Kouvaris's Career Night Paces Spartans to Big CAC Win

YORK, PA – The York College men’s basketball team closed out the fall semester portion of their schedule with a 97-86 Capital Athletic Conference win over Wesley College on Monday night. The win closes out a grueling three game stretch that saw the Spartans open with wins over Gallaudet on Wednesday and #14 St. Mary’s on Saturday before finishing off the string of CAC contests on Monday night.

The Spartans improve to 9-1 overall and 3-0 in the CAC while the Wolverines fall to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the league.

The story of the night was two-fold for the Spartans. Incredibly hot shooting and a season-high in turnovers as York shot 67.9% from the floor but committed 25 miscues in the game.

The Spartans opened the game with a Kevin Whaley (Dover, Pa./Dover) three pointer in their first possession but the Green and White went cold over the next four minutes as they did not score again until Dylan Hoffman (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) hit a bucket at the 15:37 mark. That basket started a 16-3 run that gave the Spartans a 19-10 lead with 12:17 remaining in the half. The run was keyed by sophomore Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) and senior Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) as Kouvaris had six points on three buckets while Brady drained a pair of triples during the spurt.

The Spartans stretched the lead to 10 just over four minutes later at 25-15 before the Wolverines scored six straight to cut their deficit to four at 25-21 with 7:09 left in the half. York went on a 10-1 run to increase the lead to 13 at 37-24. The Spartan lead vacillated between eight and 12 points over the remainder of the half before York settled for the 46-36 halftime advantage.

The Spartans continued to increase their lead early in the second half as they led by 14, at 60-46, with 15:50 left in the game. The Wolverines then embarked on an important 17-4 run that cut the York lead to 64-63 at the 11:47 mark. Big Paul Reynolds keyed the Wesley scoring binge as he gashed the Spartan interior defense for all 11 of his points during the stretch.

The Wolverines eventually tied the game at 72 on a Kevin Johnson lay up as the game went back-and forth for the next two minutes before the Spartans took the lead back for good on a knifing Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) lay up with 6:05 remaining. Another Kouvaris lay up pushed the lead back to eight at 85-77 with 3:13 left. The Wolverines cut the Spartan lead to five points two more times in the next minute before York ended the game with six Hoffman free throws wrapped around a final Kouvaris lay up to provide the Spartans with their final 11 point bulge.

Kouvaris had a career night as the sophomore scorched the nets to the tune of 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting and a 4-for-4 performance from the free throw line. Kouvaris added a career-high three blocked shots while he also had a trio of rebounds, three assists, and a steal in his 24 minutes of action. Brady, who earlier in the day was named the CAC Player-of-the-Week off his performance from last week, added 25 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Green and White. Brady was 9-for-13 from the floor while he tied his career-high with five three-point field goals. Whaley recorded his first Spartan double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds while he also established a career-high with six assists. Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) contributed 10 points, a career-high tying eight assists and three rebounds. Hoffman tied his career-high with 12 points while he also had five assists and three rebounds.

Rudy Thomas and Johnson led the Wolverines with 15 points each. Johnson added five rebounds, four steals, and three assists for the guests while Jacques Bowe contributed 14 points, six rebounds, and five steals in 32 minutes of action. Reynolds and Alphonzo Wright each tallied 11 points. Wright contributed a team-high seven rebounds while he also had five steals for the Wolverines.

The Spartans shot 56.7% in the first half and then an unbelievable 82.6% in the second half. York missed just four second half shots including a pair of threes en route to the near school record shooting performance. The 67.8% mark from the floor is just 0.3 percentage points back of the York College single game school record of 68.1%.

The Wolverines stayed in the game courtesy of the 25 Spartan turnovers. Wesley converted the Spartan miscues into 27 points. The Wolverines also had a 21-8 edge in second chance points as they recorded 18 offensive rebounds in the loss. Overall, the Spartans had a 36-31 margin in rebounds for the game. The Green and White had a 48-30 advantage in points in the paint while the Wolverine bench outscored its York counterparts 38-11.

The Spartans are now off until January 2 when they host Rosemont in the opening round of the 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. The contest will tip off at 5:00 pm followed by Gettysburg College and Medgar Evers squaring off in the second semifinal at 7:00 pm.

GAME BOX

Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com).