HERSHEY >> Greencastle-Antrim coach Mike Rhine nearly trembled afterward just talking about it.
His girls' basketball team upset West York, 42-40, in a District 3 Class AAA semifinal Wednesday at Giant Center.
No previous team had beaten the Bulldogs (27-1) all season.
Only two kept within 10 points of the YAIAA champion.
Then came the Blue Devils, who last faced West York in a preseason scrimmage.
"I don't know why I'm surprised," Rhine said. "They never think they're the underdog."
There was some reason to believe it this time. When Greencastle (23-3) traveled to West York, it was without three starters. Only sophomore standout Jenay Faulkner and Jane Herman played that day.
"In the first quarter, the score was 24-0," Rhine said.
A similar start came in the district semifinals.
Greencastle didn't score for the first six minutes, and West York looked destined for Saturday's district final when it built a 20-9 second-quarter lead.
"It was a really rough first half," Blue Devils junior Hannah Crist said. "I came into the locker room really upset. I just kept my head in it. We all kept composed."
Crist scored nine of her 12 points in the second half, Faulkner supplied a game-high 15 points and Greencastle chipped away at its deficit. Herman, the other starter to scrimmage West York, gave Greencastle its first lead on a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.
The momentum didn't shift until Faulkner made the defensive play of the game, swiping the basketball in front of the Giant Center logo and coasting to the basket. A 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, she sparked an 11-4 run to end the game.
By the final minute, after Crist's go-ahead basket, West York needed to play catch-up.
Score, call timeout and foul. Repeat.
West York ran out of time while trying to trim a four-point deficit. Previous close games against Dallastown (seven points) and Central York (five) didn't end like this. Afterward, West York coach Darrell Wildasin returned for the first time to a quiet, dejected locker room.
"I told them at the beginning of the year, when you lose a game, you move on from that and try to get better the next game," he said.
That will be put to the test for the first time 7:30 p.m. Friday in a third-place game at East Pennsboro High School against last year's champion, West Perry. Conrad Weiser beat the defending district champs, 44-29, to set up that matchup.
Conrad Weiser and Greencastle-Antrim will meet in the district final at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.
In West York's semifinal loss, Kari Lankford led the Bulldogs with 14 points. Olivia Sollberger added 10 points and Sela Fuhrman provided 11 rebounds.
Those efforts couldn't overcome the Blue Devils on this day.
Even their coach couldn't explain it.
"They're terrible practice players," Rhine said. "They do not push one another, but when the lights come, something kicks in."
Senior Katie Gelsinger happened to be one of those somethings.
A 5-10 senior who missed the preseason scrimmage, she scored just four points but added a game-high 16 rebounds. After Fuhrman led West York's early charge for loose basketballs, she did the same for her side.
Without Gelsinger, West York's 35-29 rebounding edge would have been even worse. The day, and season, might have been perfect for West York.
"We could play that team 10 times, and we'd beat them nine out of 10," Wildasin said. "That's my feeling."
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.
Jenay Faulkner 5 2-3 15, Hannah Crist 3 4-4 12, Gelsinger 2 0-2 4, Hirneisen 2 0-0 4, Herman 2 0-0 5, Stouffer 0 0-0 0, Zimmerman 1 0-0 2.
Totals — 15 6-9 42.
WEST YORK (40)
Kari Lankford 5 4-5 14, Wood 2 0-0 5, Olivia Sollberger 4 2-2 10, Fuhrman 1 0-2 2, Tallman 0 0-0 0, Stine 3 0-0 6, Weekly 0 0-0 0, Bamberger 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 0-0 3.
Totals — 16 6-9 40.
3-point goals — GA 6 (Faulkner 3, Crist 2, Herman), WY 2 (Wood, Johnson).