YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team made an impressive home debut in the opening round of the 2011 White Rose City Classic on Friday night. The Spartans downed local rival Elizabethtown College 88-69 in the tournament's first semifinal in York. The Spartans improve to 2-0 overall while the Blue Jays fall to 0-2 for the campaign.
The Green and White trailed early as Steve Ennis gave the visitors an 8-7 lead just under five minutes into the game. The Spartans recaptured the lead on a rainbow three from Mitch Kemp and York would not trail again. After York pushed the lead to five at 17-12, the Jays got an Ennis jumper and an Andrew Mantz to trim the Spartan advantage to just one. That's when the Spartans exploded for a game-changing 20-4 run. Senior Adam Earle kick started the spurt with a triple. Junior power forward Todd Maciejewski fueled the outburst with nine points as he converted a number of chances from point blank range.
The Spartans pushed the lead to 20 as Kemp hit a deep triple as the horn sounded for the half.
The Green and White pushed the lead to a game-high 25 early in the second half as York scored 11 of the first 17 points of the half to seize the 56-31 lead. The Blue Jays stayed even with the Spartans over the next 12 minutes of the game and made a run at the Spartans late. Elizabethtown cut the lead to 13 (75-62) on a Mantz lay up with 5:05 remaining in the game. The Spartans quickly responded with an 8-0 run to push the lead back to 20 before the Spartans settled for the 19-point win, their second 19-point victory in as many tries for the year.
Maciejewski powered the Spartans as the junior poured in a career-high 21 points on an impressive 8-of-9 from the field and a career-high 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Maciejewski added eight rebounds and a career-high four steals for York. Senior Paul Kouvaris and junior Julian Watson each added 16 points while Kouvaris contributed eight rebounds. Kouvaris was 8-for-12 from the floor while he also blocked a career-high four shots. Watson was 4-for-8 from the floor while he also converted 8-of-10 from the stripe. Senior Mo Oursler dished out a career-high eight assists in 27 minutes for York. Junior Jeremy Skoloda was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 11 points while Kemp contributed nine first half points.
Joe Schwalm paced the Blue Jays with 16 points while he added three rebounds and three assists. Schwalm was 7-for-16 from floor including 2-for-4 from three. Mantz was the other Blue Jay in double figures with 12 points while he pulled in a game-high nine boards. Kyle McConnell finished the night with nine points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals.
The Spartans finished the game shooting a blistering 53.4% from the floor including 56.3% in the opening 20 minutes of play. The Green and White shot 31.6% (6-of-19) from three while they converted 20-of-30 from the charity stripe. York held the Blue Jays to just 43.1% shooting from the floor while Elizabethtown went just 2-for-14 from distance. The Blue Jays struggled from the free throw line, going just 11-for-21 (52.4%) for the game.
Both teams committed 15 turnovers and the Blue Jays took advantage, scoring 23 points off the Spartan miscues.
The Spartans will face either UW-Stevens Point or Richard Stockton in Saturday's championship game. Tip time from Charles Wolf Gym is slated for 3:00 pm. Elizabethtown will play in the consolation game at 1:00 pm.