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February 23, 2005

Spartans forge ahead

From: York Daily Record - York,PA,USA - Feb 23, 2005

The York College men pounded Gallaudet, 78-65, in the CAC tourney opener.

Daily Record/Sunday News
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Chalk it up to freshman exuberance.

Chad McGowan's alley-oop dunk provided the punctuation mark on a 78-65 victory by the York College men's basketball team over Gallaudet University in a Commonwealth Athletic Conference quarterfinal at Wolf Gym on Tuesday.

But the celebration was just beginning.

McGowan, who a year ago was suiting up the Dallastown Wildcats, tied junior guard Brandon Bushey for team-high scoring honors with 19 points.

Watching him prance around the court afterward, though, hugging classmates previously seated in the "Screamin' Green Machine Section," kissing his mother and snatching a pair of headphones and hamming it up for an impromptu radio interview — this is where he belonged.

Who cared if this was his first collegiate playoff game?

"I had an energy drink before the game, and I'm still a little hyped up," admitted McGowan, grinning.

The Spartans, the No.1 seed in the CAC tournament, needed all of his energy against the eighth-seeded Bison (6-20).

Believe it or not, his offense was actually a bonus. McGowan and starting forward Ben Seibert (seven points, six rebounds) alternated defending Gallaudet's leading scorer, Frank Jackson. Averaging more than 18 points per game — and 32 in two games against York this season — Jackson was held to just six points.

"We spent a lot of time over the last two days, thinking about holding him down," said York coach Jeff Gamber, whose team will now face Goucher College, an 86-83 winner over St. Mary's College on Tuesday.

"Ben and Chad did a great job on (Jackson), but we had a lot of people come with help," Gamber said.

Earlier in the day, via e-mail, Gallaudet coach James DeStefano said his team would have to play a perfect game in order to defeat York, now 23-2.

In the first half, the Bison did nearly that, but they still trailed, 33-32, at halftime.

"We missed a lot of shots we usually hit in the first half," said Bushey. "We knew our shots would eventually fall. It was just one of those nights where we had to pick it up."

Missing wasn't a problem for Bushey, who scored 10 in the first half and nine in the second. The Spartans' leading scorer at 16 points per game, the junior displayed his entire offensive repertoire Tuesday, connecting on 2-of-6 from 3-point range and unleashing his lethal mid-range jumper. He was a model of efficiency, shooting just 13 times and turning the ball over only once in 37 minutes of action.

Bushey kept York afloat in the first half, and early in the second half the Spartans decided to exploit a glaring size advantage in the paint with 6-foot-8 junior center Brian Singer (13 points, seven rebounds). The big man scored four quick points for York, establishing a previously ignored post presence.

Then, McGowan went to work with a variety of post moves and jump shots. With the game in control — the Spartans led by as many as 12 in the second half — point guard Brad Zerfing (12 points, five assists) salted the game away with his ballhandling and by converting free throws.

All that was left was for McGowan to apply the gloss on the finish. Apparently, the alley-oop wasn't his first choice.

"That dunk was awesome, but me and Brad were practicing the Amare Stoudemire dunk from the Slam Dunk Contest over the weekend," said McGowan. "We wanted to do that, but we didn't have the chance."

Thursday, perhaps?

Reach Jeffrey Martin at 771-2080 or

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