FLEETWOOD >> When it mattered most Wednesday night, York Suburban went to what's worked best for the team all season.
And thankfully for the Trojans, Claudia Mingora was ready and waiting.
Mingora poured in a game-high 21 points, including eight in the fourth quarter — all from the free-throw line — and ninth-seeded York Suburban ran past No. 8 Fleetwood, 45-37, in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA girls' basketball tournament.
"She just finds a way, you know?" Trojan head coach Jess Barley said of Mingora. "She's a senior; she's a leader; and she truly believes we are going to win every night. Again, though, she just finds a way to get it done. But she does a lot of things to help this team put points on the board.
"She's the heart and soul of the team."
With the win, York Suburban will face top-seeded Western York, a 81-43 winner over 17th-seeded Middletown. They'll square off in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. Saturday at East Pennsboro High School.
A Georgia Dumars 3-pointer as time ran out during the third quarter gave the Trojans a three-point lead to start the fourth quarter. Fleetwood used a quick 5-1 run to knot the score, 33-33, but the rally would be short-lived as Mingora and Olivia Gettle combined for six straight Trojan points to widen the gap to 39-33.
With a little under two minutes to play in regulation, Lauren Lister cut the deficit to four on a driving layup that made it 39-35, but that would be as close as it would get. Mingora went to the line three straight times, making all six of her free throws to put the game out of reach.
"It was incredible. I just shot every foul shot like it was just an ordinary foul shot, and they went in. I trusted my shot," Mingora said. "We wanted to slow [the Tigers'] offense down, get our looks in, run our plays and trust that they would work. Tonight, they did."
Fleetwood took command of the game at the start, using a 9-4 run to jump out to the early lead, but a Molly Day putback, a Heather Ramp layup and a late 3 by Mingora pulled the Trojans back into the game at an 11-11 tie after one quarter.
Things stayed closed in the second, but again Mingora came on strong when needed, accounting for seven of her team's nine points in the period as York Suburban took a 20-19 lead into halftime.
Lister led Fleetwood with 16 points, while Isabella Mullen and Cyré Virgo each added eight in the loss.
Gettle finished the night with 10 points for York Suburban.
"We just didn't play well, and [the Trojans] executed really nice on offense," Tigers head coach Matt Kellet said. "We just didn't play smart basketball."
York Suburban (45)
Mingora 5 9-10 21, Dumars 1 3-4 6, Ramp 1 0-0 2, Faircloth-Henise 0 0-0 0, Gettle 4 2-3 10, Day 2 0-0 4, K. Plonk 1 0-0 2.
Totals — 14 14-17 45
Nowotarski 0 0-0 0, Lister 7 2-6 16, Mullen 4 0-0 8, K. Schoener 0 0-0 0, A. Schoener 0 0-0 0, Weidmeyer 0 0-0 0, Ch. Virgo 0 1-2 1, Downs 2 0-1 4, Cy. Virgo 4 0-1 8.
Totals — 17 3-10 37
3-point goals — YS 3 (Mingora 2, Dumars). FL 0.