The Warriors shot 33 percent and fell behind 10-3 to start the first quarter
For a brief moment, it seemed like Gettysburg had all the momentum on Friday night.
The Warriors had trailed all night against West York, but two 3-pointers by Conner Weikert knotted the score at 35 with a little more than three minutes to play. At that point, Gettysburg outscored the Bulldogs in the second half and seemed to be taking control.
But it would only take one possession for West York to answer, as Terry Cains quickly made a layup to give his team a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The Bulldogs (4-2) then hit six free throws down the stretch to ice a 47-41 win.
According to Gettysburg coach Jeff Bair, the difference between the Warriors and the Bulldogs was pretty clear.
"It was just nerves," Bair said. "In this division, every game is a big game. I think we felt the nerves a little bit tonight, and if we don't get rid of those, we won't win many games against good teams."
Whether or not it was nerves, Gettysburg (5-2) certainly looked out of sync early on. From missing layups to passing the ball out of bounds, the Warriors didn't do themselves any favors as the Bulldogs opened the game on a 10-3 run.
Despite being down by 10 after the first quarter, the Warriors began to crawl back as the Bulldogs went into a shooting slump of their own in the second quarter. A buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Weikert at the end of the first half cut the deficit to eight points and seemed like a turning point.
Though they would actually outscore West York in the second half, the Warriors struggled to hit foul shots and didn't always communicate on defense, especially on the play when Cains scored his go-ahead basket.
"Them scoring put the urgency back on us," Bair said. "If we get the stop, then maybe we have enough poise to run (a better play). But we just didn't get there."
For West York coach Bill Ackerman, his team's poise was the deciding factor in the game. While the Bulldogs shot just 30 percent from the field and 61 percent from the foul line, they hit clutch shots when needed to get back in the win column after two straight losses.
A lot of that poise belonged to senior Ian Lalic, who went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line down the stretch and finished with 14 points. Darian McCauley also had a great all-around game for West York, registering 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
"I told the kids that they were the ones that had the answers to some of our issues, and they get the credit for solving some on their own," Ackerman said. "That wasn't an Xs and Os thing, that was a confidence and internal thing. Right now we have a couple of guys we can go to at the end of games, and tonight it was Ian."
A first-year starter, Lalic admitted that being a clutch shooter hasn't been a role he has often held. On Friday, though, his poise on the free-throw line was huge for West York.
"If you make it you make it, you've just got to put it up," Lalic said. "I'm a senior now, and I've been through this with my teammates. I've been working on free throws for a while, and it paid off."
West York (47)
Darian McCauley 5 2-3 12, Ian Lalic 4 5-5 14, Bailey 2 3-4 8, Meckley 1 1-5 3, Frey 1 0-0 3, Sarver 1 0-0 3, Cains 1 0-1 2, DellOrfano 1 0-0 2 Totals — 16 11-18 47
Connor Weikert 4 0-0 11, Max Lampe 4 3-3 13 Camel 4 0-1 8, Dillard 1 3-8 5, Ringler 1 0-1 2, Biggins 1 0-0 2 Sherman 0 0-0 0, Eckhart 0 0-0 0 Totals — 15 6-13 41
West York _ 17 _ 6 _ 10 _ 14 _ — _ 47
Gettysburg _ 7 _ 8 _ 10 _ 16 _ — _ 41
3-point goals — West York 4 (Bailey, Lalic, Frey, Sarver), Gettysburg 5 (Weikert 3, Lampe 2)