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York Country Day head coach Corey Stiles paced in front of his team's bench, waving his arms and shouting. His excitement was palpable as the seconds ticked away in York Country Day's 51-42 victory against the Sullivan County Griffins in the first round of the PIAA Class A boys' basketball tournament at Dallastown High School Friday.

A 19-point third quarter helped York Country Day overcome a 25-24 halftime deficit.

“I’m so proud of my guys in there,” Stiles said. “They earned it. They deserved it. We worked hard all week leading up to states. Even in districts, and even all season they earned it. I’m happy for those guys.”

It marked York Country Day's first state tournament victory since the 2002 team reached the state quarterfinals.

Coming off the school’s first district title, the Greyhounds opened their first state tournament appearance on a sluggish note. They ended the first quarter ahead by only one but then watched as the Griffins quickly took the lead to open up the second. Sullivan County (22-5) led by five before York Country Day (23-0) started to answer.

Then in the third, the Greyhounds flipped the switched.

They opened the second half on a 6-0 run, and their aggressive defensive pressure forced the Griffins to turn the ball over. By the end of the third the Greyhounds opened a 13-point lead and looked to be in control.

“We just gotta get up and pressure guys,” Stiles said about the third-quarter turnaround. “Then when we pressure get hands on the balls. Get deflections, then we get out in transition and then we get easy buckets …. That’s what really did it for us in the third quarter, and that’s what really does it for us.”

The Griffins gave York Country day a bit of a scare in the fourth. They put up seven points to start the final period before Sullivan County’s shooting cooled off. It wouldn’t be until the 2:37 mark that the Greyhounds would put their first points on the board, but their defense held off the Griffins when they needed to.

“It feels like we need that push, like a need for us to score,” DeAireus Brown said about the fourth. “We shouldn’t need that at all. We should be able to just come out and do what we need to do.”

Brown finished the game with a game-high 23 points. Jordan Ray finished second on the Greyhounds with 10 points.

Like Stiles, Brown appreciated how much York Country Day has accomplished this season.

“It’s crazy to think about how people could look down on it 50 years from now,” he said. “And say, ‘Wow, look at what that team did and how long it took them to do it.’ It’s crazy to think about it.”

Sullivan County  (42)

Lovelady 0 0-0 0, J. Pedro 4 0-1 8, Shultz 2 2-4 6, Ja. Saxe 0 0-0 0, Rodriguez 1 0-0 3, Hottenstein 0 0-0 0, Jor. Pedro 1 0-0 2, Baumunk 2 0-0 4, Brown 0 0-0 0, Gordner 0 0-0 0, Baldwin 1 1-2 4, John Saxe 5 4-7 15. Totals — 16 7-14 42.

York Country Day (51)

Goodstein 0 0-0 0, Gertz 2 1-1 5, Hamilton 2 6-6 10, Yerg 0 0-0 0, Greisler 0 1-2 1, DeAireus Brown 9 3-5 23, Jordan Ray 5 0-4 10, Gladfelter 0 0-0 0 Wymard 1 0-0 2, Lee 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 11-18 51.

Sullivan Cty _ 12 _ 13 _ 6 _ 11 _ — _ 42

YCD _ 13 _ 11 _ 19 _ 8 _ — _ 51

3-point goals — YCD 2 (Brown), Sul 3 (Saxe, Baldwin, Rodriguez).

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