Big wins for both the Eastern York and Susquehannock girls on Thursday night at the Rotary Club Holiday Tournament at Eastern York pitted the teams against one another in tonight's championship game.

The title game should prove interesting, as the Warriors' full-court pressure defense will conflict with the solid ball movement and inside play of the Golden Knights.

Eastern York head coach Cheryl Land expects the pressure from the Warriors, however.

"They're a good, balanced team," said Land. "They're well-coached, disciplined. They really like to pressure from minute one to minute 32, so we'll be ready for that."

The two teams are very familiar with each other, as the Golden Knights' Liz Myers and Krissy Pennell team up with the Warriors' Shannon Druck during the summer for AAU basketball.

Susquehannock (4-1 Div. 3, 7-1) handily defeated Kennard-Dale in the opening game, with the Warriors sealing a 47-39 win against the Rams, led by a suffocating pressure defense and 16 points (including four 3-pointers) from Druck.

"She practices like she plays the game. She practices hard," Warriors head coach Dave Schreiner said of Druck. "Everyone that we play, the person who is the leading scorer on their team, she has to guard them."

"One of the things I wanted to do was pressure their guards, their ball-handlers," said Schreiner. " If you put the pressure on them, it's much more difficult for them to even get the ball to (Sara Tarbert) or run an offense."

Tarbert finished with a team-high 14 points to lead Kennard-Dale.

Tied 33-33 going into the fourth quarter, the resilient Rams seemed to run out of steam in the final frame, as Susquehannock went on a 7-0 run to begin the quarter. The Warriors were paced during the fourth by solid free-throw shooting from junior Makenzie Fancher, who was 5-for-6 from the line during the final eight minutes and finished 7-for-8.

The loss is just the second of the season for Kennard-Dale (4-1 YAIAA Division III, 6-2 overall). The teams will face each other again in divisional play just eight days from now.

"We had them, and we had a nice comeback. We just couldn't put it away," said Rams head coach Jeff Stratmeyer. "We have to get to that point where we have that killer instinct and put them away."

"In this division, every night you have to win," said Schreiner. "There's no room for losses."

In the nightcap, the host Knights dominated the visiting Cedar Crest the entire way, never allowing the Falcons to come closer than eight points after the first quarter for the 51-35 victory.

The Knights demonstrated bruising inside play and dominated the boards. Eastern York was led by senior Liz Myers, who scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter.

The Golden Knights came into the game with a 3-4 record in their last seven games, but both Myers and Land knew the schedule would be a tough one, as they played those seven games over a 12-day span.

"People were shaking their heads going 'what's wrong with Eastern?'" said Land. There's nothing wrong with us. It's a transition year. In seven games, we played seven tough opponents. (3-and-4) is certainly not what we expected, but we're improving every game."

"Our defense was a little bit tighter tonight, a little bit smarter, and certainly was a better unit that what we were playing," said Land. "We really had an inside advantage. We pounded the ball smartly inside."

Junior Morgan Thomas helped the hosts' cause by going 5-of-6 from the charity stripe for five of her 13 points in the contest.

SUSQUEHANNOCK (47)
   Royer 1 0-0 2, Wilson 2 1-6 5, Deter 2 2-6 6, Fancher 1 7-8 9, Murphy 0 0-0 0, Barnhart 0 1-2 1, Stone 1 0-0 2, Voltaggio 0 0-0 0, Shannon Druck 5 2-4 16, Wagner 2 2-5 6. Totals 14 15-31 47.
KENNARD DALE (39)
   Black 0 0-0 0, Taylor Davis 5 0-1 11, Lindsey Duty 0 0-0 0, Maddie Duty 0 0-0 0, Sara Tarbert 6 2-2 14, Trott 3 2-2 9, Driggers 2 1-2 5. Totals 16 5-7 39.
Susquehannock   12  11  10  14 -- 47
Red Lion   10    9  14    6 -- 39
   3-point goals -- Susquehannock 4 (Druck 4); Kennard Dale 2 (Davis, Trott)
 
CEDAR CREST (35)
   Battle 2 0-0 6, Beard 1 3-6 5, Rachel Miller 4 0-0 10, N. Wagner 1 1-2 3, E. Wagner 0 0-2 0, Reedy 0 0-0 0, Donmoyer 4 0-1 8, Rich 1 0-0 2, Albright 0 0-0 0, Horn 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 5-13 35
EASTERN YORK (51)
   Beaver 1 2-4 4, Kalke 0 0-0 0, L. Myers 2 2-8 6, Dietz 1 0-0 2, Morgan Thomas 4 5-6 13, Elizabeth Myers 9 2-5 20, Krissy Pennell 2 2-2 6. Totals 19 13-23 51
Cedar Crest   12  7    8  8 -- 35
Eastern York   21  8  15  7 -- 51
   3-point goals -- Cedar Crest 4 (Battle 2, Miller 2)