Christian School of York girls defeat rival
The Christian School of York girls' basketball team really wanted this one.
The Lady Crusaders squared off against Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference rival Harrisburg Christian in a District 3 Class A quarterfinal Saturday.
Harrisburg Christian won its sixth-straight CCAC championship one week ago with a one-point victory over CSY. Harrisburg Christian won last year's title in a triple-overtime thriller. And the two teams split their regular-season series this year.
"These are two evenly matched teams," said CSY coach Michael Graybill. "They won the CCAC championship, which for all of our girls, after last year's championship too, was tough. We had to bounce back from all those emotions."
Bounce back the Lady Crusaders did. CSY jumped out to a big first-quarter lead, withstood a Harrisburg Christian comeback and fought to hold on in the final eight minutes during a 39-35 win at the Christian School of York.
CSY advances to play Class A top seed Lebanon Catholic in a semifinal matchup at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Cumberland Valley High School. Lebanon Catholic beat CSY for last year's district crown at Giant Center and has won 17 Class A championships since 1978.
"That's who you want to play," Graybill said. "They are the benchmark program in Class A. We tried to schedule them for (a regular-season game) this year, but they were booked. We are going to play them up there next year. That's what the girls want, to see where we are at. Regardless of the outcome, we qualified for states. We had never been to states and now we are going two years in a row."
Christian School of York (18-7) took a one-point lead when sophomore Kendis Butler hit a 3-pointer as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
"I think when Kendis hit that 3, it was bigger psychologically for us than it was putting it on the scoreboard," Graybill said. "We were right where we wanted to be with eight minutes to go."
The Lady Crusaders never relinquished the lead, thanks in part to nine fourth-quarter points from 5-foot-8 sophomore Mekenzie Smith. Smith finished with a game-high 19 points.
Harrisburg Christian (20-6) saw CSY run out to a 10-2 lead to open the game, but CSY methodically battled back to within a point at the end of the first quarter.
Harrisburg Christian (35)
Liz Gergal 3 2-4 10, Cardillo 1 2-6 4, Hunter Chambers 3 8-10 15, Gesswein 1 4-5 6, Rowell 0 0-0 0, Grant 0 0-0 0. Totals — 8 16-25 35
Christian School of York (39)
Butler 1 2-2 5, Mekenzie Smith 6 6-11 19, Landis 3 0-0 7, Stauffer 0 2-2 2, Hess 1 1-4 4, Larson 0 2-2 2, Martin 0 0-0 0, Shelton 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 13-21 39
Harrisburg Christian _ 9 _ 11 _ 6 _ 9 _ — _ 35
Christian School of York _10 _ 11 _ 6 _ 12 _ — _ 39
3-point goals — Harrisburg Christian 3 (Gergal 2, Chambers), Christian School of York 4 (Butler, Smith, Landis, Hess).