BETHLEHEM - So close, yet still far enough away.
That easily could have been the mantra of the York Suburban girls’ basketball team in their PIAA Class AAA opening-round playoff game against District 11 champion Southern Lehigh on Saturday afternoon.
The sixth-seeded Trojans battled tough throughout the opening half against the top-seeded Spartans — winners of 26 straight games after a season-opening defeat Dec. 4. The tightly contested, methodical battle saw Suburban trail by two points at intermission.
But York Suburban couldn’t get a shot to fall during a five-plus minute dry spell, and Southern Lehigh responded with a 10-0 run that helped lift the Spartans to a 45-34 victory at Freedom High School.
“We knew they were a very good team and they spread the floor well,” York Suburban head coach Jess Barley said. “We worked the ball and had some good looks, but we couldn’t get our shots to fall."
The defeat ended the Trojans’ season with an overall 19-8 record, while the Spartans will move on to play Berks Catholic on Wednesday. Still, York Suburban played well in its first state showing in 10 years.
The Trojans took their lone lead at 17-16 when Molly Day hit one of her three 3-pointers with six minutes to play.
Guard Sydney Cyr, who has paced Southern Lehigh all season long, picked up her third foul midway through the second quarter and was saddled on the bench. But Cyr scored six points during her team’s third-quarter spurt and teammate Olivia Snyder — who shared the game’s top scoring honors with Cyr as they both had 16 points — added four as York Suburban couldn’t find its stride.
“They made the run in the third quarter and we had trouble coming back," Barley said. "But the final score doesn’t reflect how close the game was. I fell badly for our seniors as they have been such a big part of this program and how it has grown.
“This is a program that won only four games four years ago. We have come a long way and we have a bright future ahead.”
The Trojans closed to within 36-29 in the opening moments of the final quarter when Day (team-high 14 points) drained another 3-pointer, but Cyr and Snyder again combined to shut the door with a 7-0 run that pushed the lead to 14 with just over three minutes to play.
Southern Lehigh’s steady and effective ball movement proved to be an issue all afternoon. Yet, the Trojans believed they always were in striking distance. Georgia DuMars and Parker Faircloth-Henise each added nine points for the Trojans.
York Suburban (34)
Bulgarelli 0 0-0 0, Molly Day 5 1-2 14, DuMars 3 0-0 9, Faircloth-Henise 4 1-2 9, Gettle 1 0-3 2, Mooney 0 0-0 0, Reinecker 0 0-0 0. Totals — 13 2-7 34.
Southern Lehigh (45)
Sydney Cyr 6 3-3 16, Olivia Snyder 8 0-1 16, Cassel 2 2-2 6, A. Mobley 3 0-0 7, B. Mobley 0 0-0 0, Bennett 0 0-0 0, Campbell 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 5-6 45
York Suburban_12_10_4_8_ — _34
Southern Lehigh_12_12_12_9_ — _45
3-point goals — YS 7 (Day 3, DuMars 3); SL 2 (Cyr, Mobley).