The lead slowly started disappearing. From 19 points, to 14, to eight.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Dover boys' basketball team still held a lead against Eastern York, but the Golden Knights kept coming.
Four minutes into the final period, Eastern was in striking distance. And a 3-pointer from Trevor Seitz put the Golden Knights ahead for the first time, with 3:43 to play in the game.
With momentum clearly on Eastern's side, Dover sophomore Keith Davis again found his long range stroke coming out of a timeout.
Davis drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Eagles firmly back in the lead, and the home team held on for a 79-73 victory on Friday night.
"We've struggled a little bit in the fourth quarter playing with the lead and understanding how to play with the lead and I think that has a little bit to do with our youth," Dover head coach Brian Schmoyer said. "They went on a huge run, and Keith hit a huge shot, and we were able to keep our composure and knock down foul shots when it counted."
With Dover trailing 71-69, Davis went on a personal 8-0 run and the Eagles outscored the Golden Knights 10-2 over the final 3:30 to come away with the win.
"We keep each other fired up and that's what I love about this team," said Davis, who finished with a game high 35 points. "Everybody has each other's back. We pick each other up."
Both teams shot well at the foul line and from 3-point range. Eastern (14-8, 7-5 YAIAA Division II) finished 13-of-16 from the foul line and registered eight 3s. Dover (14-7, 10-2) was 19-of-24 from the line and hit 11 3-pointers.
Dover, which had already clinched the Division II crown, shot the lights out in the first quarter, scoring 28 points in the first eight minutes. The Eagles shot 11-of-17 from the field in the quarter. Davis hit three of his total seven 3s in the first quarter.
"Keith has been shooting the ball considerably well the second half of the season," Schmoyer said. "Keith stepped up in big time positions when he needed to score."
For as hot as the Eagles were in the first quarter, Eastern was equally on fire in the third quarter. The Golden Knights shot nine-of-13 in the third quarter and poured in 24 points, led by Stephen Wisler's 11 points. Wisler finished with 14 points.
"We made some big shots and played well in the second half," Eastern head coach Jon Reichard said. "We took the lead there in the fourth, but then made some bad turnovers and we were right there. We just can't come out and start the game the way we started tonight, and we have been starting games like that."
Eastern's comeback was a positive to draw upon entering the postseason. Despite the loss, Eastern secured the division's second berth in the YAIAA tournament thanks to West York's loss to Kennard-Dale. The Knights should still qualify for the District 3 Class 4A tournament, as well.
Seth Bernstein led the Golden Knights with 17 points. Evan Springer added 13 and Ryan Harmer finished with 10.
The team has continued to adjust to the loss of injured Jared Achterberg.
"The ball has to be shared and moved differently," Reichard said. "Minus his 20-25 points a game, he calmed everybody down with the ball in his hands. Now, its more of a team effort."
Elijah Sutton finished with 17 points for Dover, and Brady Bowman added 14. The Eagles' biggest lead came at 40-21 with 3:25 to play in the first half, and the Eagles led by 14 at halftime.
"Our guys are doing a great job of playing their role," Schmoyer said. "It's not just one guy. We are spreading the wealth around."