If there's one thing that West York girls' basketball coach Jon Shultz has discovered so far this season it's this -- his team plays well on Mondays.
For the second Monday in a row, the Bulldogs played very much like a team that is capable of contending for a York-Adams League Division I title.
The Bulldogs got off to a fast start and never let up against an Eastern York team that figures to battle for a Division III title in its own right. West York sprinted out to a 20-8 lead just six minutes into the contest and cruised to a dominating 75-44 victory over the Golden Knights at West York High School.
"I said (to the team) that we play well on Mondays," Shultz joked. "But let's try to do
West York hammered Trinity a week ago on its home court, but played just well enough to pull out an ugly victory vs. Spring Grove last Tuesday. Against Eastern on Monday, they played what Shultz termed "Bulldog Basketball" by pressing defensively. That resulted in a number of transition baskets during the Bulldogs' opening flurry.
"We really got after it in the full court," Shultz said. "We caused a lot of deflections and deflections usually lead to steals. We're a high-octane team and we like to work off that energy."
West York guard Kari Lankford led the charge offensively with 20 points. The Bulldog sophomore, however, also found open teammates. The 'Dogs dished out 23 assists in the victory. It's that mix of passing and scoring that Lankford is trying to master in her second year with the varsity.
"Last year I learned that I didn't really drive as much and I passed more," she said. "This year I learned that I have to create and that will make shots for me or Sarah (Shearer) or Jess (Noll)."
The Bulldog guards did the majority of the damage. Lankford, Heather Zinn (14) and Emily Wood (11) each reached double figures in points, combining for 45 in total. Those points made it
"If you look at our teams in the past, our guards are usually in the seven-to-eight-point range," Shultz said.
While the home team led handily for much of the contest, that didn't mean there was a lack of physical play. Lankford got into a tussle with Leah Myers that resulted in a technical foul, while Noll and Eastern's Krissy Pennell also had a skirmish in the fourth quarter.
Lankford, for one, expected it to be a physical contest, especially considering how the Bulldogs rallied from a large deficit to upend the Knights in last year's District 3-AAA playoffs.
"We're both physical teams that play aggressive," she said. "It just got a little out of control at points."
Rough start for Knights: While the Bulldogs improved to 3-0, Eastern dropped to 2-4 under first-year coach Cheryl Land. Those four losses, however, have come against some of the best programs in the area -- Central Dauphin, Delone Catholic, York Catholic and now West York.
Land is most concerned about her team's defense. Eastern is allowing a league-worst 50.8 points a contest.
Land, however, knew it wouldn't be an easy transition and remains confident her team can get things turned around.
"I'm a little surprised that we're giving up as many points defensively," said Land, an assistant under York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos the past six years. "We're really not playing well defensively and it's a team defense that just isn't working well right now. It's going to take time to fix it. Fundamentally we're making some mistakes that I'm a little surprised that we're making."
Leah Myers led the Knights with 16 points while her sister, Liz, finished with 12.
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
RED LION CHRISTIAN 49, ADAMS COUNTY CHRISTIAN 28: At Red Lion Christian, Courtney Hollingshead led RLC with 12 points, while Olivia Dettinger scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Ali Hollingshead knocked in 10 points.
YORK COUNTRY DAY 37, FAIRFIELD 32: At Fairfield, York Country Day won the game at the foul line connecting on 11-of-19 tries, while the home team made just 4-of-17 attempts. Jamia Harris led the Greyhounds with 17 points, and BenjiAnna Campbell and Logynn Fuller combined for 19 points. Kelly Quealy scored 16 points for Fairfield.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.