The York Catholic girls' basketball team led by a point after the first quarter of Thursday's game against Solanco in the Central York Panther Holiday tournament.

Solanco's Gillian Glackin scored six points in the first quarter. But, Glackin also collected two fouls in that quarter and was pulled immediately after getting her second one.

Glackin didn't play at all in the second quarter, and the Irish took advantage, outscoring the Golden Mules by 15 points in the frame and never looking back in a 53-34 win.

The win advanced the Irish to tonight's championship game against Berks Catholic, who held off host Central York, 60-55, in Thursday's nightcap. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"She (Glackin) was the key to their whole game," York Catholic head coach Kevin Bankos said. "She's a great player. Once she got in foul trouble, it took them out of their whole game plan, and we were able to take advantage of it."

The Irish (5-1) outscored the Golden Mules (5-3) 18-3 during the second quarter, getting 10 points from Morgan Klunk during the frame.

"We took advantage of the big girl being out of the game," Klunk said of the team's second-quarter success.

Klunk led the Irish with 19 points. As the lone senior starter, her leadership role has increased this season.

"I'm just trying to get everyone motivated before the game," Klunk said. "Whereas last year I was more soft-spoken. We had great leaders last year, and I'm just trying to continue what people who have made this program so successful have done."

Marissa Ressler and Hannah Laslo each added 10 points for the Irish.

Solanco had just three players who scored points, getting a game-high 22 from Glackin and 10 from Abrielle Battiste.

Berks Catholic’s Susan Bossler barrels past Central York’s Kelsey Shifflett in the first half of Thursday’s Panther Christmas Tournament.
Berks Catholic's Susan Bossler barrels past Central York's Kelsey Shifflett in the first half of Thursday's Panther Christmas Tournament. Berks Catholic defeated Central York, 60-55. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Chris Dunn)

In the nightcap, the Panthers and Saints waged a battle where neither team led by more than eight points.

The contest was tied at 53-all with 2:05 remaining following a bucket by Central's Samantha Sweeney.

The Panthers (1-5) took the lead on Alexis Cash's two converted foul shots with 1:54 to play.

But, the Saints (6-3), went on a 4-0 run, capped by Susan Bossler's 3-pointer with 53 seconds left.

Bossler hit three 3-pointers for the contest and scored a game-high 18 points.

The Panthers' next possession resulted in a missed layup, and then after forcing a Saints turnover, Central got to the foul line but missed both free throws.

Berks Catholic’s Courtney Wensel, right, blocks a shot by Central York’s Alexis Cash in the second half of Thursday’s game.
Berks Catholic's Courtney Wensel, right, blocks a shot by Central York's Alexis Cash in the second half of Thursday's game. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Chris Dunn)

"We had chances at the end," Panthers head coach Andrew Stiffler said. "We didn't execute at the end of the game."

The Saints closed the game by converting 3-of-4 free throws to advance to the championship contest tonight.

Courtney Wensel scored 15 points, including eight in the third quarter, and Devon Merritt scored 13 points, including eight in the second quarter for the Saints.

Central trailed 42-38 after three quarters and were down by seven points with 6:36 left in the game before Alexis Balanda caught a hot hand for the Panthers.

Balanda, playing with four fouls, scored eight straight points for Central, including two 3-pointers.

"We were in foul trouble," Stiffler said, noting that Cash fouled out with 1:33 remaining in the game, having scored 11 points. "Balanda gave us a huge lift in the fourth quarter."

Central has had a few close losses so far this season, dropping a 60-56 game to Kennard-Dale and losing, 51-43, to West York.

"We play hard, and we play competitive," Stiffler said. "We had chances at the end, and you can say maybe the lack of being in close games could have something to do with it. It's not like we don't work on those situations."

Central will play Solanco in the consolation game tonight at 6.
  
BERKS CATHOLIC (60)
   Balatgek 1 2-4 4, Neiheiser 0 0-2 0, Pollard 1 1-1 3, Janiszewski 1 3-6 5, Susan Bossler 6 3-4 18, Courtney Wensel7 1-2 15, Devon Merritt 5 3-6 13, B. Wensel 1 0-0 2, Fellin 0 0-3 0. Totals 22 13-28 60.
CENTRAL YORK (55)
   L. Shellenberger 0 0-0 0, Windsor 2 1-2 5, Shifflett 2 0-0 5, Samantha Sweeney 6 5-7 17, Alexis Cash 2 7-10 11, Alexis Balanda 5 3-6 15, Hughes 0 2-2 2, M. Shellenberger 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 18-27 55
Berks Catholic   13  16  13  18 -- 60
Central York   16  11  11  17 -- 55
   3-point goals -- Berks Catholic 3 (Bossler 3); Central York 3 (Balanda, Shifflett).
  
SOLANCO (34)
   Rossi 0 0-0 0, Eberly 1 0-2 2, Mauger 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0, Mendez 0 0-0 0, Allport 0 0-0 0, Abrielle Battiste 3 1-2 10, Siegrist 0 0-0 0, Gillian Glackin 7 8-8 22. Totals 11 9-12 34
YORK CATHOLIC (53)
   Lehr 0 0-0 0, York 1 0-0 2, McNamara 1 0-0 2, Jones 0 0-0 0, Chesko 1 0-0 2, Marissa Ressler 5 0-0 10, Carroll 1 0-0 2, Morgan Klunk 8 2-2 19, Salter 0 0-0 0, Echevarria 3 0-0 6, Laslo 5 0-1 10. Totals 25 2-3 53.
Solanco   11    3  10  10 -- 34
York Catholic   12  18  10  13 -- 53
   3-point goals -- Solanco 3 (Bossler 3); York Catholic 1 (Klunk).