NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – A sluggish performance offensively in the second half proved costly for host Penn State New Kensington on Friday, as it came up short against Penn State York 81-61. The loss dropped New Ken to 0-5, and 0-2 in Penn State University Athletic Conference action. Conversely, York improved to 3-1 overall, and captured the victory in its first PSUAC tilt.
Although New Ken faced a 48-40 deficit at halftime, the team showed some offensive punch in opening 20 minutes. The hosts made just 12 of 32 shots from the field, but converted 4 of 9 from behind the arc, and also hit all 12 foul shots in the half. New Ken also displayed its balance early, as all nine players who took the floor scored in the half, including seven points apiece for Tavarski Wardlow (Round Rock, Tx/Hendrickson) and Joseph Dusabe (Fox Chapel Area).
However, New Ken could not contain York's leading scorer, Richard Grant, who scored a dozen points in the half.
Early in the second half, Hasaan Ismaeli (Pittsburgh, Pa/Nazareth Prep) hit a jumper, and Wilson Rojas knocked down a pair of free throws to pull the hosts within four points. From there, however, York produced a 19-4 run to take control.
Despite the best efforts of freshman Bernard Lawson (Pittsburgh, Pa/Serra Catholic), who scored eight points in the half, New Ken never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
For the game, Lawson and Jahi Ogbonna (Pittsburgh, Pa/Allderdice) tied for the team high with 10 points, while Wardlow snatched eight boards. Furthermore, Ismaeli contributed eight points and three assists.
In the triumph, Michael Coleman led York with 19 points and 11 points, while Grant provided 18 points and nine rebounds. Johnathon Gillespie added 13 points.
New Kensington will play its fourth-straight home contest on Saturday, welcoming Penn State Mont Alto at 3 p.m., while York travels to Penn State Shenango on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Written by: Sean Meyers