HERSHEY - York Catholic girls' basketball coach Kevin Bankos was frank after Thursday night’s loss in the District 3 Class AA championship game.
“All streaks are broken,” he told reporters outside the locker room.
For the Fighting Irish, that streak lasted for a decade. Former head coach Andy Bria started it in 2006, and Bankos kept it going. Every year for 10 seasons, the district tournament ended with York Catholic hoisting the trophy — until the run ended in Thursday's 54-40 loss to top-seeded Camp Hill at Giant Center.
Although the Irish failed in their bid for their 11th consecutive district title, they already made their mark in girls’ basketball long before Thursday night.
Their 10 straight titles are the most any team has won consecutively in the district, male or female, and it is a feat that has made the administration at York Catholic proud.
“Rick Luckman my (athletic director) always tells me how proud they are of us,” Bankos said. “Mr. Luckman said to me today there’s five kids on your team that were actually in school when we started that streak. That made 16 kids sitting on the bench that weren’t even in kindergarten yet. That kind of puts things in perspective when you sit down and do think about it.”
To further accentuate just how long this streak has run, just look at how much the world and team have changed since York Catholic's 2006 district title. Facebook was just becoming popular, Twitter was just launching, Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” was blaring on the radio, and the Pittsburgh Steelers had just won a super bowl.
Through all the change that would occur around the program, the Fighting Irish found a way to win consistently.
“It’s a testament to the school,” Bria said. “A testament to Kevin Bankos and his staff. … They have a culture that breeds success.”
The Irish have three players graduating after this season ends. Emily Laslo, Kiersten Reed and Danielle Desseyen will all get to say they had the chance to play on the Giant Center court all four years they played basketball. And Bankos pointed out that streak or no streak, that's an accomplishment that few athletes can own.
“They’re going to be able to talk about this in locker rooms if they play in college,” Bankos said. “Or sitting around the table when somebody brings up high school sports. We went to the district final every year of my high school career.”
Bankos added later: “I’m very proud of it. I don’t mean to play it off. It’s an amazing feat. I don’t know if anyone else will be able to do it.”
Consecutive district championships
York Catholic's streak of 10 straight District 3 Class AA girls' basketball championships was the longest run of any boys' or girls' team in district history. Here's a look at how the streak ranked among the district's other championship streaks:
10: York Catholic girls, 2006-2015 in Class AA
6: Lebanon Catholic girls, 1999-2004 in Class A
5: Lebanon Catholic girls, 1992-1996 in Class A
5: Kutztown boys, 1949-1953 in Class B
Source: District 3 records