Blazers pull off upset of York Catholic
After just 90 seconds, the York Catholic boys' basketball team trailed Lancaster Mennonite by seven points.
That theme would last the entire duration of Saturday's District 3 Class AA quarterfinal game between the No. 3 seeded Irish and the sixth-seeded Blazers.
York Catholic closed the second and third quarters on strong runs but could never quite get over the hump as the Blazers pulled out the 62-44 upset victory.
"We just couldn't get all the way back," Irish head coach Blaine Claiborne said. "Just our start. They made shots, and we didn't. That's pretty much what it boils down to."
For the game, the Blazers were 21-of-36 from the field, and the Irish were just 21-of-57.
The Irish (17-5) scored six points in the first quarter and trailed by 13 points after the first eight minutes.
"When you have a young team and you can make some plays early on, that does wonders," Mennonite head coach Geoff Groff said. "The pressure was on them to come back into the game."
York Catholic ran off the second quarter's final eight points to trail 31-24 at halftime, but the Blazers (13-12) responded in the third quarter.
The Blazers led by as many as 19 in the third quarter, before the Irish once again went on a 8-0 run to close the period. At the end of the third quarter, Catholic trailed, 47-36.
"To their credit, they played so hard," Groff said of the Irish. "Our guys just kept finding a way."
In the fourth quarter, with 1:29 to play, following a D'Andre Davis bucket, the Irish trailed 52-44, but that would be the final time the home team registered any points.
"We didn't have to do anything different," Claiborne said of those successful end of quarter runs. "We like to run and jump. It's not a complicated game. You make your shots and play good defense."
The Blazers scored the game's final 10 points and were led by Cody Hurst and Richie Rosas, who each scored 16 points. Hurst also led the team with nine rebounds.
Lancaster Mennonite advances to play second-seeded Trinity at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Giant Center.
York Catholic, who hadn't played since Feb. 5, was led by Kyle Derowski's 14 points. Davis, who battled foul trouble, finished with 12 points.
"It's hard to tell. We got thousands of shots up (at practice) this week," Claiborne said of the layoff. "I cant remember when I played if we had a layoff this long. If you want to stay fresh, you got to win."
For Claiborne, there is still work to be done as the team looks toward next season.
"The first time I met the team, I was pointing at banners and talking about that's what we want," Claiborne said. "I'm not into moral victories. I want to win. I wanted to win at least 20 games this year, so I'm disappointed."
Lancaster Mennonite (62)
Kerr 2 0-0 5, Buckwalter 0 0-0 0, Ca. Hurst 2 4-6 8, Cody Hurst 4 8-10 16, Gillespie 4 1-4 9, Richie Rosas 6 2-2 16, Philippe 3 0-0 8, Stefonosky 0 0-0 0. Totals — 21 15-22 62.
York Catholic (44)
McNamara 0 0-0 0, Kyle Derowski 7 0-0 14, Forjan 3 1-1 8, Smith 1 0-1 2, Echevarria 0 0-0 0, D'Andre Davis 6 0-4 12, Bauhof 2 0-0 4, Nigro 0 0-0 0, Brennan 2 0-2 4. Totals — 21 1-8 44.
3-point goals: LM 5, (Philippe 2, Rosas 2, Kerr); YC 1, (Forjan).