January 19, 2009

Wesley Avoids Spartans' Monday Night Upset Bid

YORK, PA – The York College men’s basketball team suffered a tough 93-85 Capital Athletic Conference defeat to Wesley College Monday evening from York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center. The loss drops the Spartans to 4-12 on the year including 2-5 in the CAC while the Wolverines up their season mark to 9-5 and a sparkling 6-0 in conference play.
     Wesley opened the game attempting to establish a frenetic pace. The extremely athletic Wolverines overplayed on defense and double-teamed York’s ball-handlers looking to create turnovers while they pushed the ball on every opportunity.
     The young Spartans quickly adjusted to Wesley’s aggressive style and started beating the Wolverines with back-door cuts and drives to the basket. Behind their heady play, York took their first lead of the game at 15-14 at the 12:43 mark on a traditional three-point play by junior guard Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic).  
     After the two sides trades buckets over the next 1:20, the Spartans would capture a 22-19 lead on a Brady triple and then extend that lead to as much as seven on three occasions. York’s final seven-point margin came with 7:49 remaining in the first just before Wesley mounted an extended 14-2 run over a 3:52 span. That spurt gave Wesley a five-point lead with 3:57 to play in the first.
     York was able to stay well within striking distance throughout the rest of the half, dwindling their guests’ lead to a mere two at 42-40 heading into the break.
     In the first period, the Green and White shot a solid 47.4% from the field on 18-for-38 shooting but were only 1-for-5 from deep. Wesley hit 45.7% of their attempts knocking down 5-of-18 from beyond the arc. Additionally, the taller Spartans significantly outrebounded their counterparts 30-12 over the first 20 minutes.    
     York climbed back into the lead 1:40 into the second half, taking a 46-45 lead. Over the next eight minutes, neither side could gain an advantage of more than two points save for one Wesley four-point margin at the 15:13 mark.  
     With 10:29 remaining the game, freshman Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons), who had posted an outstanding first-half with 14 points and nine rebounds, canned a free throw to give the Spartans a 61-60 lead. Unfortunately for the Green and White, it would prove to be their final lead of the game.
     Evan Martin, Wesley’s lightning-quick point guard, then knocked down two of his 14 points on the Wolverine’s next possession to give his squad a 62-61 advantage with 10:20 to play.
     York kept the score tight, as they found themselves down only three with 6:42 showing on the game clock. However, three straight Spartan turnovers resulted in five Wolverine points, including one of Rashawn Johnson’s four triples, which opened the lead to 73-65 with 5:08 to go in the game.
     Despite the Spartans valiant effort at a comeback, the Wolverines had an answer for nearly every York basket. Wesley iced the game down the stretch with a 6-for-10 showing at the charity stripe over the last 41 seconds including a 4-for-4 performance by Johnson.
     For the game, the Spartans canned 34 of their 71 attempts for 47.9% from the floor and were 4-for-10 from deep. Wesley went 52.4% from the field on 33-for-63 and nailed 12-of-28 from three. The Spartans maintained their dominance on the glass nabbing 49 caroms to Wesley’s 25 for the game while tallying 54 points in the paint to Wesley’s 38. York turned many of their offensive rebounds into points, registering 26 second-chance scores. The Wolverine’s gained 27 points off 22 Spartan turnovers and recorded 19 fast break points.
     Kouvaris had one of his best all-around performances of his young career. The rookie was able to display his unique athleticism in notching a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds on an efficient 9-for-11 shooting and 1-for-2 from the stripe. Brady tallied a team-high 21 points on the evening, as he seems to have found comfort in his sixth-man role. Brady went 7-for-14 from the floor including 3-of-5 from deep and 4-of-5 from the line. Junior forward Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) poured in 14 points while hitting all six of his free throws. Freshman guard Matt Moley (York, Pa./West York) was the fourth Spartan in double-digits as he totaled ten points, while sophomore guard Dylan Hoffman (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) dished-out a team-high six assists.
     Wesley’s Rashawn Johnson, the early front-runner for the league’s Player-of-the-Year honors, posted a game-high 30 points on a scalding 10-for-15 shooting including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Johnson nailed all six of his free throw attempts and chipped in a pair of steals over his team-high 37 minutes. Kevin Johnson added 18 points on a strong 6-for-10 from the floor including 3-of-5 from three and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. Martin’s 14 came courtesy of a 5-for-14 performance with four of those field goals coming from beyond the arc while he lead the Wolverines with eight assists. Rudy Thomas added 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting.
     The Green and White return to conference play with a trip to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. The Spartans and Gallaudet University Bison are slated to tip-off at 8:00 pm.

GAME BOX

Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Steve Doemland