The success continued for the York Catholic boys' basketball team on Friday night with a 65-51 win against Hanover and a YAIAA Division III title to boot.
The Nighthawks (13-5, 9-2 YAIAA Division III) were the division champions last season and were looking to keep their title hopes alive, but York Catholic had other plans. In fact, clinching the Division outright was the Fighting Irish’s plan from the start of the year.
“That was our first goal of the season,” York Catholic head coach Blaine Claiborne said. “Actually we were a little bold and wanted to sweep our division. We accomplished that goal, so that was our first step. Now we’re looking towards the county tournament and trying to be county champs.”
The title win is just another chapter in an already successful season for York Catholic (14-4, 13-0) that many didn’t see coming. The Irish have gone undefeated in divisional contests and have just four losses all year. They’ve also seen offensive contributions from several players, including D’Andre Davis, who scored 17 points on Friday.
Davis was reserved when speaking with GameTimePA after the win, but he was loud on the court, and his second-quarter effort helped set the foundation for the win. With the game tied at 20 in the second quarter, Davis put up 10 points to extend York Catholic’s lead to 33-24 by halftime.
He came out with a flashy layup to open the third quarter and made some more moves later in the third.
“I started getting going. I had to get warmed up a little bit,” Davis said. “My teammates helped me out a bit. My teammates always have my back. They bring me up when I’m down.”
Claiborne called Davis “a heck of an athlete.”
“He’s very aggressive with the ball in his hands,” Claiborne continued. “That’s what I try to allow. Give him opportunities to do what he does well and that’s attack the rim.”
With Friday night being senior night at York Catholic, the team honored their six outgoing seniors before warmups and Claiborne started them to open the game. Hanover kept things close and only trailed by two after the first quarter.
The visitors from Hanover took a brief 19-18 lead in the second quarter before the Fighting Irish jumped back in front by one. A few minutes later is when Davis helped put the home side ahead comfortably and thats the way it stayed through the remainder of the contest.
"The game plan (was) basically sticking with what we've done all year," Claiborne said. "Play good defense, protect our defensive glass and then run. Look less, try to get out in the open floor. We started the seniors tonight so our routine was a little bit off today, but it was a good team win."
The Fighting Irish have two games left on their regular season docket before the postseason kicks off. Neither of them are league games, but the approach to each of those contests wont change even with the division title locked up.
"Transition defense, boxing out, controlling our defensive glass and run," Claiborne explained about the team's approach. "Take care of the ball. Don't turn the ball over. Those are our three keys."
Ehrhart 0 0-0 0, McQueen 2 5-8 9, Kyle Krout 8 5-7 24, Keeney 0 0-0 0, Bowman 0 0-0 0, Oliveras 0 0-0 0, Hart 2 0-2 4, Gebhart 0 0-0 0, Hunter Martz 3 5-6 12, Hill 0 2-2 2, Kenworthy 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 17-25 51.
York Catholic (65)
McNamara 0 0-0 0, Derowski 4 0-0 8, Forjan 0 1-2 1, Reichard-Anderson 0 0-0 0, Eddie Smith 3 3-4 10, Echevarria 2 0-0 5, D’Andre Davis 7 2-3 17, Bauhof 4 0-0 8, Brennan 0 0-0 0 Nigro 1 2-2 4, Shelly 0 0-0 0, Martin 2 4-4 8, Duncan 0 0-0 0 Castellanos 1 0-0 2, Ellis 1 0-0 2. Totals — 25 12-15 65.
Hanover _ 11 _ 13 _ 12 _ 15 _ — _ 51
York Catholic _ 13 _ 20 _ 19 _ 13 _ — _ 65
3-point goals — Han 2 (Krout, Martz), YC 3 (Smith, Echevarria, Davis).