Spartans Lose Shootout at Wesley

Spartans Lose Shootout at Wesley

DOVER, DEL – Road games in the Capital Athletic Conference are always difficult. That proved to be very true for the York College men’s basketball team as the Green and White dropped a shootout at Wesley College, 93-91, on Saturday in Dover, Delaware.

The Spartans fall to 14-4 overall and 6-3 in the league while the Wolverines improve to 11-6 overall and 5-4 in the conference.

The Wolverines jumped on the Spartans early and often as they led 14-4 just under five minutes into the game. Wesley eventually built the lead to as many as 12 before York battled back to tie the game at 25 on a Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) lay up with 5:52 left in the half. The Wolverines responded with a 9-2 run to kick their lead back up to seven. The lead remained around seven until Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) banged home a three with seven seconds left in the half as York trailed 38-34 at the break.

The second half was an offensive onslaught from both teams. Wesley maintained its lead in single digits through the first ten minutes of the half. The Wolverines extended their advantage to 15 on a Rudy Thomas three-point play with 6:10 left in the game as York was on the brink of getting blown out.

The Spartan resolve came to the forefront as York put together a 16-3 run capped by a Kevin Whaley (Dover, Pa./Dover) lay up with 2:14 left. The run drew the Spartans to within two at 84-82 as Kouvaris had six points on the run while Whaley added five.

The last two minutes of the game proved to be very exciting and high scoring. With the Spartans down two, Chris Douglas drilled a huge triple to increase the lead to five. Kouvaris cut the lead to three with another lay up but the Wolverines answered again as they lead shot back to five with 22 seconds left in regulation. After Thomas split a pair of free throws to give the Wolverines a 90-85 lead, Dylan Hoffman (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) converted a three point play to pull the Spartans to within two at 90-88 with 17 ticks on the clock.

Douglas hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left but Whaley came down and banged a long three to get York to within one with nine seconds left. The Spartans fouled Jacques Bowe and Bowe, who had missed just two free throws in 21 attempts for the year, left the door open for the Spartans by splitting a pair of tosses from the line. After a timeout, the Spartans executed a well-run play as Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) got a good look but Quayshun Morris made an outstanding defense play to block Skoloda’s shot and deny the Spartans the opportunity to tie the game and force overtime.

Thomas was very good for the Wolverines as he poured in a game-high 33 points in 33 minutes for Wesley. He was 12-for-21 from the floor including 3-for-8 from three. Thomas also made 6-of-9 from the charity stripe. He pulled down nine rebounds, handed out four assists, and grabbed two steals in the win. Alphonzo Wright added 15 points and four steals while Paul Reynolds and Kevin Johnson each chipped in 11 points for Wesley. Douglas was the fifth Wolverine in double figures with 10 points while he also recorded six assists.

Whaley paced the Spartans as he drained 22 points in addition to grabbing nine rebounds, handing out five assists, and notching two steals. Brady contributed 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in his 37 minutes of action. Kouvaris added 13 points and six rebounds while freshman Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) notched a career-high 11 points in his 15 minutes of action.

The Wolverines shot a blistering 52.3% from the floor for the game while York shot 46.2%. Both teams were red hot in the high-scoring second half as they shot an identical 52.8% (19-for-36) in the second 20 minutes of play. Both teams shot 30% from three while York was a little better from the free throw line as the Spartans made 23-of-30 (76.7%) while Wesley was 18-for-25 (72%).

York finished the game with a 43-33 edge in rebounding but the Wolverines still held a 15-14 advantage in second chance points and a 48-42 margin in points in the paint. The Spartans committed 22 turnovers, which Wesley turned into 27 points. The Wolverines notched 17 steals in the win, as they are second in the CAC in thefts per contest.

The Spartans now will take their conference bye on Wednesday and will not return to action until a week from today when they kick off a three-game home stand by hosting Hood College on Saturday at 2:00 pm at Wolf Gymnasium. The game will be preceded by the 2010 Spartan Men’s Basketball Alumni game. The former Spartan greats will convene for a 12:00 pm tip off, kicking off the day of basketball action.

Kevin Whaley photo courtesy of Charlie Covell