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There's an old cliche in boxing circles that "Styles make fights." It implies that the most entertaining fights result when two boxers with compatible styles -- an aggressor and a counter-puncher, say, or two go-for-broke knockout artists -- are matched together.

The phrase could probably be applied to the basketball teams from William Penn and Dallastown, two sides with vastly contrasting styles that have produced three intriguing games this year. None of them more so than the Bearcats' thrilling, 73-70 win Wednesday in a District 3-AAAA first-round game.

William Penn thrives on speed, but lacks size. Dallastown has ample height, but lacks the Bearcats' quickness and offensive versatility.

Each is perfectly primed to exploit the other's weakness.

"It’s always a battle with Dallastown," Bearcats coach Troy Sowers said. "They have stuff that we don’t. They have size. They always battled with us. We knew it was going to be a 32-minute game, and it definitely was a 32-minute game."

You could say that again.

Check out the jump for some more notes from Wednesday's game.

Bigger than basketball: Basketball certainly wasn't the only thing on Troy Smeltzer's mind this week. The Wildcats coach missed both his team's practices this week so he could attend to his wife while she gave birth to their daughter.

"This week was a difficult time for me," Smeltzer said. "I told them, ‘My family is first, but this is my second family.’"

The good news: Smeltzer's daughter, Raylynn, was born healthy.

And the coach was still able to be with his team Wednesday, for their final game of the season.

"To see eight seniors go out like that, it’s difficult," Smeltzer said. "But at the other end, the way they played tonight shows a lot about who they are and especially about their character."

Wilson continues to shine: One of the big propellants behind William Penn's second-half surge has been junior Derek Wilson.

The 6-foot-2 guard showcased more stellar play Wednesday. He scored a team-high 17 points, 13 of which came after halftime.

"He gets better and better every game," Sowers said. "He’s a first-year varsity guy, was a starter for us halfway through the season. Everybody can see his maturity and his confidence build every single game. Before he was a defensive stopper. Now he’s making big plays in the clutch.

"He’s a seasoned veteran now with the games we’ve had to play."

Wilson found his stride after halftime: He scored the Bearcats first six points in the third quarter, then slipped an assist to Collin Smith for two more points.

In the final seconds, Wilson followed Na'Shon DeShields clutch 3-pointer by intercepting a cross-court pass on Dallastown's ensuing possession. Wilson collided with the Wildcats' Judd Gemmill and fell hard on his left arm, but was still able to hit a pair of key free throws with 8.8 seconds left. Wilson's left arm was wrapped with a bag of ice after the game. "It’s real sore," he said.

Wilson then stripped Gemmill from behind on the Wildcats' final possession to seal the game.

"I got beat, but I just stuck a hand in there and it came loose," Wilson said.

DeShields' big shot: Na'Shon Deshields had some struggles Wednesday night for William Penn, especially from the foul line. He made just 2-of-6 free throw attempts.

But when it came down to crunch time, Deshields delivered. He hit one 3-pointer with about three minutes to play to cut a four-point deficit to one.

Then, with 18 seconds to play, DeShields delivered the decisive blow, a 3 from the right corner to give William Penn a 71-70 lead.

DeShields said the ability to forget prior struggles is always key for a shooter like himself.

"Our fans, they don't like to see you miss," DeShields said. "You’ve got to be a little tough. Coach tells me about it all the time."

And of his team's win?

"It makes a statement that we can battle back from every scenario," DeShields said.

Next up: William Penn will play J.P McCaskey in a District 3-AAAA quarterfinal at East Pennsboro on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Red Tornado beat Hempfield, 60-47, on Wednesday.

The game will be a rematch of McCaskey's 104-85 win over the Bearcats on Dec. 28 in the final of Tornado's holiday tournament. For a more in-depth look at that game, head here.

Quick hits

- Dallastown did everything it could to press its height advantage. The Wildcats' three starting frontc0urt players -- Chris Robertson, Manny Mossengo and Nick Russell -- each finished in double figures scoring. In all, 25 of the Wildcats 30 field goals were scored on buckets inside the paint.

- The Wildcats had five offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter which produced nine second-chance points.

- Dallastown struggled from the foul line, going 7-of-16 on the night. William Penn 12 of 18 attempts.

- Ramel Stephens provided some key minutes off the bench for the Bearcats, and even scored a bucket of a Williams assist during that frantic fourth quarter.

- While the Bearcats had trouble at times with Dallastown's size, they did crash the offensive glass in the third quarter. William Penn had eight offensive rebounds in the quarter.

- Dejian Williams was back to his old self for William Penn. After scoring a season-low two points in the team's YAIAA title game victory over South Western, he netted 16 against Dallastown. The senior guard was efficient with his shot attempts and created opportunities cutting to the basket.

- All five Bearcats starters reached double-figures scoring.

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