YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team opened it's own White Rose City Classic with a 90-57 win over Penn State-York in the tournament semifinals on Friday night. The Spartans improve to 2-0 overall while the Lions fall to 0-2.
The Spartans played all 19 of their healthy players as they had four players reach double figures led by Kevin Whaley's 15 points.
York jumped on it's cross-town guest early as they sprinted out to an 11 point lead (13-2) just under five minutes into the game. After a Jermell Flemming lay up cut the Spartan lead to nine, the Spartans went on a prolonged 23-5 run, turning the game into a lopsided affair. A three-pointer by Mitch Kemp just before the halftime horn gave the Green and White a 52-22 halftime lead.
Spartan head coach Jeff Gamber used the second half to give his starters a rest as they played just five minutes into the second half before taking a seat on the bench for the remainder of the night. York took a 40-point lead thanks to a 10-0 run to start the half by the starters before they took a seat. The spurt was started by senior Dylan Hoffman as he banged a three and threw down a fast break dunk to start the second 20 minutes of play.
A number of reserves got quality playing time as the Spartans advanced to the championship game of the tournament for the second straight year.
Whaley paced the Spartans in just 20 minutes of work. He was 5-for-10 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He added three rebounds, three steals, and a pair of assists in the game. Sophomore Julian Watson came off the bench for 13 points as he continues to impress for the Spartans. He was 5-of-7 from the floor including one three while he also made both his free throw attempts. Sophomore Mitch Kemp added 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists in his 14 minutes of action while Hoffman was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 11 points. Hoffman also had five rebounds, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot. Junior Paul Kouvaris led York on the glass with eight caroms to go along with his six points.
Flemming led all scorers as the freshman tallied 16 points off the bench for the Lions. He also had three assists and a steal in the contest. Johan Erimee was the other Lion in double figures with 10 points while he also had four rebounds. Danny Hoffman chipped in with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
York shot a blistering 56.7% in the first half but struggled with a 39.5% mark in the second half as the Spartans ended the game shooting 47.1%. They did shoot well from distance, converting 9-of-21 for a 42.9% percentage. The Spartans struggled a bit from the free throw line, making just 17-of-28 (60.7%).
The Lions finished the game shooting 40% from the field but just 29.2% from three. PSU-York went 10-for-16 (62.5%) from the charity stripe in the game.
The Spartans outmanned the smaller Lions on the glass, holding a 46-30 rebounding margin while they also harassed their guests into 26 turnovers, which the Spartans turned into 31 points.
The Green and White returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Elizabethtown in the tournament championship game. That game will follow the 1:00 pm consolation game featuring Randolph and PSU-York. The championship game is set for a 3:00 pm tip.
Julian Watson photo courtesy of Theresa Dark, Athletic Communication Practicum Student