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Eastern York outlasts Red Lion in 2-OT to earn berth in York-Adams boys' basketball final

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@ydsports
  • Eastern York earned a 46-45 double-overtime win vs. Red Lion on Wednesday in boys' basketball.
  • The win moved Eastern to the York-Adams playoff final vs. West York.
  • The championship game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at York Tech.
Eastern York celebrates a 46-45 win over Red Lion during YAIAA boys' semifinal action at York County School of Technology in York Township, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

SPRY – The York-Adams boys’ basketball tournament has featured the league’s top teams in several fierce battles.

It started with Saturday’s epic comeback by Division II champion West York against Dallastown, which led by six points late in regulation before the Bulldogs pulled it out in triple-overtime.

It continued into Wednesday’s semifinal at York Tech when Eastern York and Division I champ Red Lion battled one another in a classic.

The two big, physical teams traded short runs late in regulation, with the contest ultimately finding its way into overtime.

Eastern York's Avant King, right, takes the ball to the basket while Red Lion's Joe Sedora defends during YAIAA boys' semifinal action at York County School of Technology in York Township, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. Eastern York would win the game 46-45 in double overtime. Dawn J. Sagert photo

After the Lions couldn’t break another deadlock late in the first overtime, the second OT session was like déjà vu all over again.

Instead of a triple-overtime thriller, however, the Division II runner-up got the go-ahead basket from freshman Carter Wamsley with 2:35 left in the second OT to gain separation.

In a contest where points were hard to come by, Wamsley’s layup proved to be the difference. Neither team could find the basket late and the Knights survived an epic struggle, 46-45, to advance to Friday’s final.

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The Knights (16-8) will face a familiar foe (West York) in the final at 7 p.m. Friday at York Tech. The Bulldogs knocked off Northeastern, 60-57, in the other semifinal. West York swept both regular-season showdowns vs. Eastern.

“We were put into a (tough) situation three times,” Eastern York coach Justin Seitz said of Wednesday’s game vs. Red Lion. “Once in regulation and then in single and double overtime where we needed one stop. The first two we needed a stop to advance and then the last one we had that one-point lead. We got the stop and had all five guys go for the rebound. We executed.”

Eastern York Austin Bausman takes the ball to the basket while Red Lion's Ian James defends during YAIAA boys' semifinal action at York County School of Technology in York Township, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. Eastern York would win the game 46-45 in double overtime. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Red Lion standout Evan Watt, who led the Lions with 23 points, drove to the right baseline before getting off a shot that came up short as the buzzer sounded.

“We tell the kids that three stops in a row wins games,” Seitz said. “And we did that a lot tonight at the end of overtime and regulation.”

Wamsley, who finished with 12 points, and Austin Bausman, who tied Watt with a game-high 23 points, proved to be big in the key situations. Bausman hit two big free throws in the first overtime to even the score late, while Wamsley took advantage of the Lions missing center Mason Urey, who fouled out in regulation.

After Watt’s shot missed, the entire Eastern bench stormed the court to celebrate a win that gives the Knights a chance to claim their first league title in 10 years (2011).

More:West York boys one win away from first York-Adams playoff basketball title since 2008

The Wrightsville boys and their coach will again relish the role of trying to ruin a favorite’s chances on Friday.

“We did feel like we were the underdog,” Seitz said of the team’s mindset. “But we saw that our personnel was almost identical to theirs. They have a big 6-7 inside (Urey) and we have one (Wamsley). They have a big scoring guard (Watt) and we have one (Bausman). So, we thought our strengths were about the same and it was going to be a back-and-forth chess match and that’s exactly how it turned out.”

Eastern York celebrates a 46-45 win over Red Lion during YAIAA boys' semifinal action at York County School of Technology in York Township, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

District action next for Lions: While the Knights will have a day to get ready for the final with the Bulldogs, the Lions know they will have some work of their own to do as they prepare for the upcoming District 3 Class 6-A playoffs. Despite winning Division I, Red Lion barely cracked the 12-team 6-A draw as the No. 11 seed. The Lions will have a big clash Tuesday at Chambersburg, with only the winner extending its season.

“We’ve been a pretty good offensive team all season,” Red Lion coach Steve Schmehl said. “But we were only able to rely on a handful of guys tonight and just didn’t quite get enough from everybody. But that happens. We have a couple of days to figure some things out and we’ll get to practice and get ready to go down there (to Chambersburg), who has a good team. But at this level anybody can beat anybody.”

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.