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Title game to remember

In the long history of the District 3 basketball tournament, William Penn and Harrisburg had never met in the title game until last weekend. In fact, no Harrisburg school (John Harris or William Penn Harrisburg) had matched up against the Bearcats in a district championship.

That's somewhat understandable. William Penn and Harrisburg (John Harris/William Penn Harrisburg) had been old Central Penn League rivals. Until the 1970s, teams only qualified for the district tournament by winning their league. Playing in the same league, William Penn and Harrisburg schools obviously never had a chance to play under such a scenario.

But Harrisburg's 78-76 overtime victory was worth the wait.

The two team's combined to play one of the highest-scoring championship game's in the district's 90-year history.

Only Upper Dauphin's 93-69 shootout victory against New Oxford to win the Class C title in 1964 topped the 154 points the Cougars and Bearcats scored Saturday. (Note: The YDR and GameTimePA originally reported the game was the highest-scoring championship game by using District 3's record book. Those records are wrong according to published scores by more than one newspaper from March 6, 1964. Upper Dauphin scored 93 not 83 points.) The 93 points scored by Upper Dauphin is the most by any team in District 3 championship history.

Also of note, the Bearcats have participated in two of the top four scoring games in the district's long history. The 1980 Bearcats team (with future NFL Hall of Famer Chris Doleman in the post and Steve Orr running the show at point guard) combined with C.D. East to score 152 points.

Highest-scoring District 3 championship games, total points:

162: Upper Dauphin* defeated New Oxford, 93-69 (1964 Class C -- smallest classification) 

154: Harrisburg defeated William Penn (York), 78-76 in overtime (2013 Class AAAA) 

154: Middletown defeated Upper Dauphin Area, 82-72 (1972 Class B -- middle classification)  -- the District 3 program erroneously lists this game as a showdown between Middletown/Wyomissing

152: William Penn (York) defeated Central Dauphin East, 77-75 (1980 Class AAA -- largest classification) 

* District basketball fans might not blink at William Penn's high-scoring history, after all its a big school with 10 district titles in its history. The presence of Upper Dauphin, however, in two of the four highest-scoring championship games might force some fans to raise an eyebrow. Upper Dauphin, however, put together a series of title runs under Gordie Foster, a coach who retired in 1995 as the District 3 leader in career victories (640) -- winning four district titles and coaching in 10 D3 championship games during his time at Upper Dauphin.