Littlestown entered its contest with Bermudian Springs riding a five-game winning streak and averaging an area-best 58 points per game. The Eagles were coming off of a loss, but were allowing just 41 ppg., also an area-best.
Things went the Eagles’ way in their 44-35 victory over the Thunderbolts in a YAIAA-3 boys’ basketball contest Saturday night in York Springs.
“This is their style of play and they’re a well-coached team,” Littlestown head coach Johnathan Forster said. “They slowed the game down, got it played at their pace and executed well.”
Originally scheduled to be played on Monday, the game was postponed due to inclement weather and provided a bookend for a busy back half of the week for both sides.
Littlestown (6-2, 4-2) was playing its third game in three nights, while Berm was playing its third in four nights.
Bermudian (7-4, 6-3) was looking to bounce back from a 46-35 loss to Fairfield on Friday night.
“Every game is a different opportunity. I thought we handled their press well and I thought we played hard,” Berm head coach Jared Nace said. “Littlestown is a talented team and they’re very well-coached.”
The Eagles led for most of the night, but found themselves trailing, 29-28, following a pair of charity tosses from Bolt senior Jayden Weishaar with 7:28 remaining in the game.
It stayed that way for the next two minutes before Jay Martinez pushed Berm ahead for good with a triple at the 5:23 mark.
Berm led by six before taking the air out of the ball and going into a delay game that saw Ethan Beachy score with 2:07 to go to make it 39-31.
“We try to be good in our halfcourt offense,” Nace said. “If you take care of the ball, sometimes it’ll make the opponent panic because they can’t get the ball. They’ll gamble for a steal and you’ll get an easy one out of it.”
Littlestown got within 39-35 on a runout layup by Weishaar, the only made field goal of the night by the Times Area’s leading scorer.
Weishaar was excellent at drawing fouls and made hay at the foul line (12-of-14) to finish with a game-high 14 points.
“We played a number of different guys on Weishaar to give him a number of different looks,” Nace said. “But we used Blake Young on him most of the night and he really made Jayden work.”
The hosts iced the game by knocking down 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute.
“We defended well tonight, but had some breakdowns that really cost us,” Forster said. “We’d reach in and foul or reach and they’d backdoor cut us for a layup. We just need to play a little more disciplined.”
Berm took a 10-6 lead into the second quarter and stretched its advantage to 20-10 following Connor Shaw’s trey with 2:10 to go until the break.
The count at intermission stood at 20-15.
A hoop by Martinez made it 26-18 with 5:52 remaining in the third quarter, but Littlestown responded with a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the night.
Rachard Holder’s hoop at the 2:32 mark of the third quarter made it 27-26 in favor of the visitors. But a steal and layup by Beachy pushed Berm back in front a minute later and allowed the Eagles to head into the final stanza holding a 28-27 advantage.
Beachy led the way for Berm with 13 points, while Martinez chipped in with 12 points and lassoed six rebounds.
Bolt sophomore Jake Bosley reached double digits on the glass again, collecting 11 boards, while adding eight points.
“That kid is a horse,” Nace said of Bosley. “We were concerned about him taking over the game, but our big guys (Jacob Schriver and Brandt Yurick) did a nice job of not allowing him to dominate inside.”
Littlestown begins a stretch of four games in five nights on Tuesday with a pair of back-to-backs. It opens with a home-and-home against Hanover, then road games at Delone and Fairfield to wrap up the week on Friday and Saturday.
“It’ll be nice to have a day off (Sunday) and then have a chance to practice on Monday,” Forster said. “Not having practice time makes it hard to correct things and to properly prepare for games. That’s not an excuse, because everyone is dealing with the same thing. It’s just a fact.”
Meanwhile, Bermudian hosts York Tech in its next contest, on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“Practices are so different this year than normal years,” Nace said. “You get two hours to get all of your work in. Whether it’s drills, game-planning, watching film, lifting weights. Whatever it is, you have two hours a day to do it. Which means you have to be very efficient with what you’re doing.”
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Littlestown 6 9 12 8 — 35
Bermudian 10 10 8 16 — 44
Littlestown (35): Rachard Holder 3 0-0 8, Lucas Denault 0 1-2 1, Braden Unger 1 0-0 3, Jake Bosley 4 0-0 8, Jayden Weishaar 1 12-14 14, Nathan King 0 1-2 1. Non-scorers: Gazmen, Elliot. Totals: 9 14-18 35.
Bermudian Springs (44): Ethan Beachy 3 6-6 13, Jay Martinez 5 1-2 12, Jacob Schriver 3 2-3 8, Brandt Yurick 2 0-0 4, Connor Shaw 2 2-2 7. Non-scorers: Young, Carpenter. Totals: 15 11-13 44.
3-pointers: L-Holder 2, Unger; BS-Beachy, Martinez, Shaw. JV: Bermudian 38, Littlestown 37