Image Credit: Image: Luke Snell
In what may go down as the game of the tournament, York beat out Lancaster 87-80 in a match that no
one in the York Sports Arena will forget. It may be surprising, but the game started rather quietly, both teams missing the majority of their early shots.
Lancaster’s three-point game was particularly poor and neither team could get 100% of their trips to the free-throw line. York did start to settle into the game part-way through the first quarter and eventually found themselves opening a lead. The gap for York was as big as 10 points but closed out the first up 23-16.
The second quarter saw both teams warm into the game, Lancaster’s shooting started coming off and York were playing good offensive basketball as well. Both teams went on strong runs throughout the quarter, but Lancaster did have the better, going into the half having cut the York lead down to two at 40-38. The third was all Lancaster, at one point over the second and third, Lancaster had gone on a 14-0 run to take a 10-point lead.
York looked lost, none of their passing was coming off and their defence was either giving away free-throws and far too lenient. Though just like Lancaster did in the first half, York pushed back again, by the end of the third the game was again close, York were down 56-60.
In the fourth quarter the game went up yet another notch. The teams traded the lead back and fourth before arriving at 77-77 going into the final minute. With just 1.3 seconds to go, Lancaster were given two free throws, however, they missed both and the game went into overtime.
One reason for the misses may have been the crowd who were an electric sixth man throughout the entire game for the York team. In overtime, York were the only team to really show up, Lancaster scored just one point in the opening three minutes and by that time, York were up by six.
With the final few minutes ticking away, Lancaster were unable to do anything, poor passing and execution. The pitch invasion at the end sealed the cap on an exceptional 87-80 win and an exceptional game of basketball in general. After the game, the York head coach mentioned that he didn’t know how they would ever better the
game in 2017, but that they did with the game that night.
York player Ope Ajanaku, the man of the match for many, mentioned to me that the team dug in and fought hard for their win, that it was well deserved. Neither team can be disappointed in their performance, both put in everything they could, and that will make the 4 points gained for York from this game even sweeter.