The Panthers outscored the Colonials 50-30 in the second half
Before the start of basketball season, New Oxford head coach Sean Bair knew some in the area were wondering how good Central York would be after graduating a number of key seniors last year.
Bair never counted himself among the doubters, though. That's why he went into Wednesday night's contest between the Panthers and the Colonials expecting a tough test for his team.
"I thought some of the preseason stuff I heard about them was harsh," Bair said. "I get what they graduated, but if you've seen their guys, those were guys who would be starting for other teams in the league last year. They're really good basketball players."
The Panthers certainly proved they were good basketball players on Wednesday, blowing out New Oxford, 86-54, to improve to 4-0 on the season. The loss dropped the Colonials to 0-3.
As good as Bair believes the Panthers are, he was still disappointed that his team wasn't able to keep the deficit smaller than 32 points. While the Colonials trailed just 36-24 at halftime, they seemed to become more and more overwhelmed as the second half went on.
A big part of that was because of the speed and efficiency of Central York's transition offense. The Panthers never hesitated to push the ball up the court following a rebound and had little trouble getting to the basket and converting layups.
"Their style of play is prone to go on big runs and prone to break your back," Bair said. "A lot of teams get turnovers here and there. They get turnovers in bunches. They hit 3's in bunches. Those plays extends the runs and makes them more devastating."
The player at the center of everything for Central York was senior Jared Wagner, who scored 17 points, including eight early in the third quarter that jump started the Panthers offense. Despite leading by a large margin in the second half, the Panthers played their fast-paced style until the very end.
Still, Central York coach Kevin Schieler made sure to get most of his young players into the game. Afterward, both Wagner and Schieler said the game was a good learning opportunity for those with less experience.
"Every moment is a learning opportunity," Schieler said. "A lot of younger guys, they've got to treat this as a learning experience to go out and fix the things that don't get them on the floor more often."
On the other side, Bair said the Colonials can also learn from the experience, though, they need to make sure they don't become discouraged as they search for their first win. The Colonials have yet to win a division game since they moved to Division I last season.
"At some point we've got to get a win," Bair said. "It's not going to come from other teams giving us wins, and our margin for error is small."
Even in defeat, New Oxford senior Devon Duvall played well and finished with 19 points. Sophomore and key scorer John Wessel came off the bench after missing practice time with an illness but scored seven points.
New Oxford (54)
Devon Duvall 7 5-8 19, John Wessel 3 1-2 7, Ben Lehman 3 4-4 12, Joey Stiles 1 2-2 4, Justin Gruver 1 0-2 3, Trevor Floyd 1 0-0 3, Ben Rivera 0 2-2 2, Zach Rudisill 0 1-2 1, Jordin Brown 1 0-0 3
Totals — 17 15-22 54
Central York (86)
Jared Wagner 8 0-0 17, Garrett Markey 7 0-0 16, Onterio Edmonds 4 4-4 13, Landyn Ray 3 1-2 9, Nathan Markey 4 0-0 9, Niko Sobestanovich 3 2-2 8, Courtney Batts 2 0-0 4 Evan Czulada 2 0-0 4 Seth McLaughlin 3 0-0 6
Totals — 36 7-8 86
New Oxford _ 13 _ 11 _ 16 _ 14 _ — _ 54
Central York _ 21 _ 15 _ 27 _ 23 _ — _ 86
3-point goals — Central York 7 ( Ray 2, Garrett Markey 2, Nathan Markey 1, Wagner 1, Edmonds 1) New Oxford 5 (Lehman 2, Floyd 1, Brown 1, Gruver 1)