What's driving Susquehannock's success?
The Susquehannock girls' basketball team rallied from a second-half deficit to defeat York Catholic Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Everything is falling into place for the Susquehannock girls' basketball team.
With just three divisional games left in the regular season, the Warriors (15-3) sit atop YAIAA Division II at 10-1. They're ranked third in District 3 Class 5A rankings, and they own an eight-game winning streak.
So what's working for Susquehannock? Head coach Dave Schreiner said it starts in practice, ensuring the Warriors' offensive machine can run effectively.
“You have to cut with a purpose, screen with a purpose or an offense doesn’t work,” Schreiner said. “If you’re not going to execute what it is we’re trying to do with the idea we’re looking to get open and score, it won’t work.”
The 3-point shot has been a focal point for the offense, which tries to keep the ball moving to open shooting opportunities. Sophomore Jayla Galbreath is often at the receiving end.
“They work to get me open really well,” Galbreath said Friday after hitting three 3-pointers in the team’s 51-36 win against West York. “It starts in practice. … We make sure we have the open pass.”
But Galbreath isn't the only threat. All five of the Warriors’ starters are capable of scoring. When opponents double-team a Warriors player, it's typically a chance for Susquehannock to find the open shooter.
“That’s usually when we hit a three," Schreiner said.
“We’re not forcing any shots,” sophomore Jaden Walker added.
On the opposite end of the court, the Warriors are just as dominant, using a smothering, help-side defense. Since the start of the new year, opposing teams have averaged just above 30 points per game.
So while the Warriors find themselves in a similar position to last season — at the top of the division, ranked high in the district — Schreiner said he sees a difference in this squad.
“Last year, we were 20-2 but I thought we were just getting by,” Schreiner said Friday. “This year, we’re getting better (in every facet) of the game.”
Despite the parallels to last season, the players are hoping for a different outcome than last time, when the fourth-seeded Warriors were upset by No. 13 ELCO in the first round of the district tournament.
“It was disappointing, but now we’re hitting our stride later,” junior Anna Mahan said. “We’re all playing well together … Our chemistry is there.”