PIAA roundup: Defense grants New Oxford state win
Find out how Elise Knobloch and the Delone Catholic Squirettes prepare for their first-round game on Saturday night.
Hannah Kowalski scored 20 points in the first half of Saturday's game against New Oxford.
The Colonials made sure the Abington Heights star got next to nothing coming out of the locker room, however.
New Oxford held Kowalski to just two second half points and came out victorious, 58-44, in the first round of the PIAA Class 5A girls' basketball tournament on Saturday. The game was played at Marywood University in Scranton.
Head coach James Kunkle said it was the first state tournament win in program history for the Colonials. He gave large credit to Daelyn Stabler and Breanne Sauter, who he said shared the load in guarding Kowalski.
"That was a huge key," he said. "They stepped it up in the second half and did a great job slowing her down."
Kaelyn Long and Haley Luckabaugh each scored 18 for New Oxford. Kunkle said Long was clutch at the free throw line all night, while Luckabaugh knocked down some big 3-pointers down the stretch.
Long went down late in the contest with a thumb injury, according to Kunkle. The head coach said she was doing OK Saturday night but that she will be further evaluated in the coming days.
"Everyone's feeling good," the head coach said. "The biggest thing is to play as a team. Every time they play like a team or a unit, they have a chance."
Also on Saturday, West York High School fell short, 39-36, to Mastery Charter North in the PIAA Class 5A girls' basketball tournament. The game was played at Scranton High School.
The Bulldogs hung tough throughout the contest through, trailing just 25-21 at halftime. West York head coach Darrell Wildasin said Mastery Charter North held the ball for nearly six minutes to close out the second quarter in an effort to get the Bulldogs out of their zone defense. Still, Wildasin said he was fine with the strategy, primarily because it kept West York in the game and allowed the Bulldogs to get a rest after a fast-paced first quarter.
Wildasin said West York put more pressure on the ball in the second half and took a three-point lead with about four minutes to play. Still, the Bulldogs suffered turnovers on three straight possessions, Wildasin said, and couldn't recover.
"The girls played well. We had a couple untimely missed blockouts and a couple untimely turnovers that caused problems," Wildasin said. "But in terms of executing what we wanted to do, we pretty much nailed it."
Paige Weekly led West York with 13 points.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a 18-9 overall record. Wildasin said he was proud of his team throughout the season — West York went 9-5 in highly competitive YAIAA Division I, won a District 3 tournament game and qualified for states.
Two years ago, West York reached the second round of the PIAA tournament.
"All in all, it was a pretty successful season," Wildasin said. "I'm proud of the girls. Thought they did a great job."
Also on Saturday, the Dover girls fell 44-29 to Southern Lehigh in the opening round of the PIAA Class 5A basketball tournament.
Rajah Fink scored 16 points for the Eagles while Alaina Reaver scored eight.
The Eagles finished the season 19-9 in a successful year under first-year head coach Kevin Glover.
"Trying to change the culture, bring that winning pride back, that spirit," Glover said. "Once they started believing in themselves, it got better."