Littlestown has captured four consecutive YAIAA-3 division titles in boys basketball and the Thunderbolts put themselves in solid position to grab a fifth straight following a 50-40 victory over visiting Bermudian Springs Friday night at the Thunderdome in Littlestown.
The Bolts face winless York Tech on Tuesday, before playing at York Catholic on Thursday.
Littlestown (12-2, 10-2) and York Catholic (9-5, 9-2) met at Littlestown on Jan 11 with the Fighting Irish winning, 54-44. YC’s remaining games prior to hosting the Bolts are at Fairfield on Monday and hosting Biglerville on Tuesday.
“It says a lot about how well we’ve played the past four years,” senior and four-year starter Jayden Weishaar said. “We’ve been a really good team in my time here.”
Friday’s game went to the fourth quarter level at 36 apiece.
Weishaar’s free throw 33 seconds into the final stanza put Littlestown in front and Jake Bosley followed with his only bucket of the night on an offensive rebound and stickback 41 seconds later.
A hoop by Jay Martinez cut the lead to 39-38 immediately following Bosley’s bucket, but the Bolts responded with a 7-0 spurt to give themselves some room to breathe.
Dante Elliot’s triple from the right corner off an assist from a driving Weishaar started the run, a Weishaar run-out layup off an assist from Rachard Holder and Holder’s deuce with 2:55 remaining summed up the run and had Berm head coach Jared Nace calling for time.
Bermudian (10-5, 9-4) got a bucket from Brandt Yurick with 1:44 left, but Weishaar made 4-of-6 from the charity stripe over the final 64 seconds to produce the final count.
“Give credit to Littlestown’s defense in the fourth quarter, especially,” Nace said. “They hit a couple key shots to build a lead. That got us out of our comfort zone and we tried to play too fast.”
After allowing 27 points before halftime, the hosts yielded just 13 after intermission, nine in the third and four in the fourth.
“We played as five guys on the floor together defensively in the second half,” Littlestown head coach Johnathan Forster said. “Our press didn’t force a lot of turnovers, but I think it sped them up and might’ve worn them down some in the fourth quarter.”
Littlestown began the night by scoring the first seven points, but the Eagles slapped together a quick 10-0 run and led after the opening frame, 14-12.
Weishaar tied the game with a tip-in to start the second quarter and his trifecta made it 18-14 with 6:45 to until the break.
Bolt freshman Chris Meakin made his presence felt in the second quarter as he scored all six of his points in the frame and also finished the night with four boards and two blocks.
“Chris has given us some really good minutes this season and he’s played really well in recent games,” Forster said. “He’s a factor inside with his length. He blocks shots well and alters the ones that he can’t block.”
Berm trailed 23-22 when Ethan Beachy connected from deep to put the Eagles with 4:01 left in the half, then his bucket with 46 seconds to go until intermission produced the halftime score, 27-23 in favor of the visitors.
Littlestown trailed by six before a 7-0 run, capped by Michael Gazmen’s floater in the lane with 3:39 left in the third quarter pushed the hosts back ahead, 32-31.
Since losing 44-35 at Bermudian on Feb 6, the Bolts have won six straight and that’s their only loss in their last 12 games.
Weishaar and Elliot paced the winners with 13 points each, while Holder tossed in 12 to go with five boards and four assists.
Meanwhile, Beachy led the Eagles with 10 points. Martinez, who broke the school record for career 3-pointers made in Tuesday’s win over Biglerville, was held without a make from beyond the arc and finished with six points.
Berm wraps up its division slate with a home game against Hanover on Tuesday.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Bermudian 14 13 9 4 — 40
Littlestown 12 11 13 14 — 50
Bermudian Springs (40): Ethan Beachy 4 1-1 10, Blake Young 2 0-0 4, Jay Martinez 2 2-2 6, Jacob Schriver 2 3-5 7, Brandt Yurick 2 0-0 4, Connor Shaw 4 0-0 9. Non-Scorer: Tyson Carpenter. Totals: 16 6-8 40.
Littlestown (50): Rachard Holder 5 0-0 12, Michael Gazmen 1 0-0 2, Jake Bosley 1 2-2 4, Dante Elliot 5 0-0 13, Chris Meakin 2 1-2 6, Jayden Weishaar 3 6-10 13. Non-Scorers: Braden Unger, Nate King. Totals: 17 9-14 50.
3-pointers: BS-Beachy, Shaw; L-Elliot 3, Holder 2, Meakin, Weishaar. JV: Littlestown 34, Bermudian Springs 25