Archive for the ‘Following Up’ Category


The Northeastern boys’ volleyball team celebrates after defeating Saegertown, 25-9, 25-22, 25-12, in the PIAA Class AA state championship match. The

The Northeastern boys’ volleyball team celebrates after defeating Saegertown, 25-9, 25-22, 25-12, in the PIAA Class AA state championship match. The 43 points allowed is the fewest by a team in a title game since the change to rally scoring in 2004. (DAWN J. SAGERT — The York Dispatch)
Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day is new national goal-scoring leader in women’s lacrosse with 469.

Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day is new national goal-scoring leader in women’s lacrosse with 469. (DAWN J. SAGERT — The York Dispatch)

The York-Adams League absolutely saved its best for last.

A 2014-2015 high school sports season that had already produced its fair share of memorable moments, soared to another level in the past month.

First, Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day shattered the national girls’ lacrosse scoring record with a mind-blowing 469 goals. The NCAA Division I recruit (Saint Francis University) led the Rams to an unbeaten regular season, a York-Adams League championship and a state playoff berth. It was a career that won’t soon be forgotten in southeastern York County.

Then, a few weeks later, the Northeastern Bobcats capped off the local prep campaign by winning a third straight PIAA Class AA boys’ volleyball state title with frightening ease. They didn’t lose a single game in the postseason and set a state record with the fewest points allowed in a state final (43) since the change to rally scoring in 2004.

It was the sixth overall state crown in Northeastern’s illustrious volleyball history, and it would surprise absolutely no one if the Bobcats won their seventh state championship next season. They’re expected to return the bulk of their starting lineup, including Ohio State recruit Reese Devilbiss.

Almost overlooked in Northeastern’s dominant postseason run was the fact that the Bobcats also picked up their 15th District 3 title.

There’s no doubt that Northeastern cast a very large shadow this season in boys’ volleyball, but the accomplishments of the Central York team should not be overlooked. The Panthers won the District 3-AAA title with an scintillating comeback from a 2-0 deficit vs. Penn Manor, including a dramatic 35-33 Game 3 triumph. It was Central’s 22nd district championship — more than any other boys’ volleyball team.

Yes, there’s no doubt that the spring prep season provided several unforgettable highlights, but the rest of 2014-2015 scholastic sports year wasn’t too shabby, either.

Here are a few other items of note from the past York-area high school sports season:

Basketball: The local hoops season was packed with significant achievements, most notably York Catholic’s 10th-straight District 3-AA girls’ championship. Coach Kevin Bankos’ classy program is a model for all others to emulate.

The York High Bearcats may not have won 10 district titles in a row, but they did pick up their second straight District 3-AAAA boys’ crown and their third in the past five years. That’s an impressive feat in the most high-profile and competitive district division. Coach Troy Sowers turned the Bearcats into a program that’s earned state-wide respect.

The Hilda Goodling Impact Academy also made news by capturing the District 3-A championship in the first year of the school’s existence. Unfortunately, the school closed before the state playoffs began because of financial difficulties, denying the team a much-deserved chance to compete in the state playoffs.

Swimming: York Suburban’s Carson Gross brought home a state swimming gold medal in the AA 200 freestyle to highlight a strong York-Adams season in the pool during the winter. She helped the Trojans finish third in the state AA team race. They also finished first in the state among public schools. The Suburban boys, meanwhile, finished fifth in the state AA standings.

The Dallastown swimming teams, meanwhile, continued to dominate York-Adams competition. The girls have won 11 straight league titles, while boys have earned seven straight York-Adams crowns. That qualifies as a dynasty in anyone’s estimation.

Cross country: The York Suburban boys’ cross country outfit used a pack mentality to capture the state AA championship in November in Hershey.

The Trojans simply overwhelmed the competition throughout the season, including at the state meet, where they finished a whopping 31 points ahead of runner-up Grove City.

Coaching news: It was big season for York-Adams coaching changes, especially in football.

The league will have six new coaches for the 2015 season. Most significantly, Ron Miller stepped down as the leader of the powerhouse West York program, replaced by one of his former assistants, Jeremy Jones, who was the head coach at York Suburban for the past couple of years. Former Kennard-Dale coach Andy Loucks takes over at Suburban.

Spring Grove (Kyle Sprenkle, replacing Russ Stoner), Delone Catholic (Corey Zortman, replacing Steve Wiles), Susquehannock (Steve Wiles, replacing J.C. Lewis) and Dover (Wayne Snelbaker, replacing Eric Lam) will also have new football coaches.

The coaching news wasn’t limited to football. In boys’ basketball, Ryan Luckman wasn’t rehired after a single season at his alma mater, York Catholic. The storied Fighting Irish program will have its third head coach in three years this winter as the program continues its efforts to regain its former glory. Another former York Catholic standout, Blaine Claiborne, was hired to replace Luckman.

In baseball, West York’s Roger Czerwinski decided to step down after seven hugely successful seasons with the Bulldogs, citing family reasons. His replacement will have big shoes to fill. West York won three York-Adams League and two PIAA Class AAA state titles during Czerwinski’s stint with the Bulldogs.

New addition: Gettysburg became the 23rd York-Adams member this season and immediately made an impact as a competitive entry in a number of sports, including championships in field hockey and track and field.

Illnesses: Finally, several high-profile York-Adams athletes were sadly forced to deal with forms of cancer this season, including Dover girls’ soccer player Maddie Hill, Central York boys’ basketball player Peter Falci and Northeastern quarterback Marcus Josey.

On more upbeat notes, however, the athletes in question dealt with their illnesses with strength and dignity, and the York-Adams athletic community rallied to support them in numerous, heart-felt ways.

It was inspiring to watch.

Really, the entire 2014-2015 high school season was inspiring to watch.

The opportunity to report on teen athletes, on the cusp of adulthood, performing wondrous deeds is what keeps this job constantly interesting.

There’s just one problem — the 2014-2015 high school sports season is over.

But there’s good news. The 2015-2016 season is just a couple months away.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at

Stevenson University senior baseball player Troy Miller was chosen for the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Mid-Atlantic Second Team.

Miller, a Susquehannock High School graduate, is the eighth Mustang that has been selected for an ABCA All-Region team, and is the first player to be chosen since 2012. He is one of only 12 players selected from the Middle Atlantic Conferences, and one of the eight chosen from the Commonwealth Conference, to receive all-region honors.

Miller led his team as an All-Commonwealth Conference First Team selection, with 57 hits including 17 extra-base hits, 44 RBIs, a .491 slugging percentage and a batting average of .341. He was also third on the team with an on-base percentage of .405. Miller completed his baseball career after only three seasons, where he was ranked as sixth in school history with an on-base percentage of .428, seventh in walks and batting average with totals of 54 and .353, and 10th with 91 RBIs and 445 at-bats.


Two former York-Adams League wrestlers have been honored by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

New Oxford High School graduate Jordan Conaway and Dallastown High School graduate Phil Sprenkle were picked for the NWCA All-Academic Team.

Both are redshirt juniors. Conway wrestles for Penn State, while Sprenkle wrestles for Lock Haven.

Conaway earned All-America status this season by finishing eighth in the NCAA Tournament at 125 pounds. He finished 27-9. Sprenkle, wrestling at 197 pounds, finished 18-9.

In all, 118 wrestlers were named to the All-Academic team, including 16 from Pennsylvania high schools.


ALLENDALE, Mich. – Central York High School graduate Bri Fells became the first women’s 400-meter All-American in Shippensburg University school history on Saturday at the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Grand Valley State University.

Competing in her first NCAA national championships, the senior qualified eighth in Thursday’s prelims and ran eighth again on Saturday – working through an uncharacteristically warm and sunny day for western Michigan standards.

She closed her collegiate career with a lifetime personal record in her signature event, running 55.08 seconds to claim Shippensburg’s only team point of the competition. Fells concluded a storied career as an 18-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference place-winner (11 individual, seven relay) and a seven-time PSAC champion.

Fairfield High School graduate Sarah Hunt, a sophomore at Shippensburg, finished 16th in the triple jump, with her best mark of 38 feet, 7 inches (11.76 meters) coming on her second attempt.

Hunt’s second collegiate season included a PSAC title in the triple jump and a second-place turn in the long jump while competing at the national championships in both events. She will enter her third season with the Raiders armed with the school record in the long jump.

Overall, Fells’ All-America finish is the first in two years for Shippensburg. SU has had an individual All-American in six of the last seven years.


The Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants starting left tackle Will Beatty is going to be sidelined up to six months after tearing a pectoral muscle, a person with knowledge of the injury told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team plans to not discuss the injury until Thursday.

The source said Beatty was injured lifting weights on Tuesday. He was expected to have surgery on Wednesday. The source said the recovery time frame is 4 to 6 months.

Beatty is a York High graduate who played college football at Connecticut under Susquehannock High School graduate Randy Edsall. Edsall is the current head coach at the University of Maryland. Beatty’s offensive line coach with the Giants is Delone Catholic High School graduate Pat Flaherty.

Dr. Bradford Parsons, chief of shoulder surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said the surgery will repair the tear but the player has to regain the flexibility in his shoulder and get strength back in the muscle.

“The bottom line is, the repair gives him a chance of getting his strength back, and if he gets his strength back, then he should be able to get back in action,” Parsons said.

If Beatty were sidelined six months, he would miss the Giants’ first 10 regular-season games, through the Patriots game on Nov. 15. The team has a bye the following week and resumes play on Nov. 29 against the Redskins.

Beatty, who is scheduled to make $5.5 million this season under a contract that runs through 2017, has started at left tackle for the Giants since the 2011 season. He started all 16 games last season despite sustaining a broken leg late in the 2013 season.

The Giants have depth at tackle. They drafted Ereck Flowers of Miami in the first round and have right tackle Justin Pugh returning. Geoff Schwartz also can play tackle. The team had trouble running the ball last season and it was hoped that Flowers might be able to play right tackle so Pugh could move inside to guard. With the injury to Beatty, Flaherty is going to have to juggle his unit.


Central York High School graduate Lauren Walker is enjoying an award-winning spring with the North Carolina softball team.

The 5-foot, 9-inch senior was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Southeast Region Third Team.

Walker, the Tar Heels’ designated player, is enjoying a breakout season. She finished the regular season third on the team and seventh in the ACC with a .385 batting average as well as sixth in the conference in slugging percentage at .712.

Previously, Walker had been named to the Capital One Academic All-District Softball Team. The award requires at least a 3.3 grade-point average to be nominated and takes into account both academic and athletic performance. Walker is a business major.

She earned the team’s Athletic Director’s Scholar-Athlete Award for 2014-15 and also has earned Dean’s List and ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition. In addition to softball, she participates in the Richard A. Baddour Carolina Leadership Academy and is a member of the Finance Society, the Undergraduate Accounting Club and the Sports Business Club.

As a member of the All-District team, Walker is now in the running for Academic All-America honors.

In addition, Walker was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team.

The Heels will compete in the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament for the 12th time in the last 15 years. The Heels received a bid to the Athens Regional along with Western Kentucky, Central Connecticut State and the host Georgia. Carolina comes into the 2015 NCAA Tournament with a record of 36-14. UNC finished the regular season in second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference before being upset by Pitt in the semifinals of the ACC Softball Championship.

North Carolina will play Western Kentucky in the first game at 2:30 p.m. Friday.


West York’s Robinett to play volleyball at Juniata: West York’s Shaina Robinett has committed to play women’s volleyball for Juniata College.

Robinett, who attended Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, played as an outside hitter and defensive specialist for West York High School. She was named team captain for the past two seasons.

“Shaina is a very good athlete and is barely scratching the surface of what she can become,” Juniata coach Heather Pavlik said. “She has a good platform and good range defensively.”

Robinett was named an Academic All-American Honorable Mention by Prep Volleyball and also was selected to the 2014 Under Armour Watch List.

“Shaina is constantly learning and has spent the spring playing with a very good team with great coaches,” Pavlik said. “We’re very excited to see how fast she develops in our gym.”

York County’s Kauffman honored: Northern York High School graduate Lucy Kauffman, a senior field hockey standout at Shippensburg University, was named Thursday to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-District 2 ® Women’s At-Large Team for NCAA Division II athletics.

Kauffman, a finalist for the 2015 NCAA Walters Byers Scholarship, has already received a 2015 NCAA postgraduate scholarship. She will attend Salus University this fall, having enrolled in its doctor of optometry program. Kauffman graduated Saturday with her degree in biology. She entered her final semester with a 3.89 cumulative grade-point average.

Earlier this month, Kauffman was named SU’s 2014-15 Female Student-Athlete of the Year. On the field, Kauffman was a 2014 National Field Hockey Coaches Association First Team All-American as a midfielder and defender for the Raiders. She started all 20 games on a defensive unit that set a school record for the fewest goals allowed in a single season (13 in 20 games). Offensively, Kauffman led the team with eight assists (sixth-most in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) and scored the only goal in a 1-0 PSAC Quarterfinal victory over Slippery Rock.


Scott Frey was a late bloomer when it comes to the sport of soccer.

A 1979 graduate of Dover High School, there weren’t a lot of organized youth soccer leagues to play in before high school. So instead of soccer, he played what most Dover kids did back in those days: wrestling and baseball.

The late introduction to the sport, however, didn’t seem to hamper his eventual career trajectory. After high school, Frey played at Messiah College for four years before making the transition to the coaching ranks.

He got his start coaching in the youth leagues during his college days in Dillsburg, which is not far from Messiah. Stops with the Hanover YMCA and Spring Grove High School preceded his eventual move to the state of Michigan, where he coached the Alma College men’s team from 1993-1999.

While Frey’s teams were never the most gifted at Alma, he was able to lead them to the NCAA Division III Final Four in his final season in 1999. Not long after that, an opportunity presented itself for Frey to return home to Messiah to coach the women’s program.

The rest, as they say, is history. And what a history it’s been. Under Frey, the Falcons have won an astounding five NCAA Division III national championships in his 15 years. Frey’s teams have compiled a 296-17-14 record during that period, making him the winningest active coach with more than 10 years of coaching in all of NCAA Division III soccer.

That success no doubt played a big role in Frey being selected as one of two inductees into this year’s York Area Sports Hall of Fame class. He will be joined by the late Jane Hermann, who led the York Suburban High School girls’ volleyball team to a state title back in 1975.

We caught up with Frey for this edition of Sports Q&A.

Q: How did you find out you were elected?

A: “Bob Little, who was Harry Little’s brother, who I played for at Dover, called and said he was going to nominate me. That was pretty neat, you know, especially with having Harry as my coach. But Charlie Jacobs, who was my high school wrestling coach, called and said I had been elected. And that’s pretty neat to look at the Hall of Fame and to get told by two people that I played for.”

Q: Who really helped to teach, shape and mold you into the successful coach that you’ve become?

A: “I would say the two biggest influences would be my father (Warren), who coached me in Little League and stuff. He worked with different organizations and teams. Now he never coached high school or college, but he coached Little League for years and I was part of that. And then Layton Shoemaker, who I played for during my time at Messiah and then coached under for a bit as well.”

Q: Have you always coached mostly women’s teams?

A: “No. I always coached the men. I coached at Messiah a little bit with the men on the JV side. And then in 1993 I went to Alma College in Michigan. I was the men’s head coach there until 1999. And then the opportunity to come back to Messiah opened up in 2000, but on the women’s side. So that was really the first time I coached women.”

Q: So what would you say is the biggest difference between coaching men and women?

A: “I think the biggest difference is just the speed of the game. All the other aspects of it are very similar. I think how you approach relationships and how you approach team dynamics are both important, but especially on the women’s side. As far as the game itself and what I expect … it’s no different. I would say probably by now that the expectations that I have for the women in this program are as high, if not higher, than when I was coaching on the men’s side.”

Q: What are the biggest motivating factors for you as a coach?

A: “I think just seeing a team become the best that it can be and to play great soccer is important to me. Now I love to win and want to win, but I think any coach will say that. But I just love seeing the players — both individually and collectively — develop and grow with some teaching, and that’s really important to me. To watch a player that’s been training to do something actually pull it off in a game and it becomes a part of them and helps the team to succeed … those are the things that I get excited about.”

Q: Do you believe that your success at Messiah makes it easier or harder for you as the coach?

A: “I would always argue that it makes it harder. Now the last two years we haven’t made it to the Final Four. We made it nine years in a row and now we didn’t make it for two. And then a reporter for the school newspaper comes up and asks, ‘well how do you handle the adversity of the last two years?’ And I’m like, ‘we made it to the final 16. We made it to the round of eight last year and we didn’t lose a single game.’ So that’s my adversity. That’s an unbelievable bar that we have to live up to every year. If we don’t make it to the Final Four or don’t win a national championship then it’s been a bad year. Now I know that we kind of created that with the success, but as a coach you have to be more realistic. That’s just people not understanding. It’s like ‘well, Kentucky (men’s basketball) is just going to win.’ And it’s not that easy. There are a lot of good teams and programs out there.”

Q: What is your proudest memory or memories as a coach?

A: “Wow. I would say there are one or two. I would say that when I was at Alma and we made it to the national championship game in ’99 with a team that probably had no business getting there. We won a game in Texas against Trinity University that was just an unbelievable team. And we were just a bunch of boys from Michigan that had no business being there and we stole a game. We beat them 2-1. And then the next one would probably be the year in 2005 when we won the first national championship at Messiah. That was a group of girls that really believed in what we were doing and had a real focus and desire to put themselves in position to be successful. So those would probably be two of the bigger ones.”

Q: Was there anything particularly memorable with the other four championships?

A: “Well they’re all special and you have to decide which one is more (memorable)? That’s a little hard to do and maybe a little unfair. Every one has its special moments. And when you’ve been through all of them, the truth is that every one of them had its moments where it could have ended. So it’s never that easy where you win 2-0 or 3-0 all the way through the end. There’s always moments or games. Back in 2011 we had an unbelievable team and that was the year that we won the final 5-0 against Wheaton. But if you go back to the beginning of it, I think it was the second night of the tournament when we went to overtime against a team that wasn’t that strong. So we needed an OT win. Which is just to say that it’s so hard and it’s never easy.”

Q: What makes Messiah and its sports programs so successful?

A: “I think the key one is that the coaches and programs at Messiah know who they are. And what I mean by that is that Messiah is a unique and different school. It’s a Christian college that is looking for athletes that want a special experience that integrates their faith and who they are into their athletics. So recruiting those players in any of our sports is just not for anybody. It’s got to be a ‘fit’. And we talk about a ‘fit’ at Messiah all the time. If you find the right fit, it’s just a great experience. And I think that the coaches and programs realize what those players look like — meaning the type of person, type of player, type of family they come from. And those are the kids that really buy into team, kids that buy into work rate and kids that buy into team dynamics. They understand that (sports) isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it’s still important. We spend a lot of time at it and we work really hard at it. But in the end, I think we have a niche and I think we’ve used that niche well.”

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at

Two former York-Adams League athletes have earned postseason softball honors from the Commonwealth Conference.

York Catholic High School graduate Carrie Fix has been named the conference’s rookie of the year, while Dallastown High School graduate Amanda Jones was named first-team all-conference at shortstop. Fix was also a second-team all-conference pick as a utility player.

Both Fix and Jones play for Messiah College.

In addition, Messiah’s Amy Weaver, a Dillsburg resident, was picked the conference coach of the year.

Jones was a second-team pick a year ago as a freshman. As a sophomore, Jones hit a team-leading seven triples and was second on the team in doubles (13), home runs (four), RBIs (32), total bases (85) and slugging percentage (.720). She was also third on the team in batting average (.390), and was in the top five in the Commonwealth in runs (second), hits (fifth), doubles (third), triples (first), home runs (tied for third), RBIs (second), total bases (third) and slugging (third).

Fix led the Commonwealth in runs (37) and doubles (17), and was second in hits (50), triples (five), total bases (92) and slugging (.742). She was also tied for second in the conference with five home runs and led Messiah with a .449 on-base percentage.

Weaver’s coach-of-the-year honor is the fifth of her career and first since Messiah’s NCAA Division III national championship season in 2009. The Falcons sit at 30-7 entering this weekend’s conference tournament, their most wins since collecting 35 in 2012. This year the Falcons are leading the Commonwealth in runs (242), hits (348), doubles (81), triples (17), RBIs (212), total bases (514), slugging (.512), OBP (.400) and fielding (.962).

Messiah will enter the Commonwealth Tournament as the No. 1 seed.


Three former York-Adams standouts honored by PSAC: Three former York-Adams League standouts have been honored by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference for their baseball exploits.

Spring Grove High School graduates Nick Spangler and Austin Botts and Central York High School graduate Austin Allison were named to the All-PSAC East Division Second Team.

Spangler and Allison play for Shippensburg University, while Botts plays for Lock Haven University.

Spangler is a freshman second baseman, Allison is a junior center fielder and Botts is a senior catcher.

Allison emerged as a significant offensive weapon this season, having improved his batting average by more than 100 points from last season. His .386 average is second on the team while he has hit 10 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He has driven home 36 runs, stolen seven bases and is one of six Raiders to score 30 or more runs (34) this season. With runners in scoring position, Allison is 25-for-54 (.463) while collecting a team-best 20 multi-hit games.

Spangler is hitting .352 with 21 runs, six doubles, a home run and 18 RBIs. A consistent bat at the bottom of order during his rookie campaign, Spangler at one point put together a 16-game hitting streak. He has committed just five errors on the season as the everyday second baseman for the Raiders.

Botts, a three-time all-conference selection, has been behind the plate for LHU in nearly every inning of the last four seasons. This season, he hit .301 with a team-high five home runs and 21 RBIs. Botts recorded a .538 slugging-percentage and added seven doubles. In 37 starts this season, he committed just one error (.996 fielding-percentage). Botts was credited with 210 putouts and 24 assists.

Botts finished his Haven career listed in the all-time top 10 in games played, games started, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks and total bases.

York Catholic grad Hack recognized: York Catholic High School graduate Adam Hack has been honored by the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference for his achievements with the Penn State Altoona men’s tennis team.

The sophomore was voted second team all-conference at No. 4 singles. The 2014 AMCC Newcomer of the Year posted an 8-4 overall singles record this spring, ranking second on his team in singles wins. Within the No. 4 singles flight, his seven wins were the second-most in the AMCC overall and he had the third-most total singles victories. Against AMCC competition, his total of five No. 4 singles wins was second best. Hack was awarded one AMCC Player of the Week honor during this past season.

In addition, Hack and his No. 1 doubles partner, Geoff Zlobinsky, made the second team in doubles. Hack and Zlobinsky joined for a 10-2 overall record, ranking first in the AMCC in overall No. 1 doubles wins and second in total doubles victories. The duo’s five doubles wins against AMCC opponents ranked first in the conference in the No. 1 doubles flight and second among all doubles slots. Additionally, Zlobinsky and Hack’s 10 doubles wins tied a Penn State Altoona men’s tennis single-season record for doubles wins.

Penn State Altoona men’s tennis went 9-3 this season, including a 5-1 mark in the AMCC.

York College baseball team falls to Penn State Berks: A pair of three-run innings by Penn State Berks in the fifth and seventh innings helped the Lions open an 8-2 lead over visiting York College on Tuesday in baseball action.

Berks then cruised to an 8-4 non-league win over the Spartans. York (13-19) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth, but instantly gave the runs right back in the bottom half of the inning. Derek Pitzer and Seth Brosius combined to go 5-for-7 at the plate and each drove in two runs for the Spartans. Berks improved to 16-15-1.

Central York High School graduate Paul Kuhn has been selected an American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III Second Team All-American.

The 6-foot, 7-inch Kuhn was a recent addition to Juniata’s 1,000 kills club. He was the team leader in kills (306) and service aces (34). His 135 career service aces is fourth among active career leaders.

Kuhn was an AVCA First Team All-American last season.

Kuhn helped the Eagles finish 24-5 overall and 11-1 in the Continental Volleyball Conference. Juniata, however, forfeited its right to participate in postseason events because of disciplinary issues within the team.



HARRISBURG — It’s bound to happen one of these days, but Sunday just wasn’t that day for the York Mighty Ants.

Playing in the Eastern Basketball Alliance title game for a second year in a row, all the Ants had to do to take home their first crown was beat the Harrisburg Horizon.

While York was able to hang with the Horizon throughout the first half at Manny Weaver Gym, the hosts took control with a 21-3 run early in the second half. The visitors drew within five points in the final minute but again fell to Harrisburg, 93-85.

The setback marked the seventh consecutive loss, and fourth this year, for York against the Horizon in the Ants’ two-year existence.

Kelvin Parker of the York Mighty Ants lays the ball up against the Harrisburg Horizon during the Eastern Basketball Alliance championship game on Sunday.

Kelvin Parker of the York Mighty Ants lays the ball up against the Harrisburg Horizon during the Eastern Basketball Alliance championship game on Sunday. Parker, a York High graduate, led the Ants with 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but the Ants lost the game, 93-85. April 19, 2015. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

“They’re a good team,” Ants player/owner Seth Leonard said. “They know what they’re doing. They’re battle tested. And right now it’s a process (for us). Small simple steps built up over a long period of time … that’s going to lead us to success.”

In the previous clashes this season, the Ants were able to establish an early lead before the Horizon (9-0) rallied to take control. While the same situation panned out again Sunday, this time York was able to rally back. The teams were tied at 43-43 heading into the intermission.

But after scoring the first four points of the second half, the Ants were blitzed by a Harrisburg side that has won a league-best 18 games in a row dating back to last season.

Head Coach Brandon DeShields, who has been forced into action this season because of some roster issues, had a different take asked about his team’s ability to hang with the Horizon throughout the first half.

“We don’t look at it like that,” DeShields said. “We look at it like we’re supposed to be that team and that they hung in there with us. Mentality-wise we look at it differently than just us hanging in there.”

The Ants, who played with just eight players Sunday, were in large part done in again by their shooting. York connected on just 6-of-28 attempts (21 percent) from beyond the arc.

Former York High standout Kelvin Parker led York with 29 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists. Kasheef Festus chipped in 14 while Leonard and Jaron Walker each tallied 11 for the Ants (3-8).

Demond Vance led Harrisburg with 21 points while Denzel Jackson added 12 to go with a game-high 13 rebounds for the Horizon.

Roster issues: One key that Leonard pointed to as a problem for the organization this season was his roster. While the Ants have more than 10 players listed as eligible, getting them to turn out to the games this year proved to be a challenge.

That resulted in DeShields, who strictly was a coach a year ago, having to suit up and play when only six other players showed up for contests.

“In some of our games we only had seven players,” Leonard said. “When you’re running up and down the court like that, with just seven guys … I don’t care what kind of shape you’re in, that’s tough. So in the last three games of the season we made a management move to get our coach to play. Now he’s in good enough shape to play, but he’s a better asset to us as a coach.”

“Last year we had 11 and 12 guys,” DeShields added. “So if somebody got tired I could just put the next man in. Now it’s like you have to still play if you’re tired and that’s when a 21-3 run happens.”

One player who missed Sunday’s contest was starting point guard Job Casimir. Casimir lives in Connecticut, so getting to games has been a chore some times. Sunday he couldn’t travel to Harrisburg because of his job.

Leonard definitely felt Casimir was missed.

“He doesn’t score field goals for us, but when he’s here he makes the team different,” Leonard said. “He’s one of the best players at the point guard position that I’ve played with.”

Missing Casimir brought Leonard back full circle to those roster woes.

“For us to give that type of effort today, without him, it’s just the story of our season,” Leonard said.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


Parker 4 1-3 10, Breeden 3 2-2 10, Hockaday 2 2-4 6, Richardson 4 0-1 8, Vance 7 6-7 21, Jackson 4 4-10 12, Peay 2 0-2 4, Cor. Boone 5 0-0 11, Cod. Boone 3 3-4 9.

Three-point field goals — Breeden (2), Parker, Cor Boone, Vance. Totals — 35 18-33 93.

YORK (85)

Leonard 3 5-9 11, Parker 9 8-10 29, Festus 6 2-2 14, Harbold 1 0-0 2, Tipton 2 0-0 5, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Rivers 3 0-1 7, Walker 3 3-4 11, DeShields 3 1-2 8.

Three-point field goals — Parker (3), Tipton, Rivers, DeShields. Totals — 30 19-28 85.

Harrisburg 27 16 32 18 — 93 York 22 21 20 22 — 85


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