Susquehannock drops Dover, wants first title
The goal for Susquehannock from the beginning of the season had been simple: Just get into the District 3 playoffs, and then don’t lose that first postseason game.
Now that the Warriors moved beyond that point in the season, Susquehannock’s goal has changed dramatically. The Susquehannock girls want to make school history.
“Our goal is to get to the Giant Center and win the district title,” Susquehannock’s Tyler Williams said.
That’s something the program has never done, but it’s still a possibility this season after another convincing win.
Using a dominant third quarter, No. 2-seed Susquehannock rolled away from YAIAA Division II rival Dover to win, 54-35, in a District 3 Class 5A quarterfinal Friday in Glen Rock. The win pushes Susquehannock (21-3) into the semifinals, where it will play No. 6-seed Twin Valley (20-5) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cumberland Valley High School.
Twin Valley upset No. 3-seed New Oxford on Friday, 54-46, to move into the semifinals.
Dover (18-7), seeded No. 7 in the District 3 Class 5A bracket, drops into consolation play, where it will play New Oxford (20-7) at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Hershey High.
Despite the final score, Friday's game was tight for the entire first half. So even though Susquehannock sidelined Dover standout Rajah Fink with three fouls with 6:29 to play in the second quarter, Susquehannock couldn’t shake Dover. The Warriors held an 18-16 lead at halftime.
The final two quarters were a different story, however, because of a different look for Susquehannock. Facing Dover’s 2-3 zone, Susquehannock opted to move diminutive guard Jayla Galbreath away from the top so she could get more open looks against Dover’s zone.
“I forgot how long they might be up front with (Rayah) Fink,” said Warriors head coach Dave Schreiner. “In the second half, we wanted to attack it more aggressively. Jayla got more open looks early in the second half, and that opened the game up.
“We got to the basket, we got to the foul line a few times, but we played as a team. I thought we wore them down mentally and physically. I told the kids at halftime … we have to go out and keep grinding.”
Galbreath scored all 12 of her points in the second half, keying a 21-12 run in the quarter by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. Tyler Williams added 10 of her 12 in the second half, and Jaden Walker scored a team-high 13 points.
The balanced scoring is nothing new, and one of the hallmarks for the two-time YAIAA Division II champions.
“That’s something we do naturally, we generally share the ball and spread it out,” Williams said. “There’s no superstar on the team.”
It marked the third time Susquehannock had knocked off Dover this season.
So even though Rajah Fink scored a team-high 12 points, freshman Gabrielle Coley added 10 points and Rayah Fink added eight, Dover had too much going against it. Playing on the road, facing a big deficit and trying to stop the clock against an unselfish team that likes to move the ball around was too much to ask.
“Dover’s a great team and beating them three times in a row was extremely hard,” Williams said. “The Fink sisters? All the credit in the world to them. Gabrielle Coley, No. 11, she’s come on. They’re going to be tough again next year.”