Barons ousted from Districts by McDevitt, 75-54

By on February 18, 2016


During a scramble in Tuesday’s District playoff game, Baron guard Jay Barreto (15) recovers a loose ball from Bishop McDevitt’s James Williams. Helping out for MC is junior Taylor Funk (33). (Photo by Stan Hall)

During a scramble in Tuesday’s District playoff game, Baron guard Jay Barreto (15) recovers a loose ball from Bishop McDevitt’s James Williams. Helping out for MC is junior Taylor Funk (33). (Photo by Stan Hall)

Manheim Central’s challenge was daunting enough without anything else working against them.

But Bishop McDevitt was probably a bit cantankerous after suffering a 77-66 loss to Milton Hershey.

Plus, the physical, athletic Crusaders had their full complement of players for the first time this season.

In the end, although the underdog 14th-seeded Barons trailed by just eight at the half, 35-27, the host No. 3-ranked McDevitt boys had too much firepower in the second and earned a 75-54 win in a District Three Triple-A first-round game on Tuesday night in Harrisburg.

“All of the stuff that they needed to go right for them to get this (win) tonight … the stars were not lining up,” McDevitt coach Mike Gaffey said. “While I say that to you, I still understand as a basketball guy that next year, knowing all the work they do over the summer and stuff, they will be one of the better teams in District Three.”

While the Crusaders (17-6) advanced to the Friday’s District quarter-finals to face 6th-seeded Cocalico, a 66-41 winner over Wyomissing, the Barons ended their season with a 14-9 record.

“(The stars) didn’t align for us because we ran into a really good basketball team,” said Baron skipper Chris Sherwood, a former assistant under Gaffey. “They didn’t align because they did a good job and because they played their game, they did what makes them really good and that’s playing a physical game, defending hard and attacking the basket, and they did that.”

Central, while grabbing a 19-16 edge on the glass in the first half, battled through that physicality early and led 7-3 in the first quarter.

“I thought we rebounded our rear-ends off in the first half,” Sherwood said.

Junior Taylor Funk scored six of his team-high 12 points and secured five boards in the opening stanza, and his jumper with :28 left in the first tied it, 14-all. (With 1,273 career points, Funk ends the season fourth on the Barons’ all-time scoring list).

But a buzzer-beating ‘three’ by James Williams, who led three Bishop McDevitt players in double figures with a game-high 17, put the Crusaders up 17-14.

“I actually said to our guys, ‘Really, it’s a 12-point quarter,’” Sherwood recalled. “We tried to tip a rebound out instead of grabbing it, which gave them two, and then they hit the ‘three’ at the buzzer … So that 17-point quarter in a perfect world is a 12-point quarter and things are totally different. So you can’t give them those kind of buckets.”

Tyler Lyons’ layup kept MC within three, 21-18, with 5:22 left in the half, and then Trevor Hosler’s triple from the left corner got them to 29-25 with 1:52 on the clock, as the Barons shot 11-of-25 from the floor in the first half. Connor Hostetter and Lyons helped out with 10 and nine points, respectively.

“I thought early on, we did a nice job attacking and finishing around the bucket,” Sherwood said. “I thought our guys played with a little bit of confidence and strength with the ball. But that’s a different breed of pressure. That’s a breed of pressure we’re not used to seeing. But again, I want to stress that I thought our guys did a good job under the circumstances of coming to their gym and playing here. With all the intensity McDevitt opened up with, I thought we answered it.”

But Kobay White, a Boston College recruit in football, buried back-to-back buckets inside and then Williams’ late layup put McDevitt up 35-27 going to the locker room.

White scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half, and Nick Gemmell finished with 12 for McDevitt.

“(White)’s really athletic,” Sherwood said. “We know about Williams, we know Cater has like 50-some threes, we know he’s a lights-out shooter … Williams is as good as they come, he might be the best all-around scorer that we’ve seen all year. Williams is that good. Then Kobay White shows up to the party. You’ve got to give something up, so you’ve got to choose what you’re going to give up. So we made some conscious decisions of what we wanted to give up tonight and they had seniors who made pretty good plays for them.”

It continued in the second half, as the Crusaders held MC without a field goal through the first 3:01 of the third and Tim Kater’s trey put them up 43-31 with 4:46 left in the period.

“We just tried to play with a little more intensity and a little more enthusiasm defensively (in the second half),” Gaffey said.

“They’re all up in you (defensively), they really are,” Sherwood said.

Still, Central battled back to 46-38 on a drive by Roman Wagner. But Williams led McDevitt on a quarter-ending 6-2 run, capped by Bryce Hall’s slam, and it was 46-38 going to the fourth quarter.

“I felt like we couldn’t make that run to get within three in the third quarter,” Sherwood said.

In the final stanza, after Lyons hit two freebies and Kody Kegarise nailed a trey, the Barons remained within single digits, 54-45, with 5:47 remaining.

But it wasn’t to be.

Five different players scored in a 14-2 run by the Crusaders, putting them in command 68-47 with just 1:57 left to play, and that was the game.

“They have a fantastic core of underclassmen,” Gaffey said of Manheim Central. “As a coach from the distance looking at them, I saw this tonight as a dress rehearsal. Next year, they’ll be one of the best teams in the District … We had a bunch of guys that just beat them to some balls that physically they weren’t able to get to. But (Central’s) game plan was good and I thought all their players played with poise for their age.”


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