When the Delone Catholic High girls' basketball team took to the court Friday night, they did so before a few special guests in the crowd.
The Squirettes were honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2002-03 girls' team that won the PIAA Class AA championship.
Behind Maddie Comly's 14 points and a stingy 1-3-1 defense, the current Squirettes gave the past team something to enjoy as they defeated Hanover 49-35.
"We were very motivated coming into it knowing all the alumni was coming back," Comly said. "We knew it would be a tough game going into it since it was Hanover. We had our game plan we needed to fulfill and we did a pretty good job of doing it."
Delone started quickly as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead and played tough defense, holding Hanover scoreless for the first four minutes before Soukaina Tracy's layup on a beautiful assist from Shelby Barnes.
Delone extended the lead to 7-2 after back-to-back possessions of Bethany Ball fighting through a double-screen to get to the top of the key and drainingwide-open jumpers.
Ball finished the quarter with six points and Delone took a 14-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Squirettes started the second quarter the same way they started the first. They held Hanover scoreless for the first three minutes while they scored seven unanswered points and extended their lead to 21-10.
The teams traded buckets the remainder of the half while Hanover received all of their points from Zoie Cleary and Tracy. Cleary finished the quarter with six points and Tracy had two.
Halftime was extended as the 10-year anniversary of the season when the Squires defeated Girard 50-41 in the PIAA Class AA championship game was held. That Squirette team finished the season 29-5.
Friday's third quarter was full of sluggish play as Hanover scored six points and Delone scored five. The Hawkettes cut the lead to 30-22 heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was a vastly different story. The Squirettes came out on fire both offensively and defensively. They forced the Hawkettes into five consecutive turnovers and converted that into 13 points to put the game out of reach at 45-22. They held the Hawkettes scoreless until the 3:45 mark. Tracy then responded by scoring six of the next eight points, but for Hanover, it was too little too late.
"That run was the point we realized it was our game and we just did our thing," Comly said.
"We really didn't do anything to start the fourth quarter," Eckenrode said. "We just made shots. We had shots in the third and fourth quarter. We just made them in the fourth. That was a very helpful period in the game. Hopefully this win will carry over on the rest of the season."
Delone's 1-3-1 trap defense gave the Hawkettes fits all night, rendering them unable to form anything offensively.
"When we run the 1-3-1, we typically don't put a lot of pressure on," Comly said. "Coach has to keep reminding us to put more pressure on, and that really worked out for us tonight."
The Squirettes forced 15 Hanover turnovers on the night and received a 10-point performance by Abbey Sponseller.
"I thought we did a good job all night defensively," Eckenrode said. "That is the defense these kids would rather play. The way we played in the fourth quarter is the way we are capable of playing. If we could put it all together and be a lot more consistent, it would be a lot better from a coaching standpoint. I think it was important for them to look good in front of the (2002-03) team."
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Soukaina Tracy 5 4-7 14, Drawbaugh 3 1-2 7, Cleary 1 4-4 6, Naill 1 2-3 4, Barnes 1 0-0 2, Silver 1 0-0 2, Z. Tracy 0 0-0 0, Herrick 0 0-0, Bowersox 0 0-0 0, Gibson 0 0-0 0, Yealy 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 11-18 35.
DELONE CATHOLIC (49)
Maddie Comly 4 4-6 14, Abbey Sponseller 4 2-2 10, Mall 3 1-1 7, Ball 3 0-0 6, Gingrow 3 0-0 6, Ugarte 1 0-0 2, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Shipley 1 0-0 2, Laughman 0 0-0 0, Shanaghan 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0, Durbin 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 7-9 49.
Hanover 9 7 6 13 -- 35
Delone Catholic 14 13 5 17 -- 49
3-point goals -- Delone Catholic 2 (Comly 2).
JV score -- Delone Catholic, 39-33.