FREDERICKSBURG, VA-The York College men’s basketball team saw their 2008-09 season come to an end as they fell to the University of Mary Washington 83-76 in the quarterfinal round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Tuesday night in Fredericksburg, VA. The Eagles, who improve to 14-11, advance to face second-seeded Wesley College in the tournament semifinals on Thursday night. The Spartans end their campaign with a mark of 9-17.
The Spartans did have one highlight during the evening as junior Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) became the 19th member of the York College men’s basketball 1,000 career point club. Brady canned a pair of free throws with 5:11 remaining in the game to reach the milestone.
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead only to have the Eagles tie the game and take a 14-7 lead courtesy of a 10-0 run. The Mary Washington lead quickly grew to 11 at 22-11 midway through the opening 20 minutes of play. The Eagles maintained the lead between seven and 12 points over the next seven minutes until the Spartans used a 7-0 spurt to cut the Eagle lead to 34-30 just 30 seconds before the half. The Eagles got a huge three pointer from Matt Hale just two seconds before the half as the hosts took a 37-30 lead to the break.
The Spartans trimmed the Eagle lead to three just a minute and a half into the second half on a Brady three but Mary Washington wasted little time in responding, as they fashioned an 11-4 run to push their lead to 49-39 with 13:23 left in regulation. The Mary Washington lead vacillated between seven and 11 points over the next four minutes. The Spartans then got to within six on a pair of Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) free throws with 7:21 left. The Eagles again responded with a 7-0 spurt that pushed the lead up to 13 at 69-56. York made one final run, cutting the lead to eight but Mary Washington scored the next five points to push the lead back to double figures. The Spartans would not get closer than their final seven-point deficit.
Brandon Altmann gashed the Spartan interior as he notched a double-double with a game-high 26 points and 17 rebounds. He was 9-for-16 from the floor and 8-for-13 from the line. Altmann also had three blocked shots in the game. The Eagles had three players add 13 points each. Hale added four assists, two steals and two rebounds while Tad Dickman chipped in with three assists and a rebound. Keirnan Whitworth was the other Eagle with a double-double as he pulled in 11 rebounds to go with his 13 points.
Brady led the Spartans with 17 points and eight rebounds. The junior was 5-for-12 from the floor, 3-for-4 from three, and 4-for-4 from the line. Kouvaris added 16 points and six rebounds in the final game of his freshman season. Kouvaris closed out a very strong first campaign in the green and white as he was 7-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-3 from the stripe. Junior Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) was the third Spartan in double figures with 14 points and two rebounds.
The Eagles finished the game shooting 45.5% from the floor but held a significant 16-8 edge in offensive rebounds. The Spartans shot 49.1% from the floor including 53.5% (8-for-15) from three. The Eagles went just 6-for-18 (33.3%) from three but held a huge 39-20 edge in free throw attempts. Mary Washington converted 27 off their attempts at the stripe while York shot 70%, making 14 of their 20 attempts.
Mary Washington ended the game holding a 38-29 edge on the glass and a 26-14 margin in points in the paint. The Spartans did have a 27-13 advantage in bench points for the game.
The two Spartan seniors, forward Pat Kelley (Davidsonville, Md./South River) and forward Mike Riley (Webster, N.Y. /McQuaid Jesuit), played their final game for York. Kelley had five points and five rebounds while Riley canned a three for his only basket late in the game.
Spartan head coach Jeff Gamber welcomes back a
very strong core of players for 2009-2010 as the Brady and Keefer
will lead a large contingent of juniors and sophomores that gained
valuable experience this season. Gamber will have nine letter
winners returning to Wolf Gymnasium next October.