Central York guard Jared Wagner talks about his team's 63-49 win over Hempfield in the District 3 Class AAAA quarterfinals.

Panthers will face the winner of Saturday night's Spring Grove vs. J.P. McCaskey quarterfinal


HERSHEY – Jared Wagner is pace. He’s precision. He’s offense, defense, shooting, passing.

And all he wants next is a chance to be part of a district championship team.

Central York dismantled Hempfield, 63-49, Saturday afternoon in the capper of a District 3 Class AAAA boys’ basketball quarterfinal tripleheader at Giant Center.

Next up is Tuesday’s 8 p.m. semifinal back at Giant Center against the winner of Saturday night’s McCaskey vs. Spring Grove quarterfinal. Hempfield will play the loser of that game in a 7:30 p.m. consolation at Dallastown.

Wagner led Kevin Schieler’s top-seeded Panthers (22-3) in just about every category, posting 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Central built a double-digit lead early in the second quarter, and Danny Walck’s Black Knights (15-8), despite playing a much better second half, would never again seriously threaten.

“We played really good defensively,” Wagner said after his team limited the Knights to 12 points on 6-of-20 shooting in the first half. “We watched their film against Cedar Crest, and they had a bunch of longer possessions. So we knew getting off to a fast start and making them play our speed would be really important this game.”

The Panthers, who took the lead for good on Onterio Edmonds’ 3-pointer midway through the first quarter, stretched that advantage to 20 points (32-12) by intermission.

“The way we came out on the defensive end, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Schieler said. “We could do it for both halves, but we’re really happy obviously to continue to hold teams below 50 points, and that’s a big part of our success recently.”

Courtney Batts gave the Panthers a big lift off the bench, tallying 14 points, including 3-pointers in both the second and third quarters.

The latter came with 45 seconds left and Hempfield battling to make it competitive. A 16-8 run had pulled the Knights within 14, with Connor Moffatt bucketing 11 of his team-high 21 points in that stanza.

But Central just had too much Wagner, too much discipline and too much savvy to be denied.

“I don’t have my finger on it,” Walck said. “Is it the wow factor of being at the Giant Center? They’re an experienced group that’s been here; we haven’t experienced it.

“The thing you have to take away from this is how we fought in the second half. We fought. We could have been buried, but we fought, and I’m proud of that. That’s who my team is. As a coach, I need to figure out that first 16 to help them.”

Walck also gave serious praise for Wagner, who scored at least six points in each quarter.

“He controls the game because of that high basketball IQ. He constantly has an awareness of how we can make other people better. That’s a sign of a really good player.”

Hempfield (49)

Green 1 0-2 2, R. Moffatt 2 1-2 5, Connor Moffatt 10 1-1 21, Bryan Karl 4 0-0 10, Mitchell 2 0-1 5, Hilton 0 0-0 0, Blair 0 0-0 0, Martin 3 0-0 6, White 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 2-6 49.

Central York (63)

Edmonds 2 4-4 9, O’Neill 2 0-0 4, N. Markey 1 2-2 4, Jared Wagner 8 11-15 28, Sobestanovich 1 0-2 2, Courtney Batts 4 4-6 14, G. Markey 0 0-0 0, Ray 0 0-0 0, Czulada 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 21-29 63.

Hempfield _ 6 _ 6 _ 20 _ 17 _ — _ 49

Central York _ 14 _ 18 _ 15 _ 16 _ — _ 63

3-point goals — Hem 3 (Karl 2, Mitchell); CY 4 (Batts 2, Wagner Edmonds).

Rebounds – Hem 20 (Karl 4); CY 31 (Wagner 8). Assists – Hem 12 (C.Moffatt 4); CY 8 (Wagner 3). Steals – Hem 10 (C.Moffatt 4, Mitchell 4); CY 7 (O’Neill 2, Wagner 2). Blocks – Hem 2 (Karl 2); CY 1 (Czulada 1). Turnovers – Hem 14; CY 13. Fouls – Hem 25; CY 8. Fouled out: Blair, C.Moffatt, Martin.

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