York Country Day dominant in district title victory
HERSHEY - For the second straight year, York Country Day is the District 3 Class 1A boys' basketball champion.
And for the second straight year, the Greyhounds took home the title in dominant fashion. York County Day cruised to an 85-58 win against Lancaster Country Christian School on Thursday at Giant Center.
“We play our game, we play how we know how to play, we should be good," senior forward Jordan Ray said. "We pick up our defensive intensity, the domination is going to come easy.”
It most certainly did Thursday.
For the first two quarters, Lancaster County Christian hung tough. Both teams shot the ball well (combining for 11 3-pointers), with whistles and turnovers at a minimum, and the Greyhounds (19-4) took a competitive 36-31 lead at intermission.
But the pendulum quickly swung in the second half. The Greyhounds opened the third quarter by trapping and forcing steals on virtually every defensive possession. It was a vicious downward spiral for the Lions after that, as Lancaster Catholic appeared to get flustered. The Greyhounds, on the other hand, were off to the races with scoring opportunities at or near the basket on the other end.
The Greyhounds outscored the Lions 25-9 in the third quarter. From there, claiming the title appeared to be a matter of time.
"Even though we had a slim lead in the first half, we continued to battle," said York Country Day coach Chris Charleston. "We were the better team. Our five kids are better than their five kids, when you stack it up.”
The Greyhounds were top heavy, at least when looking at the box score. Just five players scored for York Country Day on the evening. One of those players, Luke Greisler, finished with just three points, while another, Greg Gladfelter, finished with just one.
The three others shined, however.
The 6-foot-3 Ray was particularly unstoppable, finishing with 39 points while knocking down seven 3-pointers.
“Jordan was killing it. He couldn’t miss from the 3-point line," said fellow senior forward DeAireus Brown. "He’s really good. Tall, he’s athletic. He plays football so he can catch the ball. He can do a lot. Well-rounded.”
Late in the regular season, Ray said, he fell under the weather and went into a bit of a shooting slump. But he got in the gym this past weekend, primarily to work on his jumper. And it paid dividends, he said, pointing to his 32-point performance in Monday's semifinal win against Mount Calvary Christian.
“He’s playing good basketball right now," Charleston said. "Really playing with a lot of confidence.”
Brown added 29 points, 13 of which came in the decisive third quarter run. And Jalen Gorham, a 6-foot-4 sophomore transfer from Trinity, added 13.
It was another dominant performance for the Greyhounds, who tore through the tournament competition. Their closest margin of victory was 16 points, coming in a 48-32 victory over High Point in the quarterfinals.
As players celebrated postgame, Brown, a former student at Northeastern High School, was asked if his team could compete in YAIAA Division I or II. He didn't hesitate when answering.
“We’d definitely have a good chance, getting through and coming to districts. Championship. No doubt," he said. "There is no ceiling with us.”
District 3 Class 1A past champions
2017: York Country Day
2016: York Country Day
2015: Hilda Goodling Impact Academy
2014: New Hope Charter
2011: Central Catholic
2010: Central Catholic