Spartans Start New Year with a Victory

YORK, PA – The York College men’s basketball team rang in the 2010 portion of their schedule with a hard-fought 67-62 win over a pesky Rosemont College Raven squad on Saturday evening in the opening round of the 2010 Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. The Spartans, winners of five straight, improve to 10-1 overall while the Ravens fall to 3-6 with the setback.

The Ravens made it apparent from the beginning that they were in no mood to be tournament fodder for the host Spartans as they kept the game competitive for the entire 40 minutes of play

The two teams were not separated more than four points over the first 16 minutes of the game as momentum continually swung back and forth. The Green and White extended the lead to six on a Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) three with 3:48 left in the stanza as the hosts tried to start pulling away. The Spartans eventually pushed their first half advantage to nine twice before settling for a 36-30 halftime lead.

The Ravens came out of the break and smacked the Spartans with a pair of triples from Harrison Carsillo, tying the game at 36. The Ravens took a one point lead on a free throw but the Spartans recaptured the lead with a 7-0 spurt that gave them a 43-37 lead as York looked like they were going to put their guests away. Rosemont continued to battle as they scored six of the next eight points, drawing to within one at 45-44. The Ravens eventually captured the lead for the final time in the game at the 7:32 mark when Carsillo converted a three-point play, giving Rosemont a 51-50 lead. After Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) canned a triple to give York a two point lead, Carsillo hit another lay up to tie the game for the seventh time at 53. Brady hit a jumper just under two minutes later and the Spartans would not trail again.

That is not to say York didn’t have some anxious moments down the stretch. The Ravens tied the game at 59 with just 3:34 remaining but Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) hit a jumper off a loose ball followed by a Brady jumper, giving York a 63-59 lead with 2:15 showing on the clock. Rosemont’s Justin Chaney converted the Raven’s sixth triple of the game with 1:24 left, bringing the visitors to within one at 63-62. Senior Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) then secured the win with a lay up and two free throws over the final 51 seconds of the game as the Spartans notched the win.

Brady led a balanced Spartan attack with 16 points while he tied Kouvaris for the team-lead with nine rebounds. Kouvaris continued his strong play with 11 points as he was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in his 26 minutes of action. Skoloda tied his career-high with 15 points while he also had a pair of assists and one steal for York. Skoloda was 5-for-10 from the floor while he was also 2-for-5 from three and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Kevin Whaley (Dover, Pa./Dover) was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points while he also had six boards and four assists. Keefer added nine points, five rebounds, and three assists with no turnovers.

Carsillo paced all scorers as he poured in 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor. He was 2-for-6 from three and a perfect 4-for-4 from the stripe. Carsillo added seven rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Abraham Bah added 14 points and three rebounds in the loss. Bah was 4-of-9 from the floor, 1-of-2 from three, and 5-for-7 from the line.

The Spartans almost doubled up the short-handed Ravens on the glass 46-24 including a 14-5 edge on the offensive boards. The Spartans were a bit sloppy as they committed 15 turnovers, which Rosemont turned into 17 points.

York finished the game shooting 47.3% from the floor including 48.1% in the second half. The Spartans were a pedestrian 31% from three while they made just 15 trips to the line, converting 10 of those chances. Rosemont shot 41.5% for the game but a chilly 35.7% in the second half. The Ravens went 6-for-17 from three while they went 12-for-20 from the free throw line.

The Spartans will now face Gettysburg College in a rematch of an exciting 67-66 York victory on November 24. The Bullets advanced to the championship game courtesy of a 69-59 win over Medgar Evers in Saturday’s second semifinal. The Cougars will face Rosemont in the consolation game tipping off at 4:00 pm Sunday followed by the highly anticipated championship game at 6:00 pm.

GAME BOX

Jeremy Keefer photo courtesy of Mike Adams.