West York Leaves No Doubt As Bulldogs Show Off Bark And Bite In Nonleague Win Over Donegal
Written by: Andy Herr on Monday, January 20th, 2020
In the game of basketball, not all losses are created equal. Yes, while all are painful in their own unique way, whether you find yourself coming up shy by just one-point, or by as many as say 50-points, the feeling can be nonetheless painful no matter how big or how small. However, there is arguably nothing more gut-wrenching than losing on a buzzer-beater. As it turned out, this past Friday night was one bathed in the all dramatics considering three teams around the league prevailed in the most exciting of ways possible.
Unfortunately, one of those teams that cruelly found themselves on the opposite side of such an occurrence a few days ago were the Donegal Indians.
For the Indians, while it admittedly may be difficult for the naked eye to see clear, tangible signs of progress, this season has most definitely been a step in the right direction considering last winter in and around the Mount Joy community was particularly long given the fact that Donegal went the entire year without picking up a single victory. And while this year too appears at least for the moment that it will inevitably come to a close in a matter of weeks without a trip to the postseason for the second consecutive year, the Indians’ Monday night assignment would be particularly interesting in gaging the inner-working and mental makeup of the Donegal program as a whole considering their excruciating 54-53 defeat at the hands of a Josh Clemmer last-second bucket for Northern Lebanon their last time out on Friday night.
That said, it would likely take one of Donegal’s most-engaged efforts of the season considering that the Indians found themselves traveling across the Susquehanna River to take on the West York Bulldogs, a team that also came up short on Friday night in a 67-57 defeat at the hands of York Suburban. And if a loss to county foe wasn’t already enough, West York was most definitely looking to get right when they welcomed Donegal into town as the Bulldogs found themselves embarking on a late-season playoff push.
But on this night, it would quickly become apparent that this would turn into a night in which the homestanding Bulldogs would reign supreme.
Early on however, it didn’t necessarily appear that would end the manner in which the game would ultimately take shape. No, especially not with either team struggling to put the ball through the net in the opening minutes on Monday night. Yet once one team did, Donegal would be the one things playing with the honors of some early momentum once 5’9 senior guard, Patrick Summers, poured in a 3-ball which gave the visitors from Mount Joy the early 3-2 lead with 5:30.
From that moment on however, West York would take off and never think twice about looking back.
In the face of Donegal’s slim, early cushion, the Bulldogs proceeded to rattle off an impromptu 6-0 salvo to answer which was emphatically capped off by a steal and finish by 6’2 sophomore forward, Conner Michael, putting West York up 8-3 with 3:29 as Donegal decided to burn a timeout to quell the rising waters.
And to their credit, they largely did just that.
Immediately following the Indians’ early timeout, whatever was said in the huddle was undoubtedly received loud and clear by Donegal’s Kahlil Masden considering the Indians’ 6’0 sophomore forward responded in grand fashion by tallying back-to-back buckets in the lane on two consecutive Donegal possessions to help trim West York’s lead down to four at 11-7 with roughly one minute and change left to play in the opening period.
But just it had seemed like Donegal had been making hay against their hosts, West York’s Jared Shearer answered the bell –well technically the horn– by sinking a buzzer-beating jumper to put a bow on the first quarter while also bolstering West York’s lead up to 13-7.
Yet once the second quarter got underway, Shearer had quickly evolved into a force that simply could not be contained.
In fact, once the curtain was raised on the second stanza, Shearer proceeded to go off on his own personal 11-0 run with a solid mix of inside and outside play, upping the West York lead to 24-9 at the 4:02 mark as Donegal called yet another timeout to help stop the bleeding. From there, the Indians would find their cut-man in Joe Haas, as the Indians’ 5’9 sophomore guard ended the Bulldogs’ blitz with a fearless take to the rack to end Donegal’s nearly five-minute long scoring drought, cutting the Donegal deficit down to 24-11 with 2:37 left to play before the intermission.
However, the West York snowball was clearly rolling downhill at an alarming rate of speed by this point. And for proof of that, look no further than West York 6’3 junior forward, Ty Nalls, stepping outside to sink a 3-ball, giving the Bulldogs their largest lead of the evening at 31-11 before West York later trotted off in the locker room after the final 1:45 with the commanding 35-11 advantage at the halftime break.
If nothing else, Donegal was most certainly playing for pride in wearing their school’s name across their chests once the second half got underway on Monday night. Fortunately for the Indians, they indeed found someone worthy of the cause in 5’9 senior guard, Ryan Zuch.
At the onset of the third quarter, Donegal’s unquestioned floor general took matters into his own hands by nailing a fearless triple to help get the third quarter proceedings underway, only to then follow that up with a sweet assist on a dime on the next possession to help give the Indians some good vibes to begin the new half.
Once again though, West York would be the cold water to Donegal’s fire.
Shortly following Zuch’s impressive start to the half which had helped aid the Donegal cause, Ty Nalls proceeded to do the same for his fellow West York troops by snatching two straight steals with finishes in transition to help balloon the Bulldogs’ lead out to 39-18, all of which seemingly happened within the blink of an eye. And while a timely trey knocked down by Donegal’s Luke Yunginger helped end yet another West York run which made it a 45-23 affair late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs then strolled their way into the final frame with ownership of the 56-25 lead.
Yet not even the change in quarters seemed to do much in terms of slowing down West York.
Case in point, a smooth step-back jumper sunk by sophomore forward, Anthony Williams, upping the West York lead to 64-27 with five minutes and change still left to be played. And while the outcome was essentially a foregone conclusion by this point, you’d be hard-pressed trying to explain that to Donegal’s Peter Steinkamp, as the Indians’ 5’10 senior guard proceeded to get his name into the scorer’s book with a layup in transition which made it a 68-29 ballgame with time still ticking down.
Once it did and the dust had finally settled in this nonleague gettogether, there was little in the way of questioning as to what had just taken place over the previous 32 minutes as West York would prove to be the ones who would respond best to their Friday night defeat considering the Bulldogs’ authoring of an impressive 73-34 victory over Donegal on Monday evening.
NEXT UP: For the contingent from Mount Joy, the road ahead certainly does not seem to get any easier. While the Indians will receive a welcomed reprieve from game competition following their Monday night game against West York for most of this week, their upcoming assignment is yet another daunting one considering it brings the Indians up into Lebanon County and the town of Myerstown to tangle with the ELCO Raiders, a team trying to nail down an L-L tourney bid. And as if that game wasn’t already challenging enough, it comes paired with a noon tip at Susquehannock then on Saturday afternoon, a school nearly an hour away from Donegal’s campus located in York County, creating a grueling back-to-back slate of games that come within essentially 15 hours of one another.
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