With its lead dwindling to just five in the closing minutes of their Saturday evening contest against Dallastown, Susquehannock's girls' basketball team didn’t panic.
Instead of trying to put shots up quickly, the Warriors slowed the game down to take time off the clock. In the end, their strategy worked as they defeated the Wildcats, 47-40, in the opening game of the Donnie Swartz Memorial Classic at York College's Grumbacher Center.
“The kids understood that this is what we need to do,” Susquehannock head coach Dave Schreiner said. “I kind of toyed with just-run offense, but I thought it’s time to make them come out and foul. We had a little bit of a lead, and I wanted to build that at the foul line.
“I thought the difference was our kids bought into trying to run some time off, and we finally got to the foul line, and knocked some down.”
The Wildcats nipped at the Warriors' heels through the 32-minute contest. Susquehannock had a four-point lead heading to the second quarter and was only able to move ahead by five once before Dallastown cut into the lead.
Free throws by Dallastown’s Julia Sutton sent the game into halftime with just a two-point differential.
The third quarter saw the Warriors reach their largest lead of the night. Kelsey McCullough hit a shot midway through the third for a 37-26 lead. The quarter ended with the Warriors ahead by nine, but Schreiner was nowhere near comfortable with the lead.
“Even when we got a little bit of a lead it just seemed like we’d make some mistakes,” he said. “We’d miss something. We’d miss a shot we should have made … We got a little bit of a lead, and I think it gave us a little more confidence at the time, and we hung in there.”
Dallastown made it tight in the final quarter, but the Warriors came away with the victory.
Ashley Stone came away with the game’s MVP honors for her 13-point performance. The senior has been a key contributor for the Warriors this season, and Schreiner said she has a big impact on the outcome of a game.
“When Ashley is playing well, we’re playing well,” Schreiner said. “If she struggles than we seem to struggle because she’s a big part of what we do and what we need to get done in every phase of the game.”
Grace Coyne 4, 4-4 12, Julia Sutton 3 6-9 12, Gettle 1 1-2 3, Stough 1 5-6 7, Miller 1 0-1 2, Jamison 1 2-4 4. Totals — 11 18-26 40.
McCullough 1 0-0 2, Taylor Tannura 3 7-10 13, Walker 1 0-0 2, Galbreath 2 0-0 5, William 2 2-3 6, Ashley Stone 4-4-6 13, Stone 1 0-0 2, Mahan 2 0-0 4. Totals — 16 13-19 47.
Dallastown _ 4 _ 12 _ 12 _ 12 _ — _40
Susquehannock _ 8 _ 10 _ 19 _ 10 _ — _ 47
3-point goals — Sus 2 (Galbreath, A. Stone), DT 0.