LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP >> Head coach Kevin Schieler had the same approach to Thursday's game as he's had to any other this season.
Schieler's Central York Panthers put on their orange and black uniforms, and they go out and play hard no matter the opponent or venue.
In the seventh place game of the District 3 Class AAAA boys' basketball tournament, the opponent happened to be McCaskey.
The display Schieler's put on happened to be precise.
Sam Saxton bagged 18 points to lead all scorers as Central York ran away from McCaskey, 65-49, at Central Dauphin East high school.
The Panthers will now await the District 2 champion — either Abington Heights or Hazelton — at a site and time to be determined in the first round of the PIAA tournament a week from Saturday.
McCaskey will take on the District 1 champion— either Abington or Plymouth-Whitemarsh — the same day.
Schieler's squad used a swarming defense and dead-on shooting in the first 16 minutes to seize a 31-23 advantage at halftime and never looked back.
So good was Central's defense, they rendered McCaskey's Kobe Gantz without a field goal until the 1:27 mark of the first half. Gantz did finish with 16 to lead the Red Tornado, but most came with the game already out of hand.
"Sam started on him tonight and I think Sam's an excellent defender," Schieler said."Having Calvin (Luckenbaugh) come off the bench and be able to guard him is just a nightmare for good scorers. He's so long and able to defend so well. I was really happy with our first-half defense, we slowed their transition and made them have to use a lot of clock....I thought we did a good job rebounding, they didn't get a lot of offensive boards there."
Central held the rebounding edge 37-25, led by Charlie Gingrich's nine. The Panthers' defense also held McCaskey to 17-of-42 shooting for the contest, and just 10 field goals through three quarters.
"You play to win," Schieler said "We compete. We put on our Central York uniform to win a basketball game. We're not here just to show up, we don't care if it's consolation bracket or district championship, we want to win every time we're on the floor."
It took McCaskey nearly four minutes of game time to finally connect on a field goal. After Central jumped out to a 6-1 lead, the Red Tornado pieced together a mini-run to tie the game at seven, but Saxton's bucket near the end of the quarter put the Panthers ahead to stay.
Just three nights ago a depleted McCaskey team used just five players in a loss against Harrisburg.
"You have to remember on Tuesday the starters played 32 minutes," McCaskey head coach Steve Powell said. "It hurt us. We have not been in sync since."
Brandon Shaffer chipped in 10, while Jared Wagner added 13 points and four rebounds for the Panthers, who qualified for the state tournament for the second consecutive year.
Central York 65, Lancaster McCaskey 49
CENTRAL YORK (65)
Shaffer 4 0-0 10, Saxton 7 3-4 18, Wagner 4 3-3 13, Markey 4 0-0 9, Ginrgrich 2 3-4 7, Marino 2 0-0 4, Luckenbaugh 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 25 9-11 65
Gantz 5 4-4 16, Bynum 2 0-0 4, Owens 3 3-6 9, Speller 1 1-2 3, Allen 2 0-0 4, Brown 10-0 2, Davis 1 1-2 4, Gonzalez 2 2-2 7. TOTALS 17 11-19 49
3-point goals — Shaffer 2, Saxton, Wagner 2, Markey,Gantz 2, Davis, Gonzalez.