HERSHEY - Miracles happen every day.
Eastern York erased a 13-point third-quarter deficit against top-seeded Milton Hershey and stunned the Mid Penn champions in their backyard during a 73-65 District 3 Class AAA boys' semifinal win on Monday evening at Giant Center.
"We had a little heart-to-heart in that locker room (at halftime)," Eastern York coach Jon Reichard said. "I told them we didn't win 21 games without being good, and you're playing like you're not. You have 16 minutes left with the No. 1 seed. Let's get out there and see what happens, where it goes. Boy, they played some pretty good basketball for a stretch there."
With the victory, the No. 4 seed Golden Knights will play on Thursday for the district title. Eastern York will meet third-seeded Bishop McDevitt at 8 p.m. back at Giant Center. The Golden Knights last won the Class AAA title in 2010 and were runner-ups in 2011.
Eastern York (22-5) trailed by six heading into the last quarter, but fought back and tied the score on a steal and layup by senior guard Broguen Nicholas with 6:03 remaining.
Milton Hershey (24-2) made a free throw to regain the lead, but senior Jarad Woods answered with a layup with 5:28 to go and put the Golden Knights ahead to stay.
Eastern York built the lead up to as many as 10 points after two Nicholas free throws with 1:27 to go and managed to hold on with 9-of-12 free throw shooting down the stretch. The Golden Knights' final basket came on a Woods layup with 1:59 left.
The Golden Knights second half was a remarkable turnaround from a first half that saw them shoot 7-of-22 from the field and commit 11 turnovers. Milton Hershey ran off the first seven points of the game.
"In the first half, we looked scared," Reichard said. "Like we weren't ready to play. We were well-prepared for this game, but it sure didn't look like it. To say it nicely, we were really on them at halftime."
Six-foot-one junior guard Evan Springer topped Eastern York with a game-high 24 points, including five 3-point goals. Nicholas added 21 points.
"He's putting it on the floor a little bit and getting to the rim," Reichard said. "He made some good passes, played good defense and hit some 3's. This might have been the best game of his career. They took Broguen out of it, and he stepped up."
Eastern York (73)
Jared Achterberg 4 3-4 11, Broguen Nicholas 6 9-12 21, Jarad Woods 4 2-4 10, Kalke 0 0-0 0, Evan Springer 8 3-3 24, Particelli 2 2-4 6, Lowe 0 0-0 0, Shimmel 0 1-2 1. Totals — 24 20-29 73.
Milton Hershey (65)
Don’yae Baylor-Carroll 6 1-2 16, Brown 2 3-5 7, Keonte Lucas 3 5-9 12, Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Owolabi 3 3-4 9, Lyons 2 2-2 6, Darrien Richards 5 3-3 13, Lanier-Martin 1 0-0 2. Totals — 22 17-25 65.
Eastern York_13_13_17_30_ — _73
Milton Hershey_16_21_12_16_ — _65
3-point goals — EY 5 (Springer 5); MH 4 (Baylor-Carroll 3, Lucas).