West York’s Alyssa Krepps runs in to York Catholic’s Amelia York during the YAIAA semifinal at Central York High School Tuesday, February 12,
West York's Alyssa Krepps runs in to York Catholic's Amelia York during the YAIAA semifinal at Central York High School Tuesday, February 12, 2013. West York won 59-54. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN (KATE PENN)

Related: Dallastown defeats Dover

West York beats York Catholic


Welcome to the playoffs. Welcome to February. Welcome to the most heartbreaking time of the year.

The York-Adams league girls' basketball tournament served as a reminder for everyone: The only thing that matters now is what happens in those 32 minutes on the court.

It's the time of year where the biggest attitude, the toughest team, and the hardest workers often show themselves to be just that.

Don't want to dive after the loose ball?

That's not going to cut it.

Don't want to take a charge in the paint?

That's not going to cut it.

Don't want to fight through a slap on the wrist or a body check?

That's not going to cut it.

The York-Adams league championship game features the two teams that survived the heat at Central York's gymnasium Tuesday. Dallastown ended Dover's 23-game winning streak -- the longest in the league this year.

In the primetime game, West York knocked off York Catholic, an Irish team that had won 21 consecutive games. York Catholic hadn't lost a game since dropping its season opener to Trinity on Dec. 8.


Advertisement

Think it's easy making it to the league championship game? Two powerhouse programs -- Red Lion and York Catholic -- have dominated the league final for more than a decade. Since 2001, either one or both of those programs have made the league final in all but one year (2009). So this is somewhat a change of pace, and Dallastown hasn't qualified for the championship game since 2000.

"For our program in recent history, this is new, but our girls have done such a good job at focusing on one game at a time that they weren't psyched out," Dallastown coach Mary Manlove said. "It wasn't overwhelming for them that, 'Hey, you're going up against an undefeated team -- or a team that beat you before.'

"These girls recognized and valued the tough losses to put them in a position where they are tonight. They openly talk about how those single point and three-point losses, because now they know how to be strong."

Manlove despises losses. Even now, headed to a league championship game, you can catch her grimace when she talks about a January loss.

Dover’s Lindsay Fowler reaches around Dallastown’s Alex Lehman during the YAIAA semifinal at Central York High School Tuesday, February 12,
Dover's Lindsay Fowler reaches around Dallastown's Alex Lehman during the YAIAA semifinal at Central York High School Tuesday, February 12, 2013. Dallastown won 53-41. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN (KATE PENN)

"It hurts everybody in this program when we lose a game," Manlove said. "Everybody hurt really badly, but everyone came together to say we can still come together and win a league championship."

West York's Jon Shultz is another preacher of toughness. Another coach who doesn't mind if his team is the underdog, in fact he relishes it. It's one more obstacle his team can overcome, and in the process become stronger because of it.

"Everyone has a size advantage over us," Shultz said.

He calls his girls bruisers, for the simple fact some of them wear the black-and-blue reminders from playing in-your-face defense. And that's how he wants them to play.

"We preach it so much in practice we also bring some guys in to -- you know -- beat up on them," Shultz said jokingly. "They hear me a lot, getting on them ... but if you can play against guys you can play against any girl -- considering the height, speed and the weight (advantage)."

So on Thursday night, leave the prom dresses at home or with the crazy costume-wearing student section.

In the championship game, the faint of heart should step into the bleachers.

Dallastown and West York are two teams that don't mind fighting for every loose ball, every bucket and this year's league title.

Jim Seip may be reached at 771-2025 or jseip@ydr.com.