York, PA - York Catholic's Japriya Carroll stole the ball and hit Anne Lehr with a terrific pass for a layup, drawing a big cheer from the Fighting Irish fans on hand at Dallastown during the PIAA Class AA girls basketball tournament opener.
Of course, the starters had been seated on the bench for quite some time as York Catholic rolled over another out-manned District 12 opponent, Parkway Center City, 72-30.
With the win, the Irish improved to 26-2 and advanced to Tuesday's second round against District 2 champion Dunmore (21-6) at a place and time to be determined.
"We love to have our other girls (score and) have everyone on our team involved," junior starter Deanna Chesko said. "We need everyone."
Seeing such unselfishness means a lot to York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos.
Parkway (9-5) opened the scoring, but Amelia York scored on consecutive possessions for York Catholic for the final lead change of the game, a mere 1:15 into the contest.
Still, the fourth-place team from District 12 hung around into the second quarter. Chante' Cerdan, who scored 14 of the Lady Hoyas' 30, dropped a jumper that made it 25-15. Then the bottom fell out as the Irish ended the first half on a 14-0 run.
Morgan Klunk scored eight of her game-high 17 points in the second, helping York Catholic take a 39-15 lead to the locker room at the half.
It was by no means a perfect performance. The Irish missed some easy shots, especially during a first-half lull. However, when the offense was moving, the fast break led to several scoring runs.
"We knew having seven to eight days off coming off the district championship could be tough. I told them that was their three-minute mulligan," Bankos said. "We were flat footed. We had Hannah (Laslo) inside and weren't looking for her.
"I still haven't seen us play a 32-minute game. When we do, I think we will be pretty good."
"Coach tries to get us there from the start. We are not perfect, we know we need to get back in the grove," Chesko said. "We feel the flow and need to keep going and going, because you never know what can happen."
After forcing 18 turnovers in the first half alone, York Catholic didn't press as hard after the break, but no matter who was in the game for the Irish, Parkway struggled to get good looks and missed too many shots when open.
Another benefactor of the romp was Emma Keffer, who is back in action after missing time with a wrist injury, followed by a hip flexor. Keffer played her longest minutes of the season Friday night and scored four points.
"It felt great," she said. "I love playing with these girls. One of the main reasons I wanted to get back is to play with them. We came in knowing to play our game, to work on what we need to for the future games."
Laslo finished with 12 points, while both York and Chesko added eight.
Ticket info: Tickets for York Catholic's game against Dunmore will be on sale Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the high school office.
PARKWAY CENTER CITY(30)
Watson 1 1-2 4, Shaw 0 0-0 0, Penn 1 0-0 2, Pierre 0 0-0 0, Hinton 4 0-0 8, Chante' Cerdan 6 0-0 14, Hughs 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 1-2 30.
YORK CATHOLIC (72)
Lehr 2 0-0 4, York 3 2-2 8, McNamara 1 0-0 2, Jones 0 0-0 0, Chesko 3 2-2 8, Ressler 2 0-0 4, Carroll 2 0-0 4, Morgan Klunk 8 1-2 17, Demonda 3 0-0 7, Salter 0 0-0 0, Echevarria 1 0-0 2, Keffer 2 0-0 4, Hannah Laslo 6 0-0 12. Totals 33 5-6 72.
Parkway Center City 11 4 10 5 -- 30
York Catholic 19 20 16 17 -- 72
3-point goals -- Parkway Center City 3 (Cerdan 2, Watson); York Catholic 1 (Demonda).