West York trailed by four points when they gained in-bounded the ball with 8.4 seconds left in regulation. Yet, the Bulldogs managed to force overtime by hitting two free throws and tipping in a missed free throw at the buzzer. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Garrett Bull knew he was getting hard-nosed, hard-working kids at West York when he accepted the head coaching position of the boys' basketball program in June, and Bull wanted to use that to his advantage.
At the midway point of the season, it’s a work in progress.
Out of the five seniors on this year’s roster, only one has previous varsity experience. The rest of the team is composed of sophomores, juniors and one freshman.
“There’s been some growing pains, but we continue to work at it,” Bull said after the team’s 52-48 loss to Dover on Friday night. “Building up a new program, I’m making sure they warm up the right way, sprint to half court, etc.
“One thing is for sure, they’re resilient.”
Bull’s characterization of his team couldn’t be any more spot on.
West York started off the season 0-3. But during that stretch, the team decreased the scoring differential from 25 points to eight over the course of five days. Then, the Bulldogs strung together five wins in six games.
Most recently, Bull’s squad has dropped four straight, but not one person in the program is batting an eye.
“We continue to battle,” sophomore Dayvon Cortez said. “We head into every game with a chip on our shoulder … we have something to prove.”
Sitting at 3-4 in YAIAA Division II (5-8 overall), West York has seen its fair share of close games. So far, all four of the team’s divisional losses were by eight points or less. It’s one or two possessions down the stretch that change the outcome of the game. During those losses, Bull continues to reaffirm how his team doesn’t stop fighting.
“Just because you play a good game and lose, doesn’t mean it was a bad game (overall),” Bull commented. “If I teach the fundamentals and the kids keep working, we’ll turn those close losses into wins.”
From here on out, that’s what West York needs to do as the second half of its schedule gets underway. The Bulldogs find themselves in the middle of the pack in Division II as they prepare for the second run through the divisional schedule.
Senior Kenton Meckley has seen the team’s growth already and said he's excited for what’s to come.
“As a senior, you want to win as many games as possible,” he said. “But what I’m looking forward to most is seeing how much more (these young) guys have to give to battle down the stretch.”
“Win or lose," Bull added, "if they give everything they’ve got, that’s all I can ask for.”