YORK, PA – The York College men’s basketball team dug deep down inside and came back to the surface with a dramatic 67-64 Capital Athletic Conference win over Marymount University on Wednesday night at Charles Wolf Gymnasium in York. The Spartans improve to 16-4 overall and 8-3 in the highly competitive CAC while the Saints fall to 11-9 overall and 6-5 in the league. The win keeps the Spartans all alone in second place, one game back of front-running St. Mary’s and a game ahead of both Wesley and Salisbury as they stand at 7-4.
The Saints had stymied the Spartans all night long as they seized control early in the second half, building a game-high nine point lead on a Ronnie Barbour three with 11:38 left in the game. The Spartans got a three-point play from senior Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) and a Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) triple to draw to within three with 9:58 left. The Saints maintained the lead over the next five minutes before Brady hit a tough shot in the lane to give York a 60-59 lead with only 2:21 remaining. The Saints got a pair of Patrick Prewitt freebies to retake the lead at 61-60.
Brady then, much like he has all season, made a play when the Spartans needed it most as he hit a lay up and drew the foul. Brady next did something he rarely does as he missed the free throw. However, sophomore Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) elevated and snatched the ball out of the air for the most important rebound of the night. The huge offensive carom bought the Spartans a fresh 35-second shot clock as they were up one with 1:29 left. The Spartans called timeout with a 1:01 left and with seven seconds left on the shot clock, Kevin Whaley (Dover, Pa./Dover) stuck a long pull up jumper to push the Spartan lead to 64-61. York got a defensive rebound on their next defensive possession and Marymount had to foul Whaley. The junior calmly sank both to increase the York lead to 66-61 with 21 ticks left. Kouvaris got a steal, was fouled, and split the pair, increasing the York lead to six with seven seconds left. The Saints got a Stephen Simoneau triple with a mere second left but it was too late for the Saints.
The first half saw York play one of its more sluggish stanza’s of the year. The Spartans sprinted out to an 8-0 lead as the Saints went 0-for-8 from the floor to start the contest. Then it was York’s turn to go cold as the Green and White offense went into cold storage as the Saints outscored York 18-4 over the next eight minutes, taking an 18-12 lead with 6:37 remaining in the opening half. The Spartans battled back to tie the game at 22 and then again at 24 before the Saints scored eight of the final ten points of the half to take a 32-26 lead to the break.
Brady led the Spartans, as the senior was outstanding, with 18 points and eight rebounds in the win. The guard was an uncharacteristic 5-for-14 from the floor but he nailed 7-of-8 from the stripe. Kouvaris was stellar as the sophomore notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He was 3-for-7 from the floor and a solid 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Whaley and Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) each added 14 points to the Spartan attack.
Davon Speight led the Saints as he notched 15 points and five rebounds. Speight was 7-for-11 from the floor while he also converted his lone free throw. Saints’ leading scorer Tarek Ammoury, who lit up the Spartans for 30 points in Marymount’s 90-88 overtime win in January, was hounded into just seven points in 27 minutes of action. Ammoury was 2-for-9 from the floor and committed six turnovers in the loss. Chapmen Canady added nine points to the Saint offense.
The Spartans finished the game holding a 38-33 edge in rebounding which led to a 19-10 margin in second chance points for York. The Spartans forced 14 Marymount turnovers, which they turned into 19 points. The Green and White had 11 turnovers in the game but just three in the second half.
York shot 38.2% for the game from the field, their fourth lowest mark of the year, but were outstanding from the free throw line as they shot 80.8% (21-for-26) for the game. The Spartans tied a season-low with just four three-point field goals as they shot a chilly 23.5% from distance.
Marymount shot 42.9% from the floor for the contest while they banged home 7-of-15 (46.7%) from three. The Saints went 9-for-11 (81.8%) from the charity stripe in the game.
The road doesn’t get any easier for York
as they welcome a red-hot Salisbury University squad to Wolf
Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm. The Sea Gulls, who
knocked off the Spartans 78-71 on January 13, have won five
straight including a 64-50 win over Gallaudet on Wednesday night.
Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Mike Zortman