SHILLINGTON - Lancaster Country Day had its chance to grab its second-round, state-tournament game with Faith Christian by the throat early Tuesday.
The shots - mostly very good shots - mostly didn’t fall for the Cougars.
“We held them to 14,’’ LCD coach Jon Shultz told his his guys at halftime.
“We held us to 16.’’
When Faith Christian, a well-coached two-seed from District One, got a similar chance later on, the Lions, and especially senior swingman Derian Bradford, cashed it in.
HERSHEY - Nothing was going right for Lancaster Country Day during the first half of Wednesd…
Bradford scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, Faith Christian won the fourth quarter 19-11 and ended Country Day’s season, 49-40 in a Class A boys’ game at Governor Mifflin.
“We take pride in our defense, and I thought we defended them pretty well,’’ Shultz said. “But when it came down to it, (Bradford) made plays. He’s just looking to go, and that’s what he did.’’
Most of the way, this was one of those drum-tight, tense games you see a lot this time of year.
Neither side drew serious blood in a first half that saw no lead, either way, of more than three points.
There was one development that resonated. Andrew Williams, Country Day’s leading scorer and fulcrum, picked up a second foul and left late in the first quarter.
Williams didn’t score in the first half, didn’t make a perimeter shot all night and finished with eight, just over half his average.
Still, Luke Walling’s three-point bomb ended a mini-rally just before halftime to give the Cougars the lead at the break.
It stayed very tight until very late. The Cougars were as close as 39-37, on two Williams free throws, with 1:34 left.
But Faith Christian was effectively letting the air out by that point, making Country Day chase and foul, and closing the door at the line, where it made 10 of its last 11.
Sophomore Lance Lennon led the Cougars with 10 points. Walling, relentless, grabbed 16 rebounds.
Faith Christian (17-11) advances to the state quarterfinals, where it will face the winner of Tuesday’s second-rounder between St. John Neumann and Sankofa Freedom Academy.
Sankofa, the District 12 champ, has been ranked first in the state in Class A most of the winter.
For Country Day, season one in the Lancaster-Lebanon League was a memorable one, including a District Three championship and state-tournament win.
The Cougars lingered together in the postgame locker room for a long while.
“I didn’t say a word,’’ Shultz said. “These seniors, … they just talked about working hard.
“There’s a great opportunity in this program for some of the young guys. We’re losing a lot of talent, but we’re keeping the work ethic.’’