Central York girls basketball head coach Scott Wisner, Emma Saxton and Sarah Sepic discuss their win over previously undefeated Susquehannock Christian Arnold
Often a high school basketball team hopes to simply hold its own while starters are resting on the bench. However, that was not the case with Central York when it hosted Susquehannock in a YAIAA crossover game on Monday.
While starters Emma Saxton and Nikson Valencik posted great numbers for the Panthers, Sarah Sepic and Katie Fabbri gave Central a pivotal boost off the bench.
Down five in the first quarter, the Panthers scored 15 straight points as part of a 23-5 run – much of which came with several starters on the bench – and went to post an impressive 63-44 victory.
“We definitely feel like we have a great group of players that can provided depth on any given night,” Central coach Scott Wisner said. “When you can have people come off the bench and give such solid contributions then we are just going to be stronger as we progress through the year.”
With the win, Central improved to 7-1 overall, while handing the Warriors (7-1) their first loss of the season.
Saxton led the way with 18 points, five rebounds, five steals and two assists, while Valencik added 16 points, four boards and two helpers. But the Panthers were down 12-7 when Valencik hit a layup and Sepic drained the first of her three 3-pointers.
After the Panthers scored the final 11 points of the first quarter, Saxton opened the second with a trey, and Sepic followed a Susquehannock bucket with another triple for a 24-14 lead. The next time down the floor, the sophomore put back an offensive rebound for a basket.
“It felt great,” said Sepic, who finished with 13 points. “Coming off the bench I knew I had to give that burst of energy … I don’t know to say I am surprised, but it went better than expected.”
“Sarah’s always been a really good shooter. We are used to it, but we love her energy,” Saxton said.
With Fabbri doing a great job defensively, Central forced nine Warriors’ turnovers in the third quarter. Susquehannock pulled within 44-34 with two minutes left in the third, but Valencik knocked down a bucket and seconds later took a great Saxton feed to the hole for a three-point play.
Saxton stole the ball on the next Warriors’ possession, and went coast-to-coast for a 51-34 lead after three.
The resounding victory made last Friday’s loss at Red Lion a memory.
“On Saturday when we came in and started to get ready for this we said what a great opportunity to come on back-to-back nights having to play Red Lion, then play another undefeated team,” Wisner said. “It forced us to focus on what we needed to do better and come out with the energy and intensity we had to have.”
Central York 63, Susquehannock 44
Acton 0 0-0 0, Sisler 0 1-3 1, McCullough 1 2-2 4, Tannura 2 2-4 6, Walker 0 0-0 0, Galbreath 2 3-4 7, Tyler Williams 6 0-0 12, Ashley Stone 4 4-6 12, M. Stone 0 0-0 0, Mahan 1 0-0 2. Totals — 16 12-19 44.
Central York (63)
Nikson Valencik 4 8-11 16, Fabbri 2 0-0 4, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Wagner 1 0-0 2, Emma Saxton 8 1-2 18, Williams 3 0-0 6, Sarah Sepic 5 0-2 13, Shellenberger 0 0-0 0, Preston 2 0-0 4. Totals — 25 9-15 63.
Susquehannock _ 12 _ 12 _ 10 _ 10 _ — _ 44
Central York _ 18 _ 16 _ 17 _ 12 _ — _ 63
3-point goals — Central York 4 (Sepic 3, Saxton).
JV score — Central York 60, Susquehannock 20.