Related: York Catholic limits Delone Catholic's Abbey Sponseller, Maddie Comly.


The Delone Catholic High girls' basketball team had an unfortunate soundtrack as it trudged to its locker room Thursday night. As some of the Squirettes cried, they could hear York Catholic cheering in its locker room down the hall.

There was just no escaping the Fighting Irish.

York Catholic won its eighth consecutive District 3 Class AA title with a 56-38 win against Delone Catholic at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Squirettes lost the last three of those championships.

Delone Catholic’s Abbey Sponseller tries to shoot against York Catholic’s Zaenna Echevarria, 35, and Marissa Ressler, 22, in the first half of
Delone Catholic's Abbey Sponseller tries to shoot against York Catholic's Zaenna Echevarria, 35, and Marissa Ressler, 22, in the first half of the District 3 Class AA title game on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. York Catholic girls defeated Delone Catholic 56-38 to win a District 3 record eighth Class AA basketball championship on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at the Giant Center. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - CHRIS DUNN (Chris Dunn)

"To the victors go the spoils," Squirettes coach Gerry Eckenrode said.

York Catholic won behind double-digit performances from Morgan Klunk (13 points), Zaenna Echevarria (14) and Marissa Ressler (10). The Squirettes could only hope for that sort of production after they shot 15-of-53 (28.3 percent).

"I don't know what our shooting percentage was, but it was atrocious," Eckenrode said. "It's our inept shooting at times. We can't do that against good teams. That's where we lost games, when our shooting percentage was low.

"We had some rushed shots at times and had some poor decision-making at times. We told them at the beginning of the game, 'You got to attack the basket.' I'm bewildered why we couldn't get to the foul line more."

The offense started well, jumping to a 5-0 lead behind consecutive field goals by senior Bethany Ball, and the Squirettes led 9-3 in the first quarter. Fighting Irish coach Kevin Bankos then called a timeout that seemed to spur his team.

"We said, 'Look, we're not running our offense,'" Bankos said. "'We're standing around with the ball. We're 30 feet from the basket, and we're not attacking.'"

The Fighting Irish wanted to attack to build an early lead. Bankos watched Delone rally from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit in the semifinals Monday and eventually win in overtime. He didn't want to give the Squirettes an opportunity to do so again.

"The idea was to bury them at the half," Klunk said. "We knew we had to get them down."

The Fighting Irish turned an 11-11 score entering the second quarter to a 27-15 lead at halftime.

"The second quarter, we went dry," Eckenrode said. "You have to score points all through the game. We didn't do it. The second quarter was the difference of the game."

The Squirettes went on a 9-0 run -- spurred by seven points from Maddie Comly -- early in the third quarter to pull within 31-24, but the Fighting Irish scored 11 of the next 14 points to take a commanding 42-27 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Squirettes are on a five-game losing streak to the Fighting Irish, who they have not beaten since January of last year.

"It comes from within," Eckenrode said. "Our kids have to believe they can get the job done. We just have to approach it mentally different until we get over that hump. Until that happens, I have no magic potion for that."

dpaulling@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, extension 139. Twitter: @DanielPaulling.

DELONE CATHOLIC (38)
   Maddie Comly 3 4-4 11, Gingrow 2 0-0 5, Ugarte 0 0-0 0, Laughman 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Sponseller 1 1-2 3, Shanaghan 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Bethany Ball 5 0-0 13, Neiderer 0 0-0 0, Mall 1 0-0 2, Shipley 2 0-0 4, Becker 0 0-0 0, Durbin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 5-6 38.
YORK CATHOLIC (56)
   Lehr 0 0-0 0, York 0 0-0 0, McNamara 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Chesko 3 2-4 8, Marissa Ressler 3 3-5 10, Carroll 1 0-0 3, Morgan Klunk 3 5-7 13, Demonda 0 0-0 0, Salter 0 0-0 0, Zaenna Echevarria 6 0-0 14, Keffer 0 0-0 0, Laslo 4 0-0 8. Totals: 20 10-16 56.
Delone Catholic   11  4  12  11 -- 38
York Catholic11  16  15  14 -- 56
3-point goals: Delone Catholic 3 (Comly, Gingrow, Ball), York Catholic 6 (Echevarria 2, Klunk 2, Carroll, Ressler)