SALISBURY, MD – York College junior guard Brandon Enck (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco) made his first collegiate start a memorable one on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for Enck and his Spartan teammates, his fantastic effort would not translate into a victory as the Salisbury Sea Gulls edged York 63-60 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Saturday in Salisbury.
The Sea Gulls improve to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in the CAC while the Spartans fall to 7-14 overall and 2-7 in the league. The Sea Gulls swept the season series from the Spartans by a combined six points.
Enck entered the game averaging 1.5 points and 9.3 minutes per game. He drew his first career start and responded in a big way. The junior scored eight of the Spartans' first ten points of the game after Salisbury got off to a quick start in the contest. Enck's play kept the Spartans from getting blow out early by the hot shooting Gulls.
The Sea Gulls opened up an eight-point lead at 22-14 midway through the half. York chipped away, drawing to within three on a Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) triple at the 5:23 mark. The two teams went back and forth over the final five minutes of the half as the Gulls took a 29-27 lead to the break.
The second half was a fantastic stanza of college basketball. The half featured five ties and four lead changes as the game came down to the wire for the second straight meeting.
The Sea Gulls established an eight-point lead with 6:54 left in regulation. The Spartans responded with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 54 with 2:42 left. Salisbury's Travon Vann hit a bucket to take back the lead but Kemp was fouled on the ensuing possession and he canned both freebies to tie the game for the fifth and final time.
Salisbury's Elijah Gore hit a huge three after the Spartans collapsed on Vann in the post as the hosts took a three-point lead with 1:14 left. Senior Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) hit a slashing lay up on York's next possession, drawing York to within one with 37 seconds left. The Spartans elected to foul down one and they got a Gore miss but Vann collected a huge offensive rebound with 25 seconds left. York had to foul Vann and the front-runner for the CAC Player of the Year honors, sank both, pushing Salisbury's lead back to three. After a Watson runner in the lane fell with 19 seconds left, York fouled Vann again. And again, the guard sank both to push the lead back to three.
York's final possession would not be as fruitful as their previous two as Watson was forced to take a long three off a scramble with three seconds left. York couldn't get the offensive rebound as they fell to the Gulls in another tight game.
Vann finished the game with a double-double as he recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds while he also had five assists and two steals. The senior was 4-for-11 from the floor and 2-for-6 from three. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Dylan Robeson and Craig Ryan each added nine points. Trent Epps contributed seven points and seven rebounds for the Gulls.
Enck led the Spartans with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He was a blistering 8-for-9 from the floor including 1-for-1 from three and 1-for-2 from the line. His 32 minutes were also a career-high for the junior. Kemp added 12 points to the Spartan offense while Watson recorded nine points and four assists.
The Sea Gulls finished the game with a 32-29 edge on the glass including a 12-2 margin in offensive rebounds. Salisbury also forced 16 turnovers, which the Gulls turned into 16 points. Salisbury's offensive rebounding edge teamed with the fact they only turned the ball over eight times enabled the Gulls to attempt 19 more shots than York.
That advantage in total shots allowed the Gulls to win despite shooting 38.3% from the floor compared to York's 53.7% accuracy mark. The Gulls did get it done from distance as they nailed 11 triples in the game.
The Spartans return to action on Monday night when they travel to Alvernia to face the Crusaders in a non-conference contest. Tip time in Reading is set for 7:30 pm.