It's been a long time coming.
In its first two years as a member of the Mid-Penn Conference, Gettysburg High's boys basketball team took home the division crown in what was then Mid-Penn Division III, but the last time it happened was the 1993-94 season.
That is, until now.
The Warriors defeated Big Spring, 64-51, to clinch the Mid-Penn Colonial title outright in boys' basketball action Tuesday on Senior Night at Gettysburg.
"Relief is the word I would use to best describe winning tonight," Gettysburg head coach Jeff Bair said. "My first two years here were rough. We've been to districts almost every year since then, but this is the first true championship team we've had."
"It means a lot to everyone involved with Gettysburg basketball and everyone in the Gettysburg community."
Not only did the Warriors wrap up a division title for the first time in 19 years, senior Cody Kiefer made a little individual history himself.
With 2:42 to go in the first half, Kiefer received an entry pass on the right block from Ben Kroll. The 6-foot-6 forward spun into the lane and drained a short jumper. He was fouled and completed the 3-point play to crack the 1,000-point barrier for his career. Kiefer became the eighth boy in school history to reach the milestone and first since Adam Keefer in 2004.
Kiefer finished the night with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
"It's total relief and definitely a lot of happiness," Kiefer said, "but winning tonight means more than scoring 1,000. It gave us our first division title in 19 years and it was great to do it at home in front of friends and family."
Big Spring (5-14, 1-9) tried to play spoiler early as the Bulldogs took a 17-11 lead early in the second quarter before the Warriors battled back to tie it at 19.
Kiefer's milestone put the Warriors in front to stay and they led 28-22 at halftime.
Gettysburg (16-5, 11-0) ripped off a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to take control.
The win punches the Warriors' ticket to the Mid-Penn tournament for the first time, but they still have plenty to play for when they host Boiling Springs at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Gettysburg is in pursuit of a high seed in the District 3 Class AAA tournament.
"Saturday's game is probably worth three spots in the district seedings," Bair said. "We'd like to be number-three, but a loss could put us at number-six."
Later, Gettysburg's girls team kept its hopes of a third straight division title alive by beating Big Spring in overtime, 46-41.
Gettysburg (14-4, 9-2) is in a three-way tie in the loss column for the division lead with Big Spring (13-7, 8-2) and Boiling Springs (13-5, 8-2). The Lady Warriors host the Lady Bubblers at 5 p.m. Saturday.
On Tuesday, Big Spring held a 34-25 lead with 6:41 left before the Lady Warriors charged back by using a fullcourt press.
"I knew how tired the girls were getting, so I held off using the press as long as I could," Gettysburg head coach Casey Thurston said. "Finally, we had to go to it. I asked the girls in the timeout how much willpower they had to defend their (division) title and they showed a lot of it."
With Big Spring struggling to handle the pressure, Gettysburg cut into the lead quickly. Trailing 34-30, junior Cami Boehner, who struggled all night from the field, drained a 3-pointer with 3:42 left.
Lindsay Bower answered for the Lady Bulldogs with a runner in the lane with 3:01 left, but Maddie Weikert's triple from the left corner tied it for Gettysburg with 2:28 left in regulation.
"We missed a couple of easy layups that could've given us a bigger lead," Big Spring head coach Randy Jones said.
A timeout with 25.2 seconds left in regulation gave the Lady Warriors a chance to win it, but they failed to get a shot off.
Boehner started the scoring in overtime with a jumper just four seconds into the extra session. A layup by Arianna Camel off a beautiful assist from Ellen Bair doubled the lead, then Boehner's free throws with 1:28 upped the advantage to 42-36.
Big Spring got as close as 44-41 on Bower's 3-pointer with 35 seconds to go.
Despite shooting 7-of-21 from the field, Boehner finished with a game-high 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Bair added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists for the winners.
Bower paced the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points, while Dalida Camdzic pulled down 16 boards to go with eight points.
BIG SPRING (50)
Hickman 3 0-0 9, Isaiah Grier 2 5-7 10, Witter 1 0-0 3, Donica 0 1-2 1, Tyler Pion 6 4-4 17, Coyle 0 1-2 1, Herb 0 0-1 0, Bailey 1 3-4 6, Adams 1 1-2 3. Totals 14 15-22 50.
Kroll 3 0-0 9, Re 1 2-2 4, Bortner 3 0-1 9, Colbert 1 0-0 2, Ingalsbe 0 0-0 0, Tarbox 1 1-2 3, Cody Kiefer 9 1-1 21, Jo. Nye 3 2-2 9, Thomas 1 2-2 4, T. Lampe 1 1-2 3, Crushong 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 9-12 64.
Big Spring 9 13 10 18 -- 50
Gettysburg 9 19 18 18 -- 64
3-point goals -- Big Spring 7 (Hickman 3, Grier, Witter, Pion, Bailey); Gettysburg 9 (Kroll 3, Bortner 3, Kiefer 2, Jo. Nye ).
JV score -- Gettysburg 51, Big Spring 36.