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TUESDAY'S BOYS' BASKETBALL: Red Lion rallies past rival Dallastown to improve to 14-1

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports

Steve Schmehl knew exactly what kind of game his team was about to play before he even walked into the gym on Tuesday night.

It had been just more than three weeks since Red Lion handed rival Dallstown a 21-point loss, but the Red Lion head coach expected a much different final score in the rematch. While it wasn’t by as big a margin, the Lions continued to stack up the wins and moved closer to the York-Adams League Division I boys' basketball title with a 49-45 road victory over the Wildcats.

Red Lion's Davante Dennis, left, is seen here shooting against Dallastown's Nate Ward earlier this season. Dennis scored 19 points on Tuesday in the Lions' 49-45 victory.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy coming in here,” Schmehl said. “We knew it was going to be a war. Luckily we made enough plays in the end.”

Just like the January meeting between these teams, the first half was a low-scoring, close game. At halftime, the score was tied 14-14.

Red Lion, however, grabbed a 10-point advantage in the third quarter behind the team's pair of bigs. Senior Davante Dennis and junior Masen Urey had six points each to build the lead thanks to a 20-10 third-quarter run.

Unlike the last game, however, the Wildcats weren’t going to let their rivals run away with the win.

“We’re not going down without a fight,” Dallastown coach Mike Grassel said. “Last time against them I thought we rolled over and they just outworked us, but that was a battle.”

Dallastown's Michael Dickson, right, aims for the basket while Red Lion's Masen Urey defends during boys' basketball action at Red Lion Area Senior High School in Red Lion, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Dickson shines for Dallastown: Dallastown nearly matched its total from the first three quarters with 21 points in the final period, behind a 13-point quarter from senior Michael Dickson. The senior guard is second in the Y-A League at 23 points per game and beat that on Tuesday.

Dickson scored 25 points and he did it in every way possible. He hit a big 3-pointer, drove to the basket, got offensive rebounds and converted at the foul line to bring his team back during his final regular-season game at home.

“You can’t stop Michael Dickson. You can’t,” Grassel said. “He’s tough, he’s really, really tough. I love that kid.”

Late in the game, Schmehl used his top two defenders to force Dickson to give up the ball and derail Dallastown’s offense. Dennis and senior guard A.J. Virata double-teamed Dickson once he crossed halfcourt and made other Wildcats take shots.

“I think he’s the best defensive guard in the league,” Schmehl said of Virata. “Mike still probably scored 20 points, but he worked for every one of them.”

Dickson found Ryan Snyder for a deep 3-pointer that cut the lead to four with 35 seconds left and Egan Granholm put back an offensive rebound to cut the lead to three with 14 seconds left, but a late free throw by Evan Watt finished off the win.

Dennis finished with a team-high 19 points while Urey and Watt each had 10.

Red Lion boys' basketball head coach Steve Schmehl.

Stellar season for Lions: Red Lion improved to 14-1 overall and 10-1 in D-I. They are two games ahead of Central York in the loss column. The Lions have three D-I games remaining.

The Lions are also ranked No. 6 in the District 3 6-A power ratings.

The Lions’ sensational season now includes a season sweep of the rival Wildcats (9-7, 7-5) and a win over reigning league champion Central York. Still, Red Lion's success isn't a surprise to the people around the team, despite the fact that none of the players on the current Lions roster had ever experienced a winning season before the 2021 campaign.

“It’s just belief,” Schmehl said. “This group has always been a good group, (since) they were little. They had a couple average years the last couple years, but we were always competitive. Nobody was ever kicking our butt, so we knew coming into this year we were good enough. As we continued to have success and kept winning games, we just got more confident and here we are. We got a couple more to close it out and we’re a confident team right now. We believe whatever adversity we face, we will be able to handle it and pull through.”

OTHER BOYS' BASKETBALL

Central York 73, South Western 54: At Hanover, the Panthers used a balanced scoring attack to register the York-Adams Division I win. Central had four players in double digits: Taylor Wright-Rawls (12), Jacobi Baker (11), Greg Guidinger (10) and Ethan Dotson (10). Sam Stefano poured in 23 points for South Western Central is now 12-4 overall and 10-3 in the division.

York Catholic 65, Biglerville 30: At York Catholic, Luke Forjan led the Irish to the York-Adams Division III victory by scoring 29 points. Teammate Preston Boeckel knocked in 13 points. For the Canners, Drew Parker scored 15 points. York Catholic improved to 11-2 in the division and 11-5 overall. The Irish will play host to Littlestown for the D-III title on Thursday.

Littlestown 64, York Tech 44: At Spry, Jayden Weishaar scored 22 points, including six from downtown, to lead the Thunderbolts to the York-Adams Division III victory. Teammate Jake Bosley knocked in 10 points. For the Spartans, Nehemiah Stubbs scored 17 points, while Bishop Banks scored 12 points. Littlestown improved to 11-2 in the division and 13-2 overall.

Eastern York 63, Gettysburg 57: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights trailed 33-31 at the half, but rallied in the second half to take the York-Adams Division II victory. Micah Myers led the Golden Knights with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Also for Eastern, Austin Bausman knocked in 15 points, while Tristan Sawmiller scored 11 points. For the Warriors, Trent Ramirez-Keller scored 22 points, while Micheal Hankey knocked in 20 points.

Fairfield 62, Delone Catholic 54: At Fairfield, Nik Nordberg led the Green Knights to the York-Adams Division III victory by scoring 25 points, including an 11-for-13 effort form the charity stripe. Also for Fairfield, Peyton Stadler knocked in 11 points, while Trey Griffith scored 10 points. For the Squires, Ryan Wildasin scored 13 points, including three from behind the arc, while Camdyn Keller scored 12 points.

Kennard-Dale 67, Dover 58: At Fawn Grove, the Rams won to improve to 12-5 overall and 8-3 in York-Adams Division II. Pierce Ragland poured in 31 points for K-D, while Drew Dressel added 14. Jacob Smyser (16), Tim Brant (16) and Thomas Smyser (15) had 47 of Dover's 58 points.

Bermudian Springs 46, Hanover 40: At York Springs, the Eagles improved to 11-5 overall and finished 10-4 in York-Adams Division III. Hanover is 7-8 and 5-6. Bermudian used a 19-13 fourth-quarter surge to clinch the win. Ethan Beachy had 13 points for the winners, while Jaylen Martinez had 10. Zyaire Myers (17) and Kyle Garman (16) had 33 of Hanover's 40 points.

Susquehannock 57, York Suburban 56 (OT): At Glen Rock, the Warriors handed the Trojans their first York-Adams Division II loss of the season. Suburban had previously clinched the D-II title. Suburban is now 13-3 overall and 11-1 in D-II. Susquehannock improved to 8-7 and 6-5.

York High 66, Spring Grove 34: At Spring Grove, the Bearcats won their third straight improve to 6-11 overall and 6-7 in the division. The Rockets fell to 0-15 and 0-12.

Northeastern 50, New Oxford 48: At Manchester, the Bobcats won to improve to 10-6 overall and 8-5 in York-Adams Division I. New Oxford fell to 4-10 and 3-8.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.