Recapping a packed day of district hoops
First off, I want to offer my apologies for the technical difficulties with today's live blog. The lack of wireless internet in New Oxford's gym forced me to resort of posting to the blog via my phone. Around the time the first game of the tripleheader ended, my phone become no longer able to access the system we use for our blog (no, the phone did not die ... I swear). Thus, our little live blog experiment was cut short. Once again, my deepest apologies.
In lieu of live updates, here's a notebook of some of the highlights from tonight's proceedings at New Oxford.
Rams rebound season comes to end
Kennard-Dale's season didn't start so hot. The Rams opened up 3-5, staggered by injuries and an unfamiliar group of players.
So even though Rams season ended Wednesday night -- in the form of a 63-44 loss to No. 9 Daniel Boone in District 3, Class AAA action -- their coach Jeff Stratmeyer offered up nothing but positive thoughts after the game.
"It was real tough in the beginning when the girls didn't know each other and didn't really know what each other was going to do," Stratmeyer said. "They didn't really get together much during the summer because they were doing their own AAU stuff."
Injuries certainly didn't help Kennrad-Dale's cause: It lost potentially key contributors Sarah Sumner and Jess Myers to injury.
But the Rams came together during the season, winning their final seven non-playoff games (they played two games between their YAIAA tournament defeat to West York and Wednesday's playoff game). KD's frontcourt developed into a strength, keyed by junior Devon O'Kane (13.6 ppg) and freshman Sara Tarbert (11.6 ppg). Those two provided the majority of the Rams offense Wednesday, combining for 33 points.
Stratmeyer hopes that development will continue through the offseason. He's already spoken with his team about playing together during the summer -- a common practice nowadays for most teams, but something which KD didn't do last year.
"I've already had talks with them about that," Stratmeyer said. "We need to start off next season behind or slow like we did this season. We need to come out strong."
Stratmeyer also got "Quote of the Night" honors, for his answer when asked if he had a number in mind for how many points he thought his team needed to hold Daniel Boone to.
"Not what they had there," he said smiling.
West York stumbles to victory
Bulldogs coach Jon Shultz was none-too-thrilled with his top-seeded team's 49-46 close call with No. 17 Eastern York on Wednesday.
"We're getting worse as the season goes," Shultz said. "We're just not making smart decisions. We're not making decisions that a No. 1 seed should be right now."
There were several mental mistakes to pick apart -- West York committed 22 turnovers compared to Eastern's 20. Shultz specifically singled out his team's decision to attack the basket up two points with less than 20 seconds remaining instead of pulling the ball out to run clock. That was part of a wayward fourth quarter for West York, which frittered away most of a 12-point lead with 6:35 to go.
The Bulldogs (24-1) might have displayed a slight hangover from their loss to Red Lion in the YAIAA championship game on Saturday.
"I think that Red Lion loss not necessarily killed us, but I think it was a tough mental loss," Shultz said. "Not only physically, but mentally I think it drained a lot of my girls."
West York will likely need a more complete performance Saturday when it plays Daniel Boone, which looked fairly impressive against Kennard-Dale. Shultz said a key for West York will be getting its transition game back on track, something it struggled again with on Wednesday.
As for Eastern York, it had nothing to be ashamed of after a gutsy performance.Lambert back at '100 percent'
William Penn was boosted in its 71-39 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg by the play of point guard Chemin Lambert, who finally looks recovered from a knee injury suffered earlier this month.
That injury caused Lambert to be used sparsely during the YAIAA Tournament, but the senior started Wednesday and played more than half the game. He scored seven points -- including William Penn's first five of the game -- and ran the Bearcats offense effectively.
"Chemin is now back 100 percent," William Penn coach Troy Sowers said. "He looked like the old Chemin, I think. He's not 100 percent with his knee. He really hit some open shots."
Lambert and his coaches originally thought the injury -- suffered in a Feb. 2 win over Dallastown -- might be a season-ending ligament-tear, but tests revealed no structural damage.
"I feel good right now, I feel real good," Lambert said. "The last few times I went out, it was a little sore. I'm just doing the therapy stuff still. As long as I don't worry about it it's good."
Sowers said he challenged his point guard before Wednesday's game.
"I told him before the game, I don't care, I need to see the Chemin of old," Sowers said. "I truly do care about Chemin, but I just challenged him and I said 'The knee injury is in the past. I need to see you do what you did the last three years as a York High point guard.'"