Clicking on all cylinders, West York buzzes by York Suburban and into district semifinals
DALLASTOWN >> The third time wasn't a charm and neither was the fourth.
The York Suburban girls' basketball team met unbeaten West York for the fourth time this season in Sunday afternoon's District 3 Class AAA quarterfinal-round game at Dallastown High School. West York had won the previous three games this season against the Trojans by an average of 27 points.
Ninth-seeded York Suburban scored the opening bucket of the game, but it was pretty much all West York after that as the Bulldogs ran away with a 66-31 win. Top-seeded West York (27-0) now advances to Wednesday's 4 p.m. semifinal against No. 4 seed Greencastle-Antrim at Giant Center in Hershey.
"I usually tell the girls the first three minutes of the second half are the most important of the night," said West York coach Darrell Wildasin. "This one, I told them the first three minutes of the game was most important. We needed to come out and play with some fire."
York Suburban (19-7) will continue to fight for a PIAA state playoff berth against Lancaster Catholic (21-4) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at CD East High School. A win Tuesday will put the Trojans in the Class AAA fifth-place game while a loss will have them in the seventh-place game. The top-seven teams go to states in Class AAA.
It was a year ago Sunday at Dallastown that West York was beaten by three points by top-seeded Susquehannock, which went on to play in the Class AAA championship game. The loss denied West York a chance to play in the Giant Center and it saw its season end three days later, playing for a state berth against Berks Catholic.
"We talked about that in warm-ups," said West York senior guard Kari Lankford, who scored 19 points. "We said we definitely were not having a close game again like that. We remembered. We got it this time. Now we get to go there."
West York senior guard Emily Wood, who scored a game-high 20 points, agreed.
"We really wanted to get back to the Giant Center," Wood said. "Two years ago, we lost there by I think a point to Susquehannock once again. We'd like to get some redemption on that court."
West York led by eight points after the opening quarter and took a 20-point lead into the locker room at halftime. The Bulldogs defense harassed York Suburban into 16 first-half turnovers and allowed the Trojans just 10 field goal attempts in the first half.
"I wasn't sure what they might try to do," Wildasin said. "I thought they might try to hold the ball and slow the game down or something like that if they got an early lead. That is why I wanted us to jump on them quick and take that out."
York Suburban senior guard Claudia Mingora was held scoreless in the first half and finished with six points. The 5-foot-7 Mingora had a game-high 21 points in the Trojans' opening-round district win over eighth-seeded Fleetwood.
The Trojans cut the turnovers down to six in the second half, but proceeded to miss their first 12 shots from the field in the third quarter. Six-foot sophomore forward Parker Faircloth-Henise ended the skid with a basket off an offensive rebound with 2:50 left in the third.
West York took a commanding 50-22 lead entering the fourth period, however, and began substituting starters out by the mid-way point of the final stanza.
"They have so many weapons," said York Suburban coach Jess Barley. "Their guards are dynamic. (Sela) Fuhrman also stepped up and scored in double digits for them today. In the end, I'm not sure it matters what defense we play. They are well-coached and prepared for anything we throw at them. They are a great team."
York Suburban came into Sunday's game with six losses, all to teams that made the district playoffs. Three of those losses were to YAIAA Division II rival West York, while the others were at Northeastern, at New Oxford, and vs. Delone Catholic in the first-round of the YAIAA tournament.
"I know they are a good basketball team," Wildasin said. "I think we are just a bit stronger than they are physically."
The Trojans never found an answer for West York. The Bulldogs scored a 55-27 win at West York on Dec. 19, a 60-25 win in the championship of the Trojans' holiday tourney on Dec. 30 and a 50-32 win at York Suburban on Jan. 23.
"It was up to them to make changes," Wildasin said. "We weren't making any changes."
In York Suburban's defense, West York has been punishing all comers this season. The Bulldogs have played only one game that ended closer than 10 points and that was a 50-43 win at Dallastown on Jan. 12. Two of West York's past three games before Sunday were closer than usual, as it beat York Catholic by 11 on Feb. 10 and Delone Catholic by 12 on Feb. 12. Both of those games were in the YAIAA tourney the Bulldogs won.
"We just go so deep and anybody that comes in the game can score at any given time," Wood said. "We all play hard defense. Everybody does the dirty work. Rebounds, loose balls, whatever....None of us want this to end. It's been a great ride and we want to enjoy it while it lasts."
West York 66, York Suburban 31
York Suburban (31)
Mingora 3 0-1 6, Dumars 1 1-2 4, Gettle 1 1-4 3, Day 2 0-0 4, K. Plonk 4 1-2 9, Ramp 1 0-0 3, Faircloth-Henise 1 0-0 2.
Totals — 13 3-9 31.
West York (66)
Sela Fuhrman 6 0-0 12, Kari Lankford 5 9-12 19, Sollberger 0 0-0 0, Emily Wood 7 2-2 20, Tallman 1 0-0 2, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Williams 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Bamberger 1 0-0 3, Tyndall 0 2-2 2, Stine 1 3-3 5, Keiser 0 0-0 0, Thorr 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 22 16-19 66.
York Suburban7969—31West York15211416—66
3-point goals — YS 2 (Dumars, Ramp). WY6 (Johnson, Bamberger, Wood 4).