Breaking down York Catholic-Delone Catholic
The York Catholic and Delone Catholic girls will meet for the third time this season tonight. This time, the stakes will be higher.
The Irish and Squirettes will meet at Spring Grove at 7 p.m. in a PIAA Class AA semifinal. It will be a rematch of last year's state semifinal, which York Catholic won, 60-40.
These teams split their first two meetings this year. Here's a quick review of those games and -- after the jump -- a prediction for tonight's matchup.
Round I: Delone 60, York Catholic 57
On Jan. 11, the Squirettes sprinted out to an early lead and withstood a late Irish rally.
What we learned: Delone can certainly play with York Catholic. Sierra Moore scored 22 points, while Courtney Riggs and Chelsea Hoffman each added 11. Finding a scoring compliment to Sierra Moore is vital for Delone. The super soph always gets her share of points, but the Squirettes need other players to chip in, as well. We also learned that York Catholic is never out of a game, even when Kady Schrann struggles at times (she finished with 17 points after a slow start). The Irish scored 26 points in the fourth quarter to make this game tight.
Round II: York Catholic 47, Delone 32
On Feb. 8, Brittany Hicks scored her 1,000th career point for the Irish in a dominating home performance.
What we learned: When York Catholic is on, they can be near impossible to beat. Schrann (20 points) and Hicks (18 points) were both superb, and the 32 points was Delone's lowest output of the season. As they always seem to, York Catholic kicked its game up a notch with the postseason beckoning. Beating the Irish in January is one thing. Beating them in February or March is another. We also learned that it's very hard to recover from an early deficit against the Irish. They can speed up or slow down their game as necessary. A good start for Delone will be critical in this third-and-final meeting.
Round III: Verdict
If there is anything I've learned about the Irish, it's don't be against them this time of the year. They've played some of their best basketball since the start of the District 3 playoffs, led by guard Kady Schrann. The Division I-bound junior has put together some virtuoso performance of late, the most notable of which coming when she scored 23 of her team's 38 points in a district title game victory against Lancaster Mennonite.
Delone has shown plenty of maturity and the ability to dig deep late in games, most recently with dramatic victories against Tamaqua and Lancaster Mennonite. Any other opponent, I'd like their chances. Just not against the Irish.
York Catholic wins, 53-41, to book a place in its fifth-straight state title game.