SCRANTON >> For West York, the second quarter was a disaster. The Bulldogs threw the ball away, got outworked on the boards and allowed six Trojans to score in the period.
When the half was over, coach Darrell Wildasin's squad trailed by seven as it trudged off to the locker room.
The second half was a whole different ballgame. West York's defense tightened its grip, the offense moved the ball around, Kari Lankford continued a record-setting night and Emily Wood hit free throw after free throw as the Bulldogs ended up blowing past North Pocono, 64-51, at Insalaco Arena on Saturday in Scranton during the first round of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.
"The first half was a little hectic," said Wood.
The key to the comeback was a fast — and historic — start to the second half. Wildasin's team came out in a zone defense, although he was worried North Pocono sharpshooter Kaitlyn Lewis — the game's leading scorer with 26 points — might take advantage. She didn't, and the gamble paid off.
"Our defensive intensity improved," Wildasin said.
The offense capitalized on the turnovers, outscoring North Pocono 15-2 in the third quarter.
"On offense we looked for the best option and not just the first option," Wood said.
With her first basket in the quarter Lankford passed Parrish Petry to become the school's all-time leading scorer.
"It was an amazing feeling," Lankford said of the record. "It's something you dream of doing as a little kid."
She finished the game with 13 points, but fouled out in the fourth as her teammates put the game away.
Wood found her way to the charity stripe for 12 shots in the final period.
She nailed them all.
"I try not to think about the score, and I try not to think about it being the fourth quarter," she said. "I just try to stay in my rhythm."
As the Bulldogs pulled away, North Pocono began to exclusively turn to Lewis, who scored 14 of her team's final 17 points.
It wasn't enough. For West York, the second half was a dream.
The balanced offense — Katie Tallman chipped in with 11 points, including eight in the second half, and Sela Furhman added another eight — and the team's improved defense sealed the victory.
Feeding off the defense and a few quick baskets, the Bulldogs found their confidence.
"It all happened together," Wildasin said.
West York advances to Wednesday's second-round game against District 12 third-place team Bonner-Prendergast, a 48-39 winner against District 1 champ Gwynedd Mercy on Saturday. The game's time and location have not been announced.
TICKETS >> West York will sell advance tickets to Wednesday's game will be on sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Presale tickets cost $6 for adults and $3 for students.
West York (64)
Sela Fuhrman 4 0-0 8, Charizma Johnson 2 0-0 6, Angie Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Kari Lankford 5 2-3 13, Olivia Sollberger 1 3-4 5, Morgan Bamberger 0 0-0 0, Emily Wood 1 12-12 14, Elle Stine 2 0-0 4, Katie Tallman 3 5-8 11, Paige Weekly 1 1-2 3.
Totals — 19 23-29 64.
North Pocono (51)
Maria Day 3 0-0 6, Rachel Lewis 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Lewis 12 2-3 26, Amy Domanish 0 0-0 0, Rory Jordan 3 1-2 7, Mariah Maglio 2 0-0 4, Jane Woelkers 0 0-0 0, Chloe Pehanick, Brooke Bauman 2 0-0 4, Ciarra Fantini 0 0-0 0, Alexis Stephens 2 0-0 4.
Totals — 24 3-5 51.
West York1961524—64North Pocono1418217—51
3-point goals — WY 3 (C Johnson 2, Lankford), NP 0.