RED LION -- Those looking for a casual, run-of-the-mill all-star game Sunday at Red Lion High School were in for a shock.
The typical, defense-optional style of game that is usually on display at an all-star contest was nowhere to be found at the York-Adams League girls' contest on Sunday.
Of course, with a number of players on both teams used to winning and playing a physical style, that should hardly have been surprising.
Ultimately the goal of the day -- having fun while avoiding injury -- was met. The Division III/IV team, coached by outgoing Eastern York head coach Bob Heiser, stormed ahead in the fourth quarter and fended off a furious rally from the Division I/II side to hang on for an 85-81 victory.
"Everybody that played likes to win," Red Lion's Erica Maciejewski said. "So it's going to be physical, because nobody wants to lose."
Golden Knight senior Morgan DeRemer, who tallied eight points in the triumph, had fun, but felt the intensity increase during the second half.
"It was all for fun, but by the end it ended up getting more serious," DeRemer said.
York Catholic senior Karli McFatridge probably best exemplified the style of game. McFatridge found herself sprawled out on the court, knocked down and diving for loose balls about a dozen times in the contest, which was played in four 12-minute quarters.
"I don't think any of us changed how we played from the regular year," she said. "We play this way all year ... why would it be any different in an all-star game?"
End of an era for Heiser: DeRemer, who's headed to Messiah next year, had fond memories of her coach, Heiser, who announced he was stepping down a few weeks ago.
"There's a lot of memories," DeRemer said. "There's so many that I can't even remember all of them. I've been coached by him my whole high school career. He's led us to districts every time. He'll be missed, definitely."
York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos was on hand to watch the contest, that featured three of his senior players -- Karli McFatridge, Rachel Forjan and Carly Marks. Bankos admired Heiser's ability to get his team ready for every contest and is sad to see him go.
"I think the coaching ranks just lost a really good coach," Bankos said. "He was always prepared, in my opinion, and was doing it for all the right reasons. He had 20-win seasons, he's won a district title and that's a heck of a resume. Twelve years is a heck of a long time and I think he should walk away with his head held high."
Forjan leads all scorers: That was much the same advice that McFatridge and her Irish teammates had for Forjan, who fell three points shy of 1,000 for her career.
"We were all rooting for her to get it," McFatridge said of the PIAA Class AA state title game Friday. "She's a phenomenal player and a great girl, both on and off the court. It was a shame that she couldn't get it, but we told her that she had a great career at York Catholic. Three points is not going to change whether or not she had a great career. None of us (other players) could say that we had 997 points. That's a great accomplishment by her."
Forjan did her best to atone for things, leading all players with 18 points. McFatridge, who will attend Juniata next year, finished with 14 points, while Bermudian's Paige Dennison tallied 12.
Bankos joked that he wished some of Forjan's points Sunday could be added to her career tally.
"I told her that maybe we can steal three," he said. "It's a shame."
Irish trio will be missed: McFatridge, Forjan and Marks finished their careers among the most decorated in York Catholic history. The trio claimed four District 3-AA titles, three Division IV titles, one York-Adams League playoff title and three PIAA runner-up finishes.
"Going into next year will be challenging, replacing the leadership that they brought," Bankos said. "This is one of the senior classes that really had to lead, both on and off the floor, and they did a great job of it."
Maciejewski, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career, had a lot of success with Red Lion over her four-year career. The Bloomsburg-bound senior was a part of two District 3-AAAA championship teams that also claimed four Division I titles and two York-Adams League crowns.
The forward, however, is still haunted by her team's recent loss in the PIAA playoffs.
"This is going to sound bad, but it's the things we didn't win," she said. "Winning is awesome, but what really sticks with you is the things that you did not win. That's how I feel right now, probably because it's still a little sore."
Maciejewski and Shanley Harlacker, both of Red Lion, each led the Division I/II team with 16 points. West York's Olivia Manges added 11 points, while Spring Grove's Shelbi Kinard had 10.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com or at 854-1575, ext. 455.