Central York pulls out of funk to top Cedar Crest
SOUTH LEBANON – For a brief moment, a successful season for the Central York boys' basketball team looked to be headed for an early finish.
But only briefly.
The Panthers recovered from an eight-point deficit on the road to defeat Cedar Crest 64-48 in the District 3 Class 6A first round on Tuesday night. Next up for Central York (18-8) will be another road test at Reading in Friday's quarterfinals.
Tuesday's contest was at its most competitive in the third quarter, when Landyn Ray and Garrett Markey showed a knack for timely scoring. Up 27-24 in the opening minute of the period, Ray and Markey made back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Panthers' lead to 33-24.
Those were Ray's first points of the game, but he finished with a team-high 19.
“My teammates kept trying to find me,” Ray said. “I kept looking for my shot. … Once I made one, I knew I'd be good.”
Perhaps Ray's most important basket came at the end of the third. After Markey's third 3-point shot of the third put Central York up 41-36, Cedar Crest (15-8) held the ball for the final shot. But their attempt at a trey missed, and the Panthers were able to get into transition for a buzzer-beating layup by Ray.
The Falcons held for the last shot in the first two periods as well, but both times the Panthers forced turnovers.
“When it's getting late in the quarter, we have the right guys on the court to get a stop,” Central York head coach Kevin Schieler said.
Ray scored Central York's first seven points of the fourth quarter for a 50-37 lead with 6:17 to play. The Panthers maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
The comfortable ending seemed unlikely when the Panthers trailed 13-5 late in the first quarter. Central York did not score in the last 4:42 of the opening stanza.
“I don't think we were ready on the defensive end for their game play,” Schieler said. “We weren't keeping them out to the sidelines.”
But the Panther defense recovered, keeping Cedar Crest from scoring for the last 3:20 of the first to keep the deficit within reason.
In the second quarter, the Central York offense started to find its rhythm. Courtney Batts, who scored all seven of his points in the frame, put the Panthers ahead 19-18 with 4:11 left in the second with a 3-pointer. Cedar Crest tied the game one time after that, but never regained the lead.
Markey finished with 14 points, while Niko Sobestanovich added 11.
The Panthers had a slight statistical advantage with a 20-18 edge in rebounds and a 17-14 edge in takeaways.