YORK, PA-The York College men’s basketball squad tallied a season-high 99 points en route to a 99-76 win over Eastern University in the semifinal round of the 2008 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic presented by Best Western on Friday night at the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center. The Spartans, winners of three straight, improve to 7-4 overall while the Eagles fall to 3-5.
The green and white found themselves down early as Eastern held a 17-9 lead just over five minutes into the contest. The Spartans battled back to tie the game at 17. There were four more ties over the next seven minutes with the final tie coming at 29 with 5:50 left in the half. York senior Levi Winters (Manchester, PA/Northeastern) then caught fire as he canned three pointers on consecutive trips followed by a pair of free throws that ignited a 18-6 run to close the half and give the green and white a 47-35 edge at the break.
The Eagles came out of the intermission and trimmed the York lead to six at 51-45 with 16:34 remaining. The Spartans lead wavered between six and 12 points over the next four minutes before the hosts slammed the door on their guests with a 28-9 run that turned a 58-49 lead into an 86-58 bulge. The Spartans pushed the lead to as many 30 before the Eagles scored 11 of the final 15 points of the game to make the final score more cosmetic.
The Spartans were paced by Winters as the senior notched a career-high 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in 27 minutes of action. Winters made a season-high four three pointers as he was 4-for-7 from distance while he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Senior All-American Chad McGowan (Dallastown, PA/Dallastown) added 20 points and nine rebounds in an efficient 23 minutes of play. McGowan was 9-of-16 from the floor for the green and white. Sophomore Nick Brady (Hanover, PA/Delone Catholic) added 14 points, four rebounds and a steal while senior Nate Lankford (York, PA/West York) was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 11 points and five rebounds in a mere 18 minutes as he was in early foul trouble. Freshman Matty Foley (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) had another strong outing with eight points, four assists, a rebound and a steal in 15 minutes of action.
The Eagles received 12 points from Matt Flanagan and Joe Manzo. Flanagan was 5-for-9 from the floor including 2-for-5 from distance. Manzo was 3-for-4 from the floor including 2-for-3 from three while he also converted all four of his free throw attempts. Daryl Leegwater added six points and a game-high five boards for Eastern.
The Spartans shot 50.7% from the floor, their second straight game that they have reached the 50% mark from the field. The Spartans shot an even hotter 55.6% from three as they made 10-of-their-18 attempts from beyond the arc. The Eagles shot 45.9% from the floor and 30.4% from three. The Eagles struggled from the free throw line as they converted just 54.2% of their 24 attempts from the stripe.
York handed out a season-high 28 assists with 11 different Spartans recording at least one helper in the game. The Spartans converted 18 Eastern turnovers into 29 points while they also held a significant 50-32 edge on the glass. That rebounding edge led the Spartans to an 18-2 margin in second-chance points. Eastern finished the game with just six offensive rebounds as they all came in the second half.
The Spartans will face off against 10-0 Elizabethtown in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday at 6:00 pm. Eastern faces off against Johns Hopkins in the tournament consolation game at 2:00 pm.
Levi Winters photo courtesy of Eric Linsley