Catchings dazzles, but Dallastown's final shot doesn't fall
CARLISLE -- On the outside looking in the previous two years, Dallastown boys’ basketball just wanted an invitation to the District 3 tournament and a chance to show what they could do.
Finally over the hump after earning a spot in the big-school bracket this season, the Wildcats showed why they just wanted to reach the postseason on Tuesday night. On the road, in front of a near-capacity crowd at Gene Evans Gymnasium in Carlisle, the No. 12-seeded Wildcats had No. 5 Carlisle — and one of the best players in all of District 3 — locked in a back-and-forth struggle.
The Wildcats just fell short, falling 80-77 to Carlisle and Deshawn Millington in the first round of the Class 6A bracket.
The loss marks an end to the season for Dallastown (14-9), while Carlisle (16-7) advances to play at Harrisburg (16-6) on Friday.
Millington finished with 20 points, but it was Dallastown senior guard Donovan Catchings who opened the most eyes. The Wildcats were playing without leading scorer Brandon McGlynn, who did not travel after suffering a late-season concussion.
But Catchings went out in style. He scored a career-high 29 points, knocking down 13 points in the second quarter to keep the Wildcats in the game early. He added 10 more in a back-and-forth fourth quarter.
“Just (had) to look to be more aggressive and get to the basket more,” Catchings said of adjusting to playing without McGlynn.
“It was a disappointment losing, but, you know, I’m proud of my high school career. … And I’m proud of these guys for fighting with me and finally getting here (to the district tournament).”
Dallastown had a last-second attempt to tie the game, but even after Millington stripped Catchings of the ball on the wing Dallastown’s Da’Trail Albert grabbed the ball and lifted a 3-pointer from the corner that hit the iron and bounced out.
“We knew, without our leading scorer we all had to step up,” said Albert, who scored 22 points.
After Carlisle started the game with an 11-3 run, Dallastown bounced back. The Wildcats scored 23 points in the second quarter.
“They started hitting a lot of early shots, a lot of deep 3s,” said Carlisle’s Gavyn Barnes, who scored a team-high 22 points.
Dallastown held its final lead with about 3:30 to go, when Carlisle managed to make the big plays and hit its free throws to go in front.
“I knew this was a big one and we had to come out of here with a win,” Barnes said.
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