Hanover High girls' basketball head coach Denny Garman might have summed up Tuesday night's YAIAA Division IV game between the Hawkettes (5-4, 1-3 YAIAA IV) and archrival Delone Catholic perfectly.
"They gave us a knockout punch in the second period and we didn't get up," Garman said.
The knockdown Garman was referring to was a 21-0 run by the Squirettes (10-2, 5-0) that expanded a three-point lead at the end of the first period by Delone to a 33-9 lead at the half.
Although the second half was played fairly even, the big lead allowed the Squirettes to come away with a 59-37 win at the Hawk House.
The first quarter gave no indication of what was to come as both teams played evenly, with Delone opening up a 12-9 lead thanks to six points from point guard Maddie Comly.
A basket by Bethany Ball gave the Squirettes a 6-4 lead with four minutes gone in the game and Delone never trailed again.
When the Squirettes opened the second quarter in a 1-3-1 extended zone, it gave the Hawkettes all kinds of trouble. With 6-foot senior Julie Mall playing the point, the Hawkettes struggled just to get a shot off.
Hanover's only chance to score came with two minutes remaining in the period when Renee Drawbaugh missed a couple of free throws. Other than that, there wasn't anything close to a score.
Besides being disruptive on defense, Mall also had a big offensive quarter by scoring 11 of the Squirettes' 21 points.
"Usually I am a cup-half-empty guy, but I didn't really see a whole heck of a lot wrong in that second period," Delone coach Gerry Eckenrode said. "I thought we did a tremendous job in every facet. The interior passing was tremendous.
"I don't like to single out individual players, but I thought Julie Mall played the best game of her career. Mary Gingrow likewise made some very nice interior passes. I was really happy the way we played."
"We have been working really hard in practice and it's nice to see the work paying off," Mall said. "In the second quarter, we knew we had to go in there and get it done. We went in there with a stronger mentality and were more focused. This was a good game to get us in the right mindset for Friday's game against York Catholic."
Delone was able to build its largest lead of the game when Molly Durbin hit one of two free throws with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter to push the score to 49-16.
The Hawkettes finally found some offense in the fourth quarter when they outscored Delone 17-8. Freshman Soukaina Tracy was the main reason as she scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the quarter.
"We played well in the first quarter and I thought that was big for us," Garman said. "We showed some pride by the way we played in the second half. We were slow to realize that, when the jump shots aren't falling, we have to attack the basket."
The Delone jayvees improved their season record to 7-1 with a 40-25 win in the preliminary game. Ali Shipley's 15 points paced the Squirettes while Hanover got eight points from Morgan Herrick.
DELONE CATHOLIC (59)
Maddie Comly 9 0-1 19, Abby Sponseller 5 0-0 12, Ball 4 0-0 8, Gingrow 2 0-0 4, Julie Mall 6 1-1 13, Ugarte 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0, Durbin 1 1-2 3, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Laughman 0 0-0 0, Shanaghan 0 0-0 0, Shipley 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 2-4 59.
Barnes 0 0-0 0, Drawbaugh 1 0-0 2, Z. Tracy 2 0-0 4, Herrick 0 0-0 0, Silver 0 0-0 0, Giannini 0 0-0 0, Naill 1 0-0 2, Cleary 2 1-2 5, Bowersox 2 0-0 5, Gibson 0 0-0 0, Soukaina Tracy 5 4-5 15, Smith 0 0-0 0, Yealy 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 5-7 37.
Delone Catholic 12 21 18 8 -- 59
Hanover 9 0 11 17 -- 37
3-point goals -- Delone Catholic 3 (Sponseller 2, Comly); Hanover 2 (Bowersox, S. Tracy).
JV score -- Delone Catholic 40, Hanover 25.