The York Catholic girls' basketball team was cruising along with a 17-point lead near halftime of Saturday's game with Bishop McDevitt.
Then the unexpected occurred.
Starting sophomore forward Hannah Laslo crashed to the hardwood inside the free-throw lane at York Catholic, clutching at her left ankle. It was the same ankle she sprained earlier this season. Laslo was helped from the court and taken to the trainer's room. She reappeared in the third quarter with her sneaker off and the ankle heavily bandaged.
With the Irish cruising to a 69-47 win, the game was not in doubt. What is in doubt is how long the injury could sideline the 6-foot-1 Laslo.
"We think it is a sprain, but we don't know for sure," York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos said. "She was out pretty much the first three weeks of the season when she sprained it earlier in the year, so we'll see. We don't know. She could be back in a short period of time. She is in good spirits now, so that's a good sign.
"I feel bad for her, but it is a part of the game. We usually play nine kids a game, and it is like a puzzle. She is a part of that puzzle. If you take a piece out of the puzzle, we have to make a new puzzle."
With Laslo out, it was 6-foot junior Emma Keffer who garnered some additional minutes inside, scoring two third-quarter buckets and finishing with five points.
"Emma is very capable of playing in there for Hannah,"
York Catholic (19-1) exploded midway through the opening quarter, erasing a 6-3 deficit with 14 unanswered points. Senior Morgan Klunk spearheaded the run with two 3-pointers and a short jumper.
Klunk, who received her McDonald's All-American Team certificate from Bankos at midcourt before the game, scored a game-high 23 points against the Crusaders.
The Irish used a pressing, trapping defense to force Bishop McDevitt (3-18) into 13 first-half turnovers.
"I think we got a couple of steals out of that press and it kind of jumpstarted us there," Bankos said. "We are a team that can do that. We can press a couple of different ways to slow the game down, slow the other team down and sometimes helps to kick-start our offense."
Junior Zaenna Echevarria added 10 points for York Catholic, which is again No. 1 in the latest District 3 Class AA power ratings, while Laslo scored eight points and sophomore Marissa Ressler added seven. Bishop McDevitt got a team-high 14 from junior Shannon Bolton, who was 10-of-12 from the free-throw line.
"It was kind of a bad-flow night," Bankos said. "The good news is that we are still scoring enough points to win."
BISHOP McDEVITT (47)
Archie 3 0-1 7, Shannon Bolton 2 10-12 14, Purcell 1 4-6 6, Corrigan 2 2-4 6, Druby 2 1-2 7, Phelan 0 0-0 0, Corrado 0 0-0 0, Anthony 0 0-0 0, Lemaster 0 0-0 0, Chisholm 0 0-0 0, Ruth 2 3-5 7, Ninosky 0 0-0 0. Totals12 20-30 47.
YORK CATHOLIC (69)
McNamara 1 3-5 5, Chesko 0 3-4 3, Morgan Klunk 10 1-3 23, Zaenna Echevarria 5 0-0 10, Laslo 4 0-1 8, York 2 0-0 4, Jones 1 0-0 2, Ressler 3 0-0 7, DeMonda 1 0-0 2, Keffer 2 1-4 5. Totals29 8-17 69.
Bishop McDevitt 12 10 15 10 -- 47
York Catholic 19 20 18 12 -- 69
3-point goals -- Bishop McDevitt 3 (Druby 2, Archie); York Catholic 3 (Klunk 2, Ressler).
JV score -- York Catholic, 42-21.