Central York goes inside, gets the win
Saturday night's YAIAA boys' basketball tournament quarterfinal between Central York and Hanover presented an obvious clash of styles. On one side, you had the free-shooting Nighthawks, who chucked up 20 3-pointers on Saturday, (and made nine of them). Those three-balls were the chief reason for Hanover's frantic comeback, which fell one shot short during a 51-50 defeat. On the other side, you had Central York, a team that has turned around its season in large part by shunning the long-range shot. The Panthers attempted just one 3-pointer Friday -- which Ricky Mosley drained in the first quarter. Really, the the difference in this Central team is staggering. The Panthers look more patient, more disciplined and more mature than they did earlier in the season. They look determined to exploit their size and skill at the forward position, in the form of seniors Kyle Wisner (6-4) and Ricky Mosley (6-3) and junior Spencer Ortmyer (6-6). All that was showcased Saturday, in a game that also turned out to be head coach Marty Hasenfuss' 300th win. Well, except in that fourth quarter. Before that frame, it looked like Central would simply grind down their opponents. On some possessions, the Panthers whipped around between 10 and 15 passes before finally settling on a shot they liked. Of Central's 20 made field goals Saturday, all but four came on shots inside the paint. It's that ultra-efficient style which has helped Hasenfuss' team win nine of its last 10 games, and turned Central into a scary-looking team going forward. "It was kind of by necessity that we had to change a little bit and adapt to the way we played earlier in the year," Hasenfuss said Saturday, referring to the ineligibility of junior Tremaine Bowman, the team's best shooter. "I thought the first three quarters we were extremely patient. Even when they came out and played zone against us, we were able to work the ball inside and get the shots that we wanted to. "They've really been patient, and it's not always easy to play that way. I think the other thing it does is it helps us defensively, because teams don't get as many possessions. We're forcing them, whether you play man or zone, you're going to have to play defense against us for a while, if we're patient." Added Mosley, who scored a team-high 22 on Saturday: "Coach wants us to do five passes before we shoot. We wanted to run some clock, since we were up, and we pounded the ball inside and got easy buckets." Now if the Panthers can just keep it that way for all four quarters. Central's win sets up an enticing semifinal against William Penn. The Division I-champion Bearcats won both the teams' prior meetings this season, but both those games were close. I covered the second of those contests, during which Central made several fourth-quarter charges, only to be turned away by William Penn. If Wednesday's game is anything like that, it should be a fun one to watch.