The weather outside is getting warmer and spring sports teams are back on the practice fields, which means basketball season has come to an end. It was an interesting season for the Hanover/Adams area, with a few teams going on playoff runs while others struggled against the league's top competition. Before we completely turn the page on the 2015-2016 season, here's a look at five memorable games from this season.
Spring Grove 42, Central York 36, Feb. 13 at York College, YAIAA championship game
The Rockets and Panthers met four times this season, and all four games could easily make this list. As thrilling as their matchup in the District 3 Class AAAA semifinals was, when Central's Jared Wagner used a last second tip-in to give the Panthers a 52-51 overtime win, I'm going to highlight their previous matchup in the league title game. When the two teams met on Feb. 13, Central had already beaten Spring Grove twice, 53-50, both times. Neither squad looked sharp in the first half, and the Panthers went into halftime leading 18-12. Both offenses continued to struggle until the fourth quarter, when Spring Grove's Eli Brooks scored 17 points and nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with just 49 seconds remaining. The Rockets iced the game with four free throws before celebrating their first league title since 1971. It was easily the highlight of Spring Grove's 25-4 season.
Gettysburg 57, Shippensburg 55, Dec. 5 at Gettysburg High School
The Warriors produced arguably the top highlight of their season on opening night, when senior guard Marquise Camel converted an incredible four-point play with 7.3 seconds remaining against Shippensburg. The Warriors and Greyhounds went back-and-forth all night, and Shippensburg took a 55-53 lead with just over 10 seconds to play in the fourth quarter when Wade Mills slammed home a dunk. Gettysburg drew up its final play for sharpshooter Max Lampe, but the ball ended up in Camel's hands and the guard drained a 3-pointer while being knocked to the floor. He then calmly sank the free throw before Shippensburg missed a last-ditch shot, giving Gettysburg a miraculous win.
Hanover 41, Delone Catholic 37, Dec. 16 at Delone Catholic High School
The Nighthawks and Squires have one of the league's oldest and strongest rivalries, something that was evident both times the two teams played. In the first matchup on Dec. 16, Hanover led most of the game but surrendered the lead for the first time with 2:00 remaining when Delone's Logan Alexander hit a layup to put the Squires up one. Enter Kyle Krout. The Nighthawks senior quickly drained a 3-pointer before going 5-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to give Hanover a four-point win. It was a quintessential performance from Krout, who finished the game with 25 points. The Nighthawlks would beat the Squires for a second time, 58-50, on Jan. 20.
Littlestown 35, Bermudian Springs 34, Dec. 13 at Littlestown High School
It was a pretty uneventful season for Littlestown and Bermudian Springs, which both struggled in Division III. But on Dec. 13., the two teams provided one of the season's most memorable endings. With the game-tied and just two seconds remaining, Littlestown captain Brady Topper went to the free throw line, and after missing the first shot, drained the second to give the Thunderbolts a one-point win. The dramatic ending came just minutes after Topper had to leave the court with a bloody nose. The Eagles, who trailed by eight in the fourth quarter before rallying to tie the game, fell to 0-5 with the loss.
Spring Grove 59, Northeastern 57, Feb. 11 at Red Lion High School, YAIAA semifinals
Spring Grove had plenty of memorable games this season, but it's hard to forget about the win that put them into the league title game. The Rockets' matchup against the Bobcats was highly anticipated, with both teams having dominated the YAIAA for most of the season. And with Northeastern coming off a 29-point blowout win against William Penn in the quarterfinals, it looked like the Bobcats might have the edge. The game lived up to the hype, with Spring Grove leading early and Northeastern coming back in the second half to tie the score multiple times. With the game knotted at 57 and 25 seconds to play, Spring Grove called a final play for Darin Gordon, who instead passed to an open Grant Wierman. The 6-foot-4 senior drove to the basket and converted the winning layup with just three seconds remaining before a final Northeastern turnover sealed the game for Spring Grove. Eli Brooks was his usual dominant self, finishing with 28 points.