It was a script we had all seen before.
On Tuesday night, the York Catholic girls' faced an opponent with an elite scorer -- Montrose senior Dallas Ely. The guard, who will play at West Chester next year, had averaged a robust 29.7 points in her last six games. Ely was, on paper at least, the best player on the floor. But York Catholic boasted superior depth, offensive versatility and team speed.
No, this wasn't York Catholic-Delone Catholic all over again. This time the Irish were more dominant, scoring a 60-37 victory over the Lady Meteors to advance to the PIAA Class AA championship game.
It seems those matchups with Sierra Moore, the Delone star and Duke recruit, left the Irish well prepared to cope with a player like Ely. York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos said as much afterward.
"Absolutely it did," Bankos said. "I think Dallas is a very good player. Sierra is just on a different level of physicality and athleticism. But it certainly helped us, and we used it all weekend long to prepare for them.
"We said ‘Look, we played a team with a McDonald’s All-American.’ "
The Irish held Ely to perhaps her quietest game of the season. After scoring a layup less than 10 seconds into the game, Ely did not score another field goal until the 3:36 mark of the fourth quarter. She finished with nine points on 3-for-23 shooting.
The plan, Bankos said, was to double-team Ely every time she turned or tried to drive toward the basket. Sophomore Deanna Chesko and senior Karli McFatridge took turns guarding Ely one-on-one.
"We told the kids that we thought Dallas going to get her 20 points, 25 points, and we’d just try to make her work hard to get them," Bankos said. "I just have a lot of confidence in our kids that they can make the other play a little quicker, shoot a little quicker than they’re used to seeing. I think that’s what it was."
Forjan stuck on 995: York Catholic senior Rachel Forjan came into Tuesday's contest needing just seven points to reach 1,000 for her career -- a seemingly simple task for a player who came into the game averaging 11 points, and scored 21 in her last outing.
And yet, Forjan never found her scoring touch Tuesday, finishing with two points. She'll head into Friday's finale needed five to reach the milestone.
Forjan's point total was due to a combination of factors. She missed a few shots early and struggled with foul trouble.
But mostly, York Catholic just didn't need her to score. Three players finished in double figures, including Chesko (career-high 13 points). A fourth starter, Carly Marks, added nine points.
After the game, Forjan said he wasn't aware exactly how many points she needed to hit 1,000.
"I’m not sure," Forjan said. "I know it’s close, but I’m not going to think about it."
Forjan was candid afterward, saying that the prospect of the milestone might have thrown her game off. She also critiqued her performance -- and praised the efforts her teammates.
"I said ‘Girls, I’m very happy that you picked up my slack.’ " Forjan said. "I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you. They’re like ‘Oh, Rachel, you’re doing fine.’ "
And of course, reaching 1,000 points in the state championship game would be a nice consolation.