HERSHEY -- Dave Schreiner and his Susquehannock girls' basketball team had no fear facing Lancaster Catholic, the defending District 3 Class AAA champion.

The Warriors wanted to face the Crusaders defense that came into Saturday's district quarterfinal allowing 38.1 points per game.

Even trailing by seven at halftime, the sixth-seeded Warriors didn't panic, instead they came out with more energy than the No. 3 seeded Crusaders in the second half.

The Warriors created more defensive havoc in the second half, shot better than they did in the first half and kept plays alive with some outstanding second and third chance opportunities to stun Lancaster Catholic and hand them their first loss of the season, a 59-53 decision at Milton Hershey School.

"I encouraged the kids to just have more energy," Schreiner said. "I thought in the first half, we would make little spurts and then kind of look tired. In the second half, we just did a much better job of taking away their inside game. We got key rebounds and we didn't get selfish offensively."

The Warriors (17-7) advance to play fellow YAIAA rival West York (23-4) in Wednesday's semifinal at Giant Center at 5:30 p.m. West York beat Susquehannock, 58-49, in the regular season.

On Saturday, the Warriors had three starters finish in double figures, led by Katie Wagner's game-high 21 points. Makenzie Fancher added 16 and Shannon Druck scored 13.

"I told the kids, I wanted Lancaster Catholic to press, that's our game," Schreiner said. "I don't think they're as fast as we are and I think their press helped us."

The Warriors quickly made a seven-point halftime deficit disappear, as Susquehannock started the third quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 31-29 lead at 5:35.

After that, there would be six lead changes over the next three minutes, with Susquehannock grabbing the lead for good at 38-37, when Druck hit a beautiful step back 3-pointer with 2:35 to play in the frame.

Druck scored eight of her 13 points in the first half, helping keep the Warriors -- who shot just 10-for-30 in the first half -- in the game.

As the Warriors defense caught fire and forced five Crusaders (25-1) turnovers in the third period alone and 17 for the game, other Susquehannock starters found their stroke in the second half. The Warriors shot 50 percent over the final two quarters.

Wagner scored 15 of her 21 points in the final 16 minutes. Fancher was 4-of-6 from the field for the game and 6-of-10 from the line.

"It was definitely the energy and knowing our goal was to get to the Giant Center," Wagner said of the team's strong second half.

Susquehannock also was aggressive and got to the foul line and shot 25 foul shots, compared to just eight attempts for the Crusaders.

Catholic was led by Porscha Speller's 18 points and Caroline Scarff's 12 point effort.

 

SUSQUEHANNOCK (59)
   Royer 0 0-0 0, Wilson 2 2-2 6, Deter 1 1-5 3, Makenzie Fancher 4 6-10 16, Barnhart 0 0-2 0, Shannon Druck 6 0-0 13, Katie Wagner 8 3-6 21. Totals 21 12-25 59.
LANCASTER CATHOLIC (53)
   Atkinson 1 0-0 2, Porscha Speller 8 0-2 18, Werner 0 0-0 0, Holt 0 0-0 0, Emily Martin 5 1-2 11, Elizabeth Veronis 4 0-0 10, Colon 0 0-0 0, Caroline Scarff 5 2-4 12. Totals 23 3-8 53.
Susquehannock     9  13  22  15 -- 49
Lanc. Catholic   13  16  11  13 -- 53
3-point goals: Susquehannock 5 (Wagner 2, Fancher 2, Druck); Lanc. Catholic 4 (Veronis 2, Speller 2).