Andrew Forjan had never won a game at the Robert H. Griffin Holiday Classic. It was something the York Catholic junior was well aware of entering Monday night’s game against York Suburban in one tourney semifinal played at York County Tech.
“I was thinking the same thing. That was the motivation for today,” Forjan said following the second game of the event that benefits York County Special Olympics.
Forjan had 20 points in the first half alone and went on to post a game-high 30 in leading the Fighting Irish to a 71-55 victory against the Trojans..
York Catholic will face Bethlehem Catholic, which knocked off Danville, 74-56, in the opener on Monday. The tournament championship game will follow the consolation on Tuesday.
Leading 8-5 midway through the opening quarter, the Irish scored the next 21 points. Forjan finished the quarter with a layup and a 3-pointer, one of his three for the game.
He then opened the second with a drive for a basket, and later assisted on a Steven Nigro layup and Edward Smith trey. Forjan followed that with a prolific reverse layup that drew a reaction from the crowd that filled the York Tech gym.
“I was pretty happy,” Forjan said. “I just took my time on offense and things happened. Coach tells me to slow down. Sometimes I go too fast.”
Melik Martin, who scored 14 points, put York Catholic up 40-20 early in the second half, but the Trojans rallied with a 13-5 run, cutting the deficit to 45-33.
A Jack Schultz layup brought Suburban within 62-49 with two minutes to go in the fourth, but Forjan answered by hitting both ends of a 1-and-1. A short while later, he stole the ball on consecutive Trojans’ possessions, hit a pair of free throws and a layup to put the game away.
“A little bit,” Forjan when asked if he was surprised at his night. “I haven’t scored all that much. Hitting those shots should build my confidence.”
It's something the Irish can use heading into the title tilt against a Bethlehem Catholic team that was thoroughly dominating against Danville.
Led by 16 points off the bench from Justin Paz, the Golden Hawks opened an early 10-point lead and never looked back against the defending tournament champs.
York Catholic’s last win at this tournament came in the 2012 semifinals against the Trojans, the year before Forjan arrived.
Zach Weinstein scored 10 of his team-high 16 points during Suburban’s third quarter comeback. Teammate Donovan Mears added 14, including four 3-pointers.
York Catholic (71)
Derowski 3 2-4 8, Andrew Forjan 9 9-11 30, Smith 2 0-0 6, Echevarria 0 0-0 0, D’Andre 1 1-4 3, Bauhof 2 2-2 6, Nigro 2 0-0 4, Melik Martin 6 2-4 14, Ellis 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 16-25 71.
York Suburban (55)
Thomas 2 2-5 8, Donovan Mears 5 0-0 14, Mailman 3 1-2 7, Merkle 1 0-3 2, Bowman 0 0-0 0, Schultz 3 2-6 8, Zach Weinstein 6 4-5 16. Totals — 20 9-21 55.
York Catholic _ 18 _ 20 _ 11 _ 22 _ — _ 71
York Suburban _ 5 _ 13 _ 19 _ 18 _ — _ 55
3-point goals — YC 5 (Forjan 3, Smith 2); YS 6 (Mears 4, Thomas 2).