William Penn dissects Central York in District 3 quarterfinal
HERSHEY >> William Penn hasn't lost a basketball game since Jan. 23 at Central York.
It can credit the rival Panthers for a 10-game win streak since then, which continued with a 71-47 dissection Saturday morning at Giant Center in the District 3 quarterfinals.
This is after the Bearcats (23-4) beat Central (19-8) by 13 points a week earlier in the YAIAA tournament final.
To William Penn coach Troy Sowers, a fourth meeting against their league rival was about fine tuning what went right eight days earlier: no pressing, staying back and switching defensive assignments.
Sowers thought it was the perfect counter to Central's offense, which relies on motion plays and back-door cuts to free open its weapons.
"In my nine years, we've never played this defense," Sowers said, "but we talked about it and put it in."
The thought came about two weeks ago, Sowers said, in preparation for West York and Central in the league tourney.
His team's last loss to Central, a 75-64 setback, came with the Panthers beating the full-court press and a tired Bearcats squad by the fourth quarter.
"We saw that in the last game we lost," junior Montrel Morgan said. "We saw that we needed to talk more on defense because we had a lot of mistakes. Talking helps a lot."
So did a conservative approach to Central's talented ball handlers. William Penn wound up forcing 16 turnovers while committing just nine. Morgan paced the effort with three steals.
Teammates Brandon Smallwood and Jahaire Wilson each gobbled up 10 rebounds while anchoring the interior. Wilson also blocked two shots, but six of his rebounds came on the offensive end. The 6-foot-4 senior also scored a game-high 17 points while again coming off the bench.
Wilson was one of four Bearcats with double-figure points, part of a balance he credited as the difference since their last defeat.
"No ball hogging," Wilson said. "That's what it is."
William Penn registered assists on 19 of its 32 baskets. Morgan, being the point guard, set that trend in motion with 10 assists. C.J. Boxley added another five.
"It's fun when you're sharing the ball, and it's moving so fast," Morgan said. "It was part of our game plan, and we executed it perfectly."
The 6-2 guard opened Saturday morning by taking a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. It bounced high before falling in, and neither Morgan nor the Bearcats seemed to miss the rest of the day.
Morgan shot 6-of-10 and scored 16 points, benefitting from his experience last year at Giant Center in the Class A district final for New Hope Academy.
"It helped a lot," Morgan said. "I was really used to shooting the ball. It was great."
Despite the 10 a.m. start, Morgan said he had more time to practice shooting before this quarterfinal. The third-seeded Bearcats finished 32-of-60 (compared to just 18-of-48 for Central) from the floor and advanced to a 6:30 p.m. semifinal Tuesday back at Giant Center. There are no presale tickets, William Penn athletic director Joe Chiodi said.
The question is, which defense will Sowers use next against No. 2 Cedar Cliff?
"The good thing about these guys is they can adjust to any game plan we want to do," he said. "I just like the intelligence of my guys to be able to go and stick to whatever game plan we put out there."
Sam Saxton and Brandon Shaffer each scored 11 points to lead Central, which plays Northeastern on Tuesday in the consolation bracket at Northern York. All quarterfinalists qualified for next month's PIAA tournament.
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.
William Penn 71, Central York 47
CENTRAL YORK (47)
Falci 2 0-0 6, Brandon Shaffer 4 0-0 11, Sam Saxton 3 2-4 11, Wagner 1 0-0 3, Gingrich 3 0-0 6, Cal. Luckenbaugh 2 0-0 4, Markey 0 0-0 0, Marino 2 0-0 4, Harter 1 0-0 2, Car. Luckenbaugh 0 0-0 0, Edmonds 0 0-0 0, Sobestanovich 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 18 2-4 47.
WILLIAM PENN (71)
Montrel Morgan 6 2-2 16, Trey Shifflett 5 0-0 11, Shaw 3 0-0 6, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Brandon Smallwood 7 0-0 14, Jahaire Wilson 8 1-1 17, Boxley 0 0-0 0, Casiano 1 0-0 2, Sweeney 1 0-0 3, Delmotte 0 0-0 0, McCarter 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 32 3-3 71.
Central York6101318—47William Penn20171420—71
3-point goals — CY 9 (Shaffer 3, Saxton 3, Falci 2, Wagner), WP 4 (Morgan 2, Shifflett, Sweeney).