York plays title ball for first time in 27 years
Brady Danielson hit big free throws down the stretch and helped York win a state semifinal for the first time since 1991, 52-45 over Bennington on Friday.
"Winning that semifinal game, I think, is the hardest one of the bunch," said head coach Scott Lamberty. "There's that pressure of getting to the next day. Well, now you're to that next day.
York scored nine points from the stripe in the fourth quarter for a total of 17 to hold off the Badgers, who cut a 40-34 deficit to one point and then tied it at 43 late in the fourth quarter.
Danielson hit four freebies from there and Reid Hoffman came through with two big ones to give York the 49-45 lead with less than a minute remaining.
Garrett Snodgrass scored 15 points, tying Danielson for a team-high as seven different Dukes scored at least a point. York outscored the Badgers by nine from distance on a four-to-one advantage.
Bennington was slightly less balanced as Cooper Prososki's 17 points and Thomas Spoehr's 15 accounted for over two-thirds of the Badgers' offensive production.
This is the third time the Dukes advanced to a championship, finishing runner-ups in 1991.
"Obviously there's going to be a lot at stake, but those kids felt that in football a little bit, so they're going to be used to that moment a little bit, used to the crowd, used to the atmosphere, and I think they'll be able to feed off that," Lamberty believes.
The Class B title tilt tips off at 1 p.m. Saturday. It's a rematch of the final two teams in the football season which resulted in a York victory.
The Dukes' only state basketball championship came in 1944.