Two familiar foes met Friday night at York College in the YAIAA championship game.
The matchup was the sixth time in two years between South Western High and William Penn, and it was the second consecutive season they met in the championship game.
South Western knew what to expect when the took on the Bearcats, but knew that nothing would come easily.
The William Penn defense made it a long night for South Western's Mike Duffy and the South Western offense while earning its second straight league title with a 57-44 win at York College..
South Western was able to force William Penn to play a slower style than the Bearcats are used to, but the Mustangs' offensive woes ended up doing them in.
"The goal was to keep the game in the 50s," South Western head coach Nate Brodbeck said. "I thought, defensively, we played really tough. Offensively, they made it tough on us. Parker (Bean) was the only one that could really get going."
South Western held William Penn to nine first-quarter points but was unable to muster much offense itself, scoring only four. William Penn held the Mustangs scoreless for the first 7 1/2 minutes before Austin Cook's basket put the Mustangs on the scoreboard.
The second quarter was much of the same for the Mustangs as they struggled to get into a rhythm offensively. They cut the William Penn lead to three with 3 1/2 minutes to go before the Bearcats went on a 9-1 run to end the half and head into the locker room with a 23-12 lead.
The Mustangs' struggles in the first half were not just from the floor. They were also a mere 3-for-8 from the free throw line.
"Our focus every game is to hit free throws," Bean said. "That didn't work today and it hurt us. We usually shoot pretty well from the line."
On the inbound play coming out of halftime, Duffy threw a half-court pass to Bean, who was alone underneath the basket, and laid it in. That was the start of a quarter that saw Bean explode for 15 of his 23 points.
The quarter also saw Duffy take his first shot of the game, a 3-pointer in which he was fouled. Duffy went on to hit 2-of-3 free throws. Until that point, William Penn's Stephen Dickson had been playing lockdown defense on Duffy, preventing him from getting the ball much of the night.
"They did a great job on Mike," Bean said. "I know he was getting frustrated. It is tough when they shut him down because it puts our offense in a tough spot."
Duffy would finish the game with five points.
"We focus on stopping (Duffy) every game," William Penn head coach Troy Sowers said. "Our game plan is the same, and Stephen did a great job on him again tonight. We made things very difficult for him."
With 37 seconds left in the third quarter, Bean hit a layup that gave him 18 points for the night and made South Western's all-time scoring leader, overtaking assistant coach Chad Tipton's previous record of 1,577.
"It is definitely a great honor for me," Bean said. "Chad was a great player and I know him very well. It is an honor to break the record. It is tough to do so in a loss. It was something I tried to do this year. I am glad it is over with, but I am glad it happened."
The Mustangs battled back in the fourth quarter as Duffy opened up South Western's scoring with a 3-pointer, his first basket, to cut the lead to 43-35. The Mustangs traded baskets with William Penn for much of the fourth quarter and were unable to cut any closer into the lead.
William Penn was led by Tavon Parker's 17 points, including 13 in the second half.
South Western now focuses their attention on the District 3 Class AAAA tournament, as it will prepare to play Cumberland Valley at home on Wednesday in the first round.
"We need to put this game behind us," Bean said. "It was a tough game. We wanted to, we thought we could win, but now we need to focus on (Cumberland Valley). We want to play in the Giant Center, so that is where we have to focus."
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SOUTH WESTERN (44)
Geiman 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, A. Cook 3 2-2 8, Robinson 0 0-2 0, McKercher 0 0-1 0, Lane 0 0-0 0, Staub 1 0-0 2, Parker Bean 10 3-8 23, Duffy 1 2-4 5, Hess 2 1-2 6. Totals 17 8-19 44.
WILLIAM PENN (57)
D. Wilson 0 0-0 0, Casiano 2 0-4 4, Rivera 0 0-0 0, Maddox 0 0-0 0, Ramel Stephens 3 5-7 12, S. Dickson 2 3-4 7, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Beard 2 0-0 4, Trey Shifflett 2 4-6 10, J. Wilson 1 1-2 3, Tavon Parker 6 4-6 17, D. Dickson 0 0-0 0. Totals18 17-29 57.
South Western 4 8 20 12 -- 44
William Penn 9 14 18 16 -- 57
3-point goals -- South Western 2 (Duffy, Hess); William Penn 4 (Shifflett 2, Parker, Stephens).