Delone Catholic freshman stars in state opener, win
GameTimePA reporters Teddy Feinberg and Jim Seip preview the state tournament for the 13 squads from the York-Adams area. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Delone Catholic freshman Brooke Lawyer picked the right night to have the best game of her young career.
Coming off the bench in a game where both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket, Lawyer keyed a game-turning second-quarter run in Delone Catholic's 58-28 victory against Mastery Charter South in a state tournament first-round game Saturday at West York High School.
After the teams managed a combined 12 points in the first quarter, Lawyer took over.
The reserve knocked down six second-quarter shots, including a trio of 3-pointers, to score half of her team's 30 points in the pivotal quarter.
Delone Catholic (20-7) put the game out of reach with the 30-10 run. Lawyer finished with a career-high 17 points.
"Brooke's a very good spot-up shooter, and the team wasn't really putting a lot of pressure on us so we went to another option," Delone Catholic coach Gerry Eckenrode said. "She happened to be the other option, and she pulled the game out for us as far as I'm concerned."
Asked to confirm if it was a career-high for Lawyer, Eckenrode said: "Oh, yeah. Maybe in JV she's scored that, but not in varsity."
The Squirettes advance to the second round of the state tournament, where they will face West Shamokin, a 48-35 winner against Charleroi, Wednesday at a time and site to be determined.
Lawyer and Delone's second-quarter run helped overcome a first quarter to forget, with the first eight minutes resulting in a 6-6 tie. Lawyer was the only player to score in double figures.
"I was really disappointed in the way we came out in the first quarter, there's no excuse for us," Eckenrode said. "We needed to do a better job inside, we could have had an advantage and we didn't take it.
"This team has a legitimate chance to advance in this tournament, but we have to play better than we did in the post tonight."
The win is Delone Catholic's first in the state tournament since pulling off a double-overtime thriller in the first round in 2014.
Underclassmen have been a blessing for Delone Catholic this season. At times, Maddie Clabaugh (a freshman), Bradi Zumbrum (a sophomore) and Catie Apgar (a junior) have stood out.
"We only have three seniors playing, so we have no choice with that," Eckenrode said. "Our younger kids have carried us and it bodes well for the future, but we'd like to do something in the present as well."