HERSHEY -- When York Catholic's players lined up for a team picture following Friday's Class AA girls' basketball state championship game, there were no tears shed.
That was at the coach's request.
"It stings right now," Fighting Irish coach Kevin Bankos said following a 45-38 loss to Bishop Canevin. "But I told them when we lined up that I don't want any tears in the picture that I'm going to put on my shelf with all the other stuff I have lined up. We're going to celebrate. We knew coming in, win or lose, it was going to be a celebration of a great year."
York Catholic's players and fans were thinking victory was a real possibility when the Fighting Irish carried a five-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Canevin, though, crushed York Catholic's title hopes by going on a 13-0 run to turn a 33-28 deficit into a 41-33 lead with just 1:34 remaining in the game.
"I thought we had a good chance in this game," Fighting Irish senior Morgan Klunk said. "We were kind of the underdog, and we kind of like that. I'm not disappointed with second place. They were a good team, and I think we played our hardest."
No one could fault the effort, but York Catholic's bid for its 30th victory of the season, and fifth state title, came unraveled during the final eight minutes when the Fighting Irish connected on just 1 of 11 shots from the field. The only bucket was Courtney Demonda's 3-point shot with just seven seconds remaining in the game.
Bishop Canevin, meanwhile, attacked York Catholic's extended defense in the last quarter and made 6 of 8 field-goal attempts. The Crusaders added four foul shots.
"We stood around a little too much on offense (in the fourth quarter)," Bankos said. "We also tried to force things a bit, but good defenses do that to you. Unfortunately when we did have an opportunity to answer, some shots didn't fall."
Klunk, who scored 18 points in the first three quarters, wasn't able to get good looks at the basket in the fourth quarter. She didn't get off a shot until late in the quarter, and it didn't fall through the net.
"She (Klunk) is a really good player," Bishop Canevin head coach Tim Joyce said. "We started trapping her (in the fourth quarter), and we made a switch and put Celina DiPietro on her."
DiPietro, along with guarding York Catholic's leading scorer, had a big game offensively for the Crusaders. The 5-foot,10-inch senior scored 18 points, which included four 3-point baskets. Carly Forse also had 18 points for Canevin, which earned its first state basketball title.
"We tried to trap up near half court, and that kind of left their back girls open for layups," Klunk said. "We just kind of had mental breakdowns at points, and they got on a run."
Bishop Canevin closed its season at 27-4, and York Catholic finished at 29-3. That included York Catholic's record-setting eighth-straight District 3-AA title.
Klunk and Katie McNamara are the only seniors on the Fighting Irish roster.
"I feel bad for Morgan and Katie that we didn't get them the gold, but Morgan said to me, 'Coach, I was here, and we had an opportunity, and that's all you can ask for,'" Bankos said.
With 11 of 13 players eligible to play again next year, it wouldn't be a shock to see York Catholic back in the 2014 state finals at the Giant Center, a place where the Irish had never lost until Friday.
"We're going to do whatever we have to (to return)," Bankos said. "This place has been great to us. Hopefully, we're in a position next year to use it again."
--Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com.
BISHOP CANEVIN 45, YORK CATHOLIC 38
York Catholic (29-3)
York 1-6 0-1 3, Chesko 0-5 0-3 3, Klunk 6-12 5-6 18, Echevarria 3-8 1-2 7, Laslo 2-5 0-0 4, Lehr 0-0 0-0 0, McNamera 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Ressler 0-0 0-0 0, Carroll 0-0 0-0 0, Demonda 1-1 0-0 3, Keffer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-37 10-14 38.
Bishop Canevin (27-4)
Forse 9-15 0-0 18, Waskiowiak 2-9 1-2 5, DiPietro 6-11 2-2 18, Vallecorsa 0-2 1-2 1, Olkosky 1-3 0-1 3, Joyce 0-0 0-0 0, Rajakovich 0-0 0-0 0, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0, DeFrank 0-0 0-0 0, O'Donnell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 4-7 45.
York Catholic 9 12 12 5 - 38
Bishop Canevin 9 12 7 17 - 453-Point Goals_York Catholic 2-11 (York 0-1, Chesko 0-3, Klunk 1-3, Echeverria 0-3, Demonda 1-1), Bishop Canevin 5-11 (Waskiowiak 0-1, DiPietro 4-8, Olkosky 1-2). Rebounds_York Catholic 28 (Laslo 8), Bishop Canevin 22 (Waskiowiak, Olkosky 7). Assists_York Catholic 6 (Chesko 3), Bishop Canevin 13 (Waskiowiak 6). Total Fouls_York Catholic 11, Bishop Canevin 9.