Delone Catholic High head girls' basketball coach Gerry Eckenrode will be the first to admit it. He is pretty good at finding a flaw in his team's performance regardless of if it wins or loses.
On Friday night in the District 3 Class AA quarterfinal, the Squirettes dismantled Biglerville 62-33 at McSherrystown, and Eckenrode was left scratching his head in search of a flaw.
"We came out and we wanted to concentrate on Olivia (Moore) and Rebecca (Isaac) and I thought the girls did a great job with that," Eckenrode said. "I thought offensively we played well. I am usually a guy to find a flaw in what we did wrong, but that was a good effort tonight from (players) 1 to 15."
The Squirettes next will face Oley Valley at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Penn Manor High School, Millersville.
Delone opened Friday's game on an 11-1 run behind seven points from senior Abbey Sponseller, who nailed three shots in a row, including a steal and coast-to-coast run for an easy layup. Despite not having played for two weeks, the Squirettes came out looking sharp.
"We wanted to come out and have a good first district game," Sponseller said. "We needed to come out and get our intensity up for Monday and hopefully Thursday too. It was really important for us to get off to a good start in districts. Coach talked a lot about us coming out and looking sharp. We had two weeks off and we needed to come out and play hard, and that is what we did."
Sponseller finished with a game-high 15 points.
"Getting off to a quick start was definitely a really good thing for me," Sponseller said. "Once I get going early, it helps me build my confidence. I knew then, once I had seven in the first quarter, that I could relax into my game a little bit."
For the past month, the Squirettes have relied heavily on the 1-3-1 halfcourt trap defense as a key to success, but on Friday, they stayed in a basic man-to-man and held Biglerville to one field goal in the first quarter and took a 14-4 lead into the second frame.
"We had some other things we wanted to work on if we needed to (defensively), but the halfcourt man-to-man was working, so why go away from it?," Eckenrode said.
Delone held Biglerville to only a field goal in the second quarter as well, as the Canners could only muster seven points in the quarter, five of which came from the free throw line. Delone took a 29-11 lead into the half.
"We definitely wanted to hold them to lower digits," Sponseller said. "After we held them to four in the first quarter, we challenged ourselves the rest of the game."
The Canners' big scorers, Isaac and Moore, were limited to six points in the half, all from Isaac.
"We just couldn't get started," Biglerville head coach Rob Moore said. "We couldn't get into a rhythm and couldn't get anything going. Sponseller just made basket after basket. We just couldn't shoot. Olivia had no points at the half. Isaac was flat. Katie (Camara) wasn't attacking the hoop.
The one thing the Canners were able to do in the first half was contain Delone's leading scorer, Maddie Comly. She finished the half with one free throw.
"Maddie once in awhile will go through a spell where she isn't playing very well," Eckenrode said. "Abbey stepped in that gap and a few other girls did as well. After the half, Maddie did what she did against York Catholic and Bermudian and had a good second half. It is good she is resilient like that."
Comly came out of the half and nailed two quick threes and finished the quarter with eight points. Delone headed into the final period with a 50-19 lead.
The Squirettes used their huge size advantage to out-rebound Biglerville 34-19.
"I thought we did a nice job on the boards," Eckenrode said. "I thought the girls we brought off the bench did good. Molly Durbin had a good game tonight. They all played well. Julie Mall did a good job on the boards. I am very pleased tonight."
firstname.lastname@example.org; 717-637-3736, extension 143. Twitter: @michaelrubin 6.
Isaac 2 3-6 8, Freed 2 2-3 6, Moore 2 1-2 6, Camara 1 3-4 5, Baugher 1 2-6 4, Timmer 1 0-0 2, Shirley 0 1-2 1, Wagner 0 1-2 1, Wenk 0 0-0 0, Trent 0 0-0 0, Kuhn 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 13-25 33.
DELONE CATHOLIC (62)
Abbey Sponseller 5 2-2 15, Ally Shipley 5 0-0 10, Comly 3 1-2 9, Mall 3 2-2 8, Ball 2 1-2 6, Durbin 3 0-0 6, Gingrow 2 0-0 4, Laughman 2 0-0 4, Ugarte 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Shanaghan 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Neiderer 0 0-0 0, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 6-8 623.
Biglerville 4 7 8 14 -- 33
Delone Catholic 14 15 21 12 -- 62
3-point goals -- Biglerville 2 (Isaac, Moore); Delone Catholic 6 (Sponseller 3, Comly 2, Ball ).