Dallastown was given a third chance to defeat South Western when the teams met Wednesday evening in a YAIAA boys' basketball tournament semifinal.
The Wildcats had dropped both Division I regular-season games to the Mustangs, by five points in January and by two points earlier this month.
A close first half gave way to a South Western surge in the second half, as the Mustangs stormed to a 54-34 win at Red Lion High School.
"It's tough to beat a team three times in a season. We did it against a very good Dallastown team," South Western coach Nate Brodbeck said. "The second half made the difference."
The victory gives South Western a second chance at William Penn for the YAIAA tournament crown. The Bearcats defeated South Western, 59-52, for last season's title.
"To get back here gives us another chance," Brodbeck said. "That's all we want. It's nice we get a shot at the championship. We really want to beat them.
"We say we've been here before, and our older guys have. We also have some guys who haven't been here before, and now they have a season of experience under their belts."
South Western (17-6) took control of the game with a 20-point third quarter, thanks to seniors Mike Duffy and Parker Bean.
The 5-foot-11 Duffy scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the quarter, sinking two 3-pointers and a layup off a steal. Duffy was part of a Mustangs defense that hounded Dallastown into five third-quarter turnovers after only committing four in the first half.
"We forced them into some uncharacteristic turnovers I thought," Brodbeck said. "Duffy is quick. He's a good basketball player. He has a good instinct for where the ball is going to be. He hit a couple of threes at the right time too."
The 6-6 Bean spent some in the first half on the bench in foul trouble but established himself inside in the second half. Bean scored 11 of his 13 points in the final two quarters.
"We came out in the second half and had to get Parker the ball," Brodbeck said. "That was the key. I felt like we established that in the second half, and it made a big difference in the game."
Dallastown (14-10) trailed 38-21 entering the final quarter and could not make up any ground, connecting on just four fourth-quarter field goals and shooting 12-of-28 from the field for the game.
"You have nights like this," said Dallastown coach Mike Grassel. "It's a shame it had to happen in this game. We had a rough patch, but credit South Western for making plays. That's a good
"We were a bit impatient, didn't play our brand of basketball for a stretch, and that's all it takes in a game like this."
Both teams were equally slow to open the game, as Dallastown managed only an Ethan Sutton field goal in the first eight minutes on 1-of-8 shooting. The Mustangs were 3-of-10 in the same stretch. South Western shot 3-of-14 in the second quarter still clung to an 18-15 halftime lead.
"I thought we got outworked in the first half," Brodbeck said. "I thought we were lucky to be ahead, but to only give up 15 points in the first half and 34 in the game? That's great defense, and it was the first thing I told them in the locker room after the game."
Sutton, a 6-foot senior guard, was the lone bright spot offensively for Dallastown, as he scored a team-high 13 points. Junior Ben Doorn added six points. South Western also got 10 points from senior forward Austin Cook.
Dallastown opens its District 3 Class AAAA tournament play at 7 p.m. Friday against host Hempfield, the No. 14 seed. The Wildcats come into the 20-team event seeded 19th.
"There is something to be said for a team that lost eight seniors to be in the semifinals of the county tournament," Grassel said. "I'm proud of them and their efforts."
SOUTH WESTERN (54)
Geiman 2 0-0 5, Smith 1 0-0 3, Austin Cook 4 2-4 10, Robinson 0 3-4 3, Parker Bean 5 3-4 13, Mike Duffy, 6 4-4 19.Totals 18 13-19 54.
Gibbs 1 0-0 3, Small 2 0-0 4, Ethan Sutton 5 2-2 13, Robertson 2 2-2 6, Dooth 1 4-4 6, Ludwig 1 0-0 2.Totals. 12 8-8 34
Southwestern 8 10 20 16 -- 54
Dallastown 2 13 6 13 -- 34
3-point goals -- DT 2 (Gibbs, Sutton), SW5 (Geiman, Smith, Duffy, 3)