York, PA -
The West York girls' basketball team has been challenged by its coaching staff to take good or great shots and not just settle for what the defense might give it.
Heather Zinn took five first-quarter shots for the Bulldogs, hitting four of them and helping West York to a 16-point advantage after the first eight minutes of Friday's YAIAA tournament quarterfinal against Eastern York.
The Bulldogs kept their foot on the gas for the final three quarters, earning a 57-39 victory against the Golden Knights.
"All year we've talked about getting back to that early West York team where we like to get out and run," Bulldogs head coach Jon Shultz said. "We also like to play good, in-your-face defense, and I think we did that in the first quarter."
The Division I champion Bulldogs (20-3) advance to face York Catholic -- the Division IV champions -- in Tuesday's semifinal round game.
In Friday's game, West York shot 8-of-14 from the field in the first quarter and getting points from all five starters in that 22-point stretch.
"We wanted to have a strong start and get a big lead," said Zinn, who scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the first quarter.
On the other side of the court, things didn't go as well for Eastern York (16-7), which shot just 3-of-16 in the first quarter and posted just six points. The Golden Knights had eight turnovers in the first quarter.
"It was a little bit of both," Golden Knights coach Cheryl Land said of her team's struggles being attributed to the Bulldogs defense and Eastern's own missed chances. "We missed some easy layups and shots early. If you don't put the ball in the hoop when you have a chance, it's going to be a long night."
Eastern closed within eight -- the closest it got -- during the second quarter. The Golden Knights went on an 8-0 run to begin the second quarter before the Bulldogs scored -- a 3-pointer from Raychel Johnson with three minutes left in the half.
The Bulldogs -- the No. 2 team in the District 3 Class AAA rankings -- scored just seven points in the second quarter, but still managed to lead 29-17 at halftime.
West York outscored Eastern 28-22 over the final two quarters.
"We wanted to keep Eastern off the offensive rebounds in the second half and I think we did a good job of that," Shultz said. "We got good looks, too, specifically in the third and fourth quarters."
West York had eight girls score, getting 10 from Kari Lankford and eight from Alyssa Krepps.
Eastern, which shot just 31 percent from the floor, was led by Morgan Thomas and Lauren Beaver, who each scored 11 points. The Golden Knights' 1,000 point scorer, Elizabeth Myers, scored just four points.
"We just couldn't get on track," Land said. "West York is a very physical team and they obviously execute very well. They have a lot of fire and intensity and don't make a lot of mistakes."
Eastern, the No. 8-ranked team in the District 3 Class AAA rankings, will be off until the district tournament begins.
"Everybody just needs to take a deep breath and walk away from it for a day or two," Land said.
Tickets: West York will have presale tickets on Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its athletic office for Tuesday night's semifinal game.
EASTERN YORK (39)
Lauren Beaver 5 0-0 11, Kalke 0 2-2 2, L. Myers 3 1-2 7, Morgan Thomas 5 1-2 11, Nalls 0 0-0 0, E. Myers 1 2-4 4, Pennell 1 1-2 4. Totals 15 7-12 39.
WEST YORK (57)
Fuhrman 1 0-0 2, Wood 0 6-8 6, Johnson 2 0-2 5, Slagle 0 0-0 0, Kari Lankford 3 2-4 10, Noll 1 0-0 2, Heather Zinn 5 8-11 19, Mulroy 0 0-0 0, Krepps 4 0-0 8, Tallman 2 1-3 5. Totals 18 17-28 57.
Eastern York 6 11 10 12 -- 39
West York 22 7 11 17 -- 57
3-point goals -- Eastern York 2 (Beaver, Pennell); West York 4 (Lankford 2, Johnson, Zinn).