The two best teams in the YAIAA will meet in the league tournament title game Thursday. Central York advanced with a win against York Catholic, while New Oxford earned its shot at the championship with a win against Delone Catholic. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
For the second straight game, the Central York girls' basketball team started off slow.
After playing a sluggish first half in Friday's win over Dover, the Panthers once again didn't look like themselves the first two quarters of Tuesday's YAIAA semifinal against York Catholic at Dallastown High School. Central York struggled offensively and trailed by five at halftime.
But once again, the Panthers turned it around in the second half, dominating the last two quarters in an eventual 55-40 win. Central York will play division rival New Oxford in the York-Adams title game Thursday at 7 p.m. at York College.
"York Catholic had a lot of energy and we did a lot of the same stuff (as Friday), still rushing shots on offense and not allowing ourselves to get into the feel of the game," Central York coach Scott Wisner said. "It's not a great pattern to get into but it's good we've been able to recover from it."
In the second half, the Panthers held the Irish to 17 points and outscored them by 22. Nikson Valencik scored all 11 of her points after halftime while Sarah Sepic hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to finish with 14. Star guard Emma Saxton led the team with 18.
Defensively, Central held the Irish scoreless for nearly five minutes to start the fourth quarter. York Catholic star Kate Bauhof finished with 18 points, but only made two field goals in the second half.
"(A league title) has been our goal since (losing) the championship game last year," Wisner said. "We knew we had a lot of people coming back and hopefully we can finish the deal this time."
GameTimePA reporters Teddy Feinberg and Jim Seip breakdown the YAIAA girls' and boys' basketball tournaments, detailing what teams are favored to win. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com