Eastern falls in first game without Achterberg
Four-year starter Jared Achterberg has high hopes for senior season. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
The Eastern York boys' basketball team was rolling right along.
After losing its second game of the season to Northeastern, the Golden Knights checked off 10 straight wins, marching into the No. 2 spot in the District 3 Class 4A power rankings.
But something happened on Monday during the Golden Knights' 65-50 victory against York County Tech that no doubt will have a large impact on the rest of the season:
Eastern lost senior leader Jared Achterberg to a right knee injury.
"Yeah, we aren't going to make excuses for that, but that's 20-25 points a night we don't have," Golden Knights head coach Jon Reichard said Wednesday after a 62-52 loss to Dover.
For their part, the Eagles drilled 11 three-pointers and snapped their three-game losing streak.
"We shot it a lot better tonight," Dover head coach Brian Schmoyer said. "Last week in the three games we played, we really struggled shooting the ball. Tonight, we knocked down shots when we needed to."
It was Eastern's first game without Achterberg, who was injured on his birthday and sits 81 points shy of 1,000 for his high school career. Reichard said doctors weren't sure if the tear was an MCL or an ACL. "But we are not expecting him back (this year)," he said.
"It changes (the complexity of our team) a lot (with Achterberg out)," Reichard said. "There is more pressure on Evan Springer and Dom Particelli, the two other returners and now it's more pressure on these guys who are now filling in."
It doesn't get any easier for the Golden Knights, who slipped to 5-1 in YAIAA Division II and 11-2 overall. On Saturday, they'll hit the road for a non-league game at Lancaster Catholic, which holds the top spot in the district's 4A power rankings, as they continue to adapt.
"The team is kind of tore apart," Reichard said. "Some guys got some minutes that are sophomores that didn't get any up to this point."
Wednesday's loss to Dover (5-1, 8-4) pulled the teams into a tie for the Division II lead. Reichard said he hoped the matchup against the young Eagles — who start one junior, three sophomores and one freshman — could be a springboard for the reeling Knights.
"They (Dover) are playing young kids and they are thriving in it, and we used it as an example," Reichard said. "Let's see if we can get them to bounce back."