Perhaps the worst thing Greencastle-Antrim's girls basketball team can do to prepare for West York is to look at the numbers.
Judging from the numbers alone might make it appear that the Blue Devils have no chance against the Bulldogs when the teams meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Giant Center in a District 3 Class AAA semifinal game.
After all, West York is 27-0. It has already won the York-Adams Division II crown and the YAIAA overall championship. The closest any team has gotten to the Bulldogs is seven points, in a 50-43 win over Dallastown.
That's the same Dallastown team that beat G-A 44-38 in a holiday tournament.
One of Greencastle's other two losses was a 51-31 defeat to Delone Catholic – West York beat Delone 47-35.
There are four other common opponents between the teams. The Bulldogs handled Dover (68-50 and 63-21); the Blue Devils won 52-32. West York beat Gettysburg (55-16 and 81-24); Greencastle won 36-15. WY also beat Middletown (81-43) and Trinity (58-43), while G-A beat those teams 52-47 and 45-43, respectively.
Looks kind of grim, right?
"They are a really good team, and this will be a very big challenge," Blue Devil coach Mike Rhine said.
But West York would be wise to not look past Greencastle (22-3). All five G-A starters have a ton of experience playing in big games, in basketball as well as soccer. And they might be playing their best basketball right now.
Rhine said, "I do feel our players are confident, and I think we're peaking. We're certainly playing better basketball than we were last year at this point. I don't think the girls expected to lose Sunday (45-41 win vs. Lancaster Catholic) and I don't think they expect to lose this one, either."
Several factors may help the Blue Devils: (1.) G-A, with its win Sunday, has already assured itself a spot in the PIAA Tournament, so that pressure has been released; (2.) they are big underdogs, so there's no pressure there; and (3.) Rhine really likes the way his team is hitting the boards.
"Sunday, Lancaster Catholic was bigger than us at every position other than point guard, and we out-rebounded them by 14 or 15," Rhine said. "Our team rebounding has been better. Katie (Gelsinger) was really getting after it and Megan (Hirneisen) and the guards did a great job."
West York is known as a very physical team that plays strong defense. But the Bulldogs also have a great 1-2 punch in guards Emily Wood and Kari Lankford – both have over 1,000 points in their careers. Forwards Sela Fuhrman and Olivia Sollberger are also scoring threats.
Rhine said, "I watched them play once last year and the point guard, Lankford, really jumped out at you – she's quick, with good size (5-foot-8). And now, here she is. And Wood is a really good shooter."
Greencastle can counter with Jenay Faulkner (17.3 ppg), Hannah Crist (11.8), Gelsinger (9.2), Jane Herman (8.2) and Hirneisen (4.0).
"If we have an advantage, it's inside with Katie," Rhine said. "But outside of their depth – they go eight or nine deep – I think we match up with them OK.
"I asked the girls Sunday – even though we've taken the program to the next level – are you satisfied? And they all said no."