HARRISBURG >> In a game of runs that also featured long scoring droughts, the York Suburban girls' basketball team picked a bad time to go cold: the final three minutes.
The dry spell allowed the Lancaster Catholic Crusaders to sneak ahead from the free-throw line and win a District 3 Class AAA consolation game, 39-35, Tuesday at Central Dauphin East High School.
Tied at 35 after the Trojans' Claudia Mingora hit two free throws, York Suburban was plagued by turnovers the rest of the way — a frustrating finish that left head coach Jessica Barley shaking her head outside the locker room.
"There's no excuses at this point for those turnovers," Barley said. "We wanted to get the ball in Claudia's hands and let her create. At this point in the season, you can't make those kinds of turnovers and expect to win."
The Trojans (15-7) will need to defeat Northeastern (16-10) Thursday in a seventh-place game to keep their season alive. Only the winner advances to the state tournament.
Even after Mingora was called for a back-court violation under heavy pressure with 21.8 seconds left, the Trojans still had a chance. York Suburban fouled Crusaders' guard Erin Holt, who sank one of two free throws to give Lancaster Catholic a 37-35 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Parker Faircloth-Henise went hard to the bucket and was fouled with 11.7 seconds left. She missed both free throws, but the second one bounced right back to her for an uncontested layup attempt. But Faircloth-Henise shot it too hard.
Caroline Scarff drained two free throws around a Trojans' timeout for the final margin. The Crusaders (22-4) clinched a spot in the state tournament and advance to the fifth-place game to play Berks Catholic (22-5).
The game started slow, with neither team scoring until Kelsey Plonk hit a free throw for York Suburban with 5:06 to play in the first quarter. She followed with two consecutive field goals, and Molly Day added a free throw to give the Trojans a 6-0 lead.
The lead was 12-5 midway through the second quarter when the Crusaders came to life following a Scarff three-point play. Holt followed by draining three-point shots on back-to-back possessions and Lancaster Catholic took a 15-13 lead into the locker room.
"We should have been up eight points in the first half," Barley said. "From start to finish we missed a lot of layups and gave away a lot of good opportunities on the offensive end."
The teams traded runs in a 14-14 third quarter. York Suburban rattled off seven straight points, only to see the Crusaders respond with a 6-0 run to end the quarter.
Both teams suffered poor foul shooting, combining to miss 20-of-38 attempts.
Barley vowed that her team will learn from losses this week to West York and Lancaster Catholic. Three of her five starters return, she noted.
"We're going to work like heck to get better," she said.
Lancaster Catholic 39, York Suburban 35
York Suburban (35)
Claudia Mingora 4 4-5 14, Kelsey Plonk 2 2-4 6, Olivia Gettle 1 2-3 4, Molly Day 2 2-4 6, Georgia DuMars 1 0-3 2, Parker Faircloth-Henise, 0 0-3 0, Heather Ramp, 1 0-0 3
Totals — 11 10-22 35.
Lancaster Catholic (39)
Scarff 2 4-5 8, Holt 3 1-3 9, Alayna Nicklaus 5 0-0 11, Knowlton 1 1-2 3, Schreder, 0 0-0 0, Breit, 1 0-0 2, Mills 0 0-0 0, Rivera 2 1-4 5, Henry, 0 1-2 1
Totals — 14 8-16 39.
York Suburban94148—35Lancaster Catholic3121410—39