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Lancaster Catholic's late run dooms Eastern York girls

LANCASTER — Eastern York had heart, hustle and momentum working in its favor through 28 minutes.

But it was the final four minutes of the game when No. 4-seeded Lancaster Catholic pulled out a 67-49 victory in a District 3 Class 4A quarterfinal Friday. 

The Crusaders went on a 17-1 game-ending run to seal the win. Eastern York junior Hannah Myers was plagued by foul trouble and that factored in the game being transformed from a one-score game into a lopsided, and deceiving, final score.

The loss drops the Golden Knights (14-10) into a consolation game opposite Berks Catholic (14-12) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hershey High School with a berth in the state tournament on the line.

“Our sights are still on making the state tournament," Eastern York's Brad Weaver said. "We want all these big experiences, and we’re going to work really hard in the offseason to get back to districts (next year) and win these types of hostile games.”

The Crusaders (20-5) received a game-high 26 points from sophomore Kiki Jefferson. They seemed poised to run away with things early, having forced Eastern York into 11 first-quarter turnovers and building a 27-14 lead midway through the second quarter.

Myers, who was relegated to the bench with two fouls in the opening stanza, re-entered with 3:56 on the first-half clock and promptly led the Knights on a crusade of their own, using a 15-3 run to get within 33-31 at the break.

“This is the first year that these players have been in these kinds of environments,” Weaver said. “(YAIAA) playoffs… Lancaster Catholic … this is hostile here, the fans are yelling at our girls … they’re not used to that. I think they just calmed themselves down a little bit. We hit some shots and got some confidence.”

Cassidy Arnold led the way in the first half with nine points and four rebounds, and she finished with 13 points. Strong minutes from Brooke Lacesa also contributed to the second-quarter effort.

Eastern York took its only lead of the game with 2:12 left in the third quarter on a Myers’ steal and layup, while Amanda Galentine’s steal and pass to Katie Lehman for another bucket provided the Knights with a 43-40 lead.

But Myers (10 points, 10 rebounds) was whistled for two quick fouls, and Jefferson stole back-to-back passes to create four points and a 44-43 lead after three.

Myers reentered with 6:37 left in the fourth and found Lacesa for an easy layup, closing to within 50-48. With 3:59 left to play, however, Myers fouled out as Jefferson took a charge underneath the basket.

“I told the girls, you played really hard,” Weaver said. “We just came up a little short.”