Susquehannock boys' basketball head coach John Zerfing knew that he was in for a challenge during Friday night's 50-45 road victory at York County Tech.
Zerfing had seen a game from earlier in the season where the Spartans easily defeated a tough Bermudian Spring team, one that sits atop the YAIAA Division III standings along with the Warriors.
"I saw them on tape beat Bermudian in here pretty badly and I knew they were really a dangerous team," said Zerfing. "We knew they were a dangerous team, and we really came in understanding that."
Susquehannock was also coming off of an emotional 70-59 win over Division IV-leading Delone Catholic on Wednesday.
The combination of the two admittedly had Zerfing feeling on edge.
And the contest would prove to be everything that Zerfing expected.
After fighting to a 14-10 lead after the first quarter (13 of those points scored by Susquehannock's Tyler Brooks), the Warriors managed just seven in the second stanza and could not hold off a strong surge from the Spartans.
After a Brooks 3-pointer put the visitors up 20-16 with four minutes left in the second quarter, York Tech went on an 11-1 run to end the first half and take a 27-21 lead into the intermission.
The Spartans were led all game by the spark of Ron Henderson, who pounded out 19 points before getting injured early in the fourth quarter.
Henderson hit a foul shot with 29.1 seconds left to play in the third quarter to keep the hosts up 35-31.
The Warriors would not leave the premises quietly, however.
After a Ryan Ford 3-pointer and another Henderson free-throw, the Warriors caught fire from the floor and allowed just six points from the Spartans in the last 6:21 of the contest.
"We started to press a little bit as well defensively and got some steals and baskets in our press, which helped us," said Zerfing.
Meanwhile, Dan Ferraro hit a jumper with 5:08 left to play to give Susquehannock its first lead in the second half, 40-39.
Brooks followed with a dagger of a 3-pointer after a Spartans turnover, and the visitors never looked back.
"I think when we lost Ron, that's where things shifted away from us. He's our energizer, he's like the energizer bunny," said Spartans coach Terry Wallace, who noted that Henderson will be tested for a concussion today.
"I thought the way they played as a team tonight was the best they did all year," said Wallace.
Zerfing was very proud of his team's resilience, especially their tenacity in the fourth quarter.
"The adversity that we were going through on the road against a team that had all the momentum; for us to be able to re-gather ourselves and make a stretch run like we did, that's why we practice and I was really proud of the way our guys responded," said Zerfing.
SUSQUEHANNOCK (50) Hatcher 0 0-0 0, Tanurra 0 2-4 2, Kerr 0 0-2 0, Tyler Brooks 8 3-3 23, Dan Ferraro 5 1-2 12, Frey 2 1-2 5, McClee 4 0-0 8. Totals 19 7-13 50.
YORK COUNTY TECH (45) Ford 2 0-0 6, Medina 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 0-0 3, Lynch 2 1-2 5, Patrice 3 0-0 6, Grim 1 0-0 2, McGhee 2 0-0 4, Ron Henderson 7 2-8 10, Forrest 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 3-10 45.
Susquehannock 14 17 10 19 -- 50
York Tech 10 17 8 10 -- 45
3-point goals -- Susquehannock 5 (Brooks 4, Ferraro), York Tech 6 (Henderson 3, Ford 2, Smith).