West York advances to Class 5-A semifinals; other Thursday District 3 boys' basketball

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@ydsports
West York's David McGladrie, seen here in a file photo, came up with a big block on Thursday night in West York's win over Exeter Township.
  • The West York boys' basketball team earned a 57-50 victory over Exeter on Thursday night.
  • The victory came in a District 3 Class 5-A quarterfinal contest.
  • West York now advances to the District 3 5-A semifinals vs. Shippensburg.

WEST YORK – On a given night, it can be difficult to single out one individual player on the West York boys’ basketball team.

The Bulldogs, after all, have a slew of pivotal players on the roster.

Sometimes, Jaden Walker steps to the forefront.

Other times, A.J. Williams takes the starring role.

The list can go on and on.

Often, however, it is a handful of Bulldog players who are instrumental in West York triumphs.

In Thursday’s District 3 Class 5-A quarterfinal against visiting Exeter Township, David McGladrie came up with one of the more unlikely big plays of the season.

The senior, known for his all-out hustle and effort, leaped high to swat away an Exeter shot that could have cut the West York lead to three points late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Mark Walker recovered the block before he was fouled, setting off a parade of trips to the charity stripe for the Bulldogs.

After it was all said and done, the York-Adams League champs survived a scare from the Eagles before earning their ninth straight victory, 57-50.

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Thursday’s triumph sets up the No. 2 seeded Bulldogs (24-2) to host a district semifinal at 7 p.m. Monday opposite Shippensburg (19-3). The Greyhounds, the No. 3 seed in the draw, also survived a scare against No. 11 seeded Lower Dauphin, 51-49.

“Dave’s job tonight was defend, defend, defend,” West York coach Garrett Bull said. “He defended their best player and he took the challenge tonight … and I think he did a phenomenal job tonight.”

A big block: McGladrie is more often known as the slash-to-the-hoop guy and occasional perimeter threat offensively, but Thursday he proved you cannot sleep on him defensively. Struggling to secure the rebound after a pair of missed 3-point attempts by the Eagles, McGladrie swatted away a third attempt by Reece Garvin in the paint to give the Bulldogs exactly the boost they needed.

“I saw the shot go up and I just kind of went to the ball,” McGladrie said. “And I just jumped up and got my fingertips on it.”

That block brought out a big roar from a West York student section that was jam-packed a few feet behind the end line.

“It was right in front of the student section and it was a big block,” McGladrie said. “It was a good time.”

Mark Walker made both free throws with 1:12 left to stretch the lead to seven. Forced to foul down the stretch, the Bulldogs were sent to the line for eight more free throw attempts that helped salt things away.

The West York boys needed to rely on their defense, which is ranked No. 1 in the York-Adams League at 41.2 points per game, after getting off to a blistering start. Down 4-0 early, the Bulldogs ran off 13 straight points to gain control for good.

Exeter stayed within striking distance: As the game wore on, however, the Eagles were able to stay within striking distance by forcing West York to take some mid- to long-range shots due to the presence of 6-foot-6, 265-pound center Anthony Caccese.

“They are really good,” Bull said of Exeter (12-13). “They are really good on defense at every position. They’re strong and they slide their feet well. And they have the big guy (Caccese) so when you kind of get to the rim, he’s just lingering there.”

Balanced attack: Jaden Walker led a quartet of West York players in double figures in scoring with 12 points. Braedyn Detz and Williams each chipped in 11 apiece while McGladrie finished with 10.

The West York boys will rest up and prepare for another big showdown Monday against a Shippensburg side that originally was slated to meet the Bulldogs in the regular season. An issue with a COVID shutdown forced the game to be canceled.

OTHER BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Littlestown 75, Eastern York 67: At Littlestown, the Thunderbolts led 41-21 at the half and went on to capture the District 3 Class 4-A quarterfinal victory.

Littlestown clinched a state playoff berth.

Jake Bosley led the fourth-seeded Thunderbolts with a game-high 25 points, including a 9-for-13 night from the charity stripe. Zyan Herr knocked in 21 points for Littlestown, including an 8-for-11 effort at the foul line, while Chris Meakin scored 16 points.

For the fifth-seeded Golden Knights, Brady Seitz scored a team-high 17 points, including five from behind the arc, while Simon Lipsius and Austin Bausman each scored 12 points. Jack Weaver added 11 points for the Golden Knights.

Littlestown (19-5) moves to the semifinals and will travel to top-seeded Berks Catholic (21-4) at 7 Monday night. Berks Catholic won its quarterfinal over eighth-seeded ELCO, 55-40. ELCO fell to 14-11.

Eastern (16-10) moves into the consolation semifinals and will play host to ELCO at 7 p.m. Monday.

Hershey 71, Susquehannock 59 (OT): At Hershey, the Trojans outscored the Warriors 17-5 in the overtime period in a District 3 Class 5-A quarterfinal.

Jalen Franklin led the 12th-seeded Warriors with 19 points, while teammate Joshua Franklin had 15 points, including a 7-for-9 night from the charity stripe.

Fourth-seeded Hershey improved to 19-5.

Both teams had already clinched state playoff berths.

Susquehannock (15-8) moves into the consolation semifinals on Monday and will travel to ninth-seeded Northeastern (16-10) at 7 p.m. Monday.

Lampeter-Strasburg 66, Northeastern 52: At Lampeter, the Bobcats dropped the District 3 Class 5-A quarterfinal contest.

Northeastern’s Nick Rizzuto scored a game-high 21 points, including five from behind the arc. Teammate Chase Kloster had 14 points.

Top-seeded Lampeter-Strasburg improved to 25-0.

York Catholic 61, Tulpehocken 58: At York, the Fighting Irish earned a berth in the District 3 Class 3-A championship game and clinched a state playoff berth.

Luke Forjan led the Irish individually with a game-high 31 points, including a 13-for-19 night from the charity stripe. Levan McFadden added 11 points for YC, while John Forjan scored nine points.

The second-seeded Fighting Irish improved to 17-7, while third-seeded Tulpehocken dropped to 18-6.

In the district final at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, March 5, the Irish will face top-seeded Columbia, a 43-41 semifinal winner over fifth-seeded Lancaster Catholic. Columbia is 21-2. Lancaster Catholic is 8-14.

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