The Yorktown boys basketball team’s postseason run started when it held Washington-Lee scoreless for a stretch of more than 11 minutes in the opening round of the National District tournament. The Patriots’ season started to fade as they went nearly eight minutes without a point against Langley in Friday’s Northern Region semifinal.
After a basket by Mike Veith pulled Yorktown to within four at 24-20 with 2:12 remaining in the second quarter, the Patriots failed to score until a three-point play by Jack Earley with 2:15 to play in the third. At that point, Yorktown trailed 35-23 and things were looking bleak.
That’s when the Patriots made their final push.
"When we got down," Yorktown coach Richard Avila said outside the visitor’s locker room at Robinson Secondary School, "I’m just glad I made some substitutions and we fought back and wanted to make it a game. I didn’t want to go out of here in a whimper."
The Patriots closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run and pulled to within three late in the fourth, but Yorktown’s season came to an end with a 46-39 loss to the Saxons.
A 3-pointer by Daniel Pietropaoli pulled Yorktown to within three at 42-39 with 50.5 seconds to play in the fourth. After a Langley free throw pushed the lead to four, the Patriots came up empty on the other end and the Saxons closed out the win.
Pietropaoli led Yorktown with 13 points. Veith added 11.
Yorktown entered the district tournament as the No. 5 seed and beat No. 4 Washington-Lee and No. 8 Falls Church to reach the tournament title game, where the Patriots lost to No. 2 Mount Vernon.
Yorktown beat South County in the opening round of the regional tournament and blew out Oakton in the quarterfinals.
Veith, a senior, averaged 16.3 points during the postseason and Earley, a sophomore, averaged 13.7.
"I’m just thinking about all the games I’ve ever played for Yorktown," Veith said after Friday’s loss. "It’s just kind of hard accepting I’ll never play [for Yorktown] again. I’m proud of the guys taking us this far and I wish them the best for next year. … It’s been a roller coaster [ride]: ups and downs, trials and tribulations. It’s been one [heck] of a ride."
<b>O’Connell’s Decker Wins 500 Free</b>
Bishop O’Connell’s Ian Decker won the 500 freestyle at the Metro swimming championships on Feb. 24 in Germantown, Md. Decker finished in 4 minutes, 36.64 seconds.