dover dropped to 0-2 overall and in the division.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.