The Colonials needed Dallastown to beat William Penn to clinch a playoff berth
New Oxford girls basketball players went into Tuesday night with two games on their minds.
One was their home game against South Western, the other was William Penn's contest against Dallastown. The Colonials needed the Bearcats to lose in order to clinch a berth in the YAIAA playoffs.
While the Colonials did their part by beating the Mustangs, 40-30, they didn't get the necessary help from Dallastown, which lost by five to William Penn.
New Oxford head coach James Kunkle learned the news of William Penn's win along with reporters midway through a post-game interview session. While disappointed, he said the Colonials need to stay focused for the District 3 playoffs.
"I'm sure we're all going to be a little disappointed, that was our main goal," Kunkle said. "But we had our chances...six of our eight losses were by five points or less. Now that's going to be more motivation for districts, hopefully make a run."
Even though the Colonials had their own game to worry about Tuesday, Kunkle said he wanted the William Penn game to be in the back of his player's minds.
"I wanted them to feel a little bit of pressure because they need to get used to it," Kunkle said. "I have a feeling next year, we're going to be a lot better than we are this year, so I want them to feel that pressure and be used to it."
Three quarters into Tuesday's game, it looked like New Oxford (14-8, 7-5 YAIAA Division I) was feeling too much of that pressure. The Colonials led at by three at halftime, but failed to make a field goal in the third quarter and went into the fourth down by three.
But it wouldn't take long for the Colonials to retake the lead, as they went on an 8-2 run in the quarter's first four minutes. The Mustangs cut the deficit to one with 3:16 to go, but consecutive baskets from New Oxford's Breanne Sauter and Presley Berryhill seemed to suck the life out South Western.
"We got really frustrated (after the third quarter) and we just had to keep our composure," Berryhill said. "We thought as long as we played the way we have been recently we'd be fine, and we just played how we normally play."
Although the Colonials left the gym somewhat disappointed, they weren't as dejected as the Mustangs, who potentially had their season end on Tuesday.
South Western (11-10, 4-8 YAIAA Division I) came into the game ranked 19th in District 3 Class AAAA. Only the top 20 teams qualify for the district playoffs, and the loss to New Oxford could take the Mustangs out of the running.
South Western head coach Kevin Klunk said he was prepared for the Mustangs season to be over, but that he was still proud of the strides his players made recently.
"It's a long shot at this point but we'll see," Klunk said. "You want to handle these situations yourself. It just stinks if it ends this way that this is the last taste they have. We certainly did a lot of good stuff this year."
New Oxford 40, South Western 30
South Western (30)
Taylor Geiman 5 0-0 10, Jacey Shipley 5 1-1 12, Soullard 1 0-0 2, Feeser 1 0-0 2, Gough 0 0-2 0, Walker 2 0-0 4, McMaster 0 0-0 0, Wisensak 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 1-3 30.
New Oxford (40)
Kaelyn Long 3 9-10 15, Sauter 2 3-4 8, Berryhill 2 0-0 4, Luckabaugh 1 0-0 2, Rippeon 0 0-0 0, Smith 2 0-2 6, Slonaker 2 0-0 4, Still 0 1-2 1 Totals — 12 13-18 40.
South Western _ 9 _ 8 _ 9 _ 4 _ — _ 30
New Oxford _ 10 _ 10 _ 3 _ 17 _ — _ 40
3-point goals — New Oxford 1 (Sauter), South Western 1 (Shipley).