DISTRICT 3-AAA GIRLS BASKETBALL: Greencastle-Antrim looking for quick turnaround...
After the girls basketball team notched a historic win Wednesday against West York, it's safe to say Greencastle-Antrim High School was in a great mood on Thursday.
"It was an awesome day," Blue Devil coach Mike Rhine said. "Everybody in the school is on board. Kids were coming by giving high fives. We were checking out videos and photo galleries. It was amazing."
But when Saturday morning rolls around, the mood will quickly change. No. 4 Greencastle (23-3) will face No. 7 Conrad Weiser (20-7) in the District 3 Class AAA final at 11:15 at Giant Center. And the Blue Devils' success could hinge on how quickly they can recover from an emotional win.
"You know, with a lot of teams, that may be the biggest concern. But I'm really not that worried about it with this group," Rhine said. "We're going to have to play for 32 minutes, and I think the girls will be up to it."
Even though they are the seventh seed, the Scouts have shown their mettle throughout the playoffs. They beat both the No. 2 seed (Berks Catholic) and No. 3 seed (West Perry) to make it to the final.
"They're here for a reason," Rhine said. "They are a very well-coached team and they have a lot of girls that can shoot the three."
But that may fall right into Greencastle's favor. The Blue Devils have two perimeter defenders who have already proven their ability in the postseason. In Greencastle's win over Lancaster Catholic, Hannah Crist was charged with guarding 3-point specialist Erin Holt. Holt finished with just three points on 1-for-10 shooting.
Then, against West York, Jane Herman was put in charge of slowing down Bulldog outside shooter Emily Wood. Wood finished 2 of 11 from the field with just five points.
And for the first time since the opening round, Greencastle will hold a noticeable size advantage. But from looking at the stats, you wouldn't know the Blue Devils were out-sized to begin with over their last two games. That's because Katie Gelsinger has been in beast mode. In three playoff games, Gelsinger has pulled down double-digit rebounds in each game. She's averaging over 15 rebounds per game in districts.
"I talk to (Greencastle football coach) Chuck Tinninis often, and tells me all the time that the Gelsinger family is the toughest family around," Rhine said. "Katie is a beast. She pulls down rebounds with two girls hanging all over her. I don't know where we'd be without her."
Gelsinger is expected to be a featured part of the Greencastle offense, as well as both Crist and Jenay Faulkner, who have both scored 47 points through the playoffs – an average of 15.6 per game.
"We have a good group of girls and everyone does something to contribute," Rhine said. "Our game plan has worked throughout the playoffs, and that's a credit to the players. They are executing, they understand the game and they trust us."
One more strong game could be enough to crown the Blue Devils district champions.
District 3-AAA championship
Game data: Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils vs. Conrad Weiser Scouts ... Saturday, 11:15 a.m., at Giant Center ... District 3 Class AAA girls basketball championship.
Media: Follow @ShawnCMichael and @EdGotwalsPO for live Twitter updates.
Teams: No. 4 seed Greencastle (23-3) knocked off No. 1 West York on Wednesday ... No. 7 Weiser (20-7) defeated No. 3 West Perry on Wednesday, after upsetting No. 2 Berks Catholic in the quarterfinals.
PO pick: G-A by 7.