Whaley Leads Spartans to Victory in CAC Lid Lifter
YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team opened the Capital Athletic Conference portion of their schedule with an 80-70 victory over Wesley College on Wednesday night in York. The Spartans, who snap a two-game losing streak with the win, improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the league while the Wolverines fall to 2-4 and 0-1 in the conference.
Spartan senior Kevin Whaley led the Spartans as he tied a career-high with 27 points. Junior Paul Kouvaris was also in double figures for York while the Wolverines had four players reach double digits in the loss.
Whaley got the Spartans off to a good start as the guard scored five of the Spartans' first 11 points. The Spartans took the early lead on Whaley's first triple of the game. However, the Spartans would to on to trail 17-14 on a Rudy Thomas three at the 11:31 mark. The Green and White answered with four consecutive threes to turn a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead. Sophomore Mo Oursler began the spurt with a three from the top of the key 24 seconds after Thomas' triple. Whaley, Oursler again, and sophomore Jeremy Skoloda then tickled the twine with threes to push the Spartan lead to 26-17.
Wesley trimmed the York lead to six but a 14-5 Spartan run highlighted by a pair of Whaley threes, increased the York lead to 15 at 40-25 with two minutes remaining in the half. Three Whaley free throws pushed the lead to 17 before Thomas canned another three with three seconds left in the half to leave York's halftime lead at 43-29.
The Spartan lead grew to as many as 19 in the second half. However, the Wolverines wouldn't go away as Wesley cut the once sizable Spartan lead to seven at 72-65 on a Darrell Johnson lay up with 1:01 left in regulation. York was complicit in aiding the Wesley comeback efforts as the Spartans again struggled from the free throw line down the stretch. The hosts pushed the lead back to 10 before Thomas hit his final three of the night with 27 seconds left, cutting the Spartan advantage to 77-70. The Spartans managed to make three of the final six free throws of the night to provide for the final 10-point advantage.
Whaley finished 8-for-13 from the floor including 4-of-5 from three and 7-for-7 at the free throw line to tie his career-high which was initially established last February 13 against Mary Washington. He added six rebounds in his 36 minutes of work. Kouvaris added 12 points as he was 6-for-10 from the field. He also contributed three rebounds and three assists. Senior Dylan Hoffman had another all around game as he tallied seven points, had a career-high eight rebounds, and handed out five assists for York. Watson added eight points and a game-high four steals.
Paul Reynolds led the Wolverines with a double-double as he had 17 points and 11 rebounds. He was a very efficient 5-for-7 from the field including 2-for-4 from three and 5-for-8 from the free throw line. Kyan Andrews also had a double-double for the Wolverines as he had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Douglas added 14 points while Johnson contributed 13 points for the Wolverines.
The Spartans finished the contest shooting 50.9% from the floor while they also shot a blistering 57.1% (8-for-14) from three. Their three-point accuracy established a season-high, besting the 56.2% they shot in the season-opening win over Lebanon Valley. York ended the game shooting 58.1% from the free throw line as they went 18-of-31. The 31 attempts were a season-high as York has shot below 65% in four of their six games for the year.
Wesley shot 43.1% from the field and 33.3% (6-for-18) from three. The Wolverines converted 20-of-29 (69%) for the game.
The Wolverines finished with a 37-30 edge in total rebounds while the Spartans forced 21 turnovers, which the Green and White turned into 17 points.
York now heads to the road for a pair of league contests as they head to Marymount on Saturday and St. Mary's on Wednesday to face the nationally ranked Seahawks. Tip time on Saturday in Arlington is set for 4:00 pm while the St. Mary's tilt is an 8:00 pm clash.
Kevin Whaley photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)