DALLASTOWN -- It's been a long time since a Dallastown girls' basketball team could call itself a York-Adams League Division I champion.
The Wildcat girls are reminded of that every time they take the court for games and practices. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the team's banner -- which features seven titles -- is located within everyone's sight just above the basket.
The last crown was won all the way back in the 1999-2000 season. Shae Grim and her teammates are hoping to add another title to that banner this season.
With more outcomes like the one that occurred Tuesday night -- a 50-26 thrashing of Central York -- the Wildcats and Grim may finally be able to smile when they look up at that banner in the future. Grim led Dallastown with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while teammate Alex Lehman added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The Wildcats improved to 9-2 on the season and 6-0 in the division.
"We look at that (banner) every day before practice," Grim said. "It's been 13 years since anything has been up on there. We just make sure to keep that on our minds as we go out there on the court for games and practice."
While the banner serves as motivation for a group of four seniors, Tuesday's victory was anything but pretty. Coach Mary Manlove's squad was sluggish over the first eight minutes and trailed the Panthers (4-6 overall, 1-4 Division I), 9-8.
"That was a wake-up call for us," Manlove said. "We can learn from this and get this right on Friday."
While the home team had its share of trouble offensively early on, the team's calling card -- its defense -- was outstanding for much of the night. Dallastown limited the Panthers to 17 points over the final 24 minutes, forcing 17 turnovers during that stretch.
That was just about the same time that Lehman and Grim started to heat up offensively. While the Wildcats turned the ball over 22 times and made just one free throw all night, their lead steadily grew, with Lehman and Grim knocking down shot after shot.
"What's great about this team is that on any given night somebody can step up and be a leader," Manlove said. "We don't look at it like we have one go-to player, we have 10 leaders. We're confident that we can move the ball and find the open player and that player is going to knock down the open shot."
Grim, who's averaging a team-best 11.4 points a game, is starting to garner some attention. A couple of NCAA Division III coaches from Pittsburgh-Greensburg and Albright showed interest in Wildcat senior, who is also starting to get looks from Division II schools such as Bloomsburg, as well.
"It's nice and exciting," Grim said. "So far I have it narrowed down to three, but I've been getting interest from Bloomsburg. We'll see. I'm still pretty open (to more offers)."
While that extra attention is all well and good for Grim, she still remains focused on winning a championship before she hits college. Already owning two big victories over Red Lion and West York so far this season, the Wildcats still have a number of tough challenges ahead. Dallastown still must face Division II-leading Dover and Susquehannock, as well as rematches against the Lions and Bulldogs. But that is something that Manlove's team hasn't gotten caught up in yet.
"They're doing a wonderful job of staying focused on one game at a time," Manlove said. "The leadership from our seniors has been a tremendous credit to this team."
Alexis Balanda led Central with eight points, while Samantha Sweeney chipped in seven.
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
SUSQUEHANNOCK 42, YORK SUBURBAN 25: At Suburban, Susquehannock used a 20-2 second-quarter surge to erase a 10-5 first-quarter deficit and take control of the game. Katie Wagner had 10 points to lead the Warriors, who improved to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in York-Adams Division II.
RED LION 47, SOUTH WESTERN 34: At Hanover, the Lions used a 24-11 second-half outburst to break away from a 23-23 halftime deadlock. Morgan Kuehne led the Lions with 17 points, while Amy Spigelmyer paced South Western with a dozen points. Red Lion improved to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in York-Adams Division I.
YORK CATHOLIC 70, BIGLERVILLE 45: At Biglerville, the Lady Irish jumped out to a 22-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back. Hannah Laslo poured in 22 points to lead the winners. She got double-digit support from Morgan Klunk (14) and Amelia York (10). Olivia Moore (15) and Rebecca Isaac (14) combined for 29 Biglerville points. York Catholic improved to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in York-Adams Division IV. Biglerville fell to 7-4 and 2-4.
WEST YORK 63, NEW OXFORD 36: At West York, Sarah Shearer led the Bulldogs with 17 points. Teammate Heather Zinn knocked in 13. For the Colonials, Emily Lawrence scored 16, while Jensen Sneeringer scored 11. West York improved to 4-1 in York-Adams Division I and 9-1 overall.
DOVER 50, NORTH EASTERN 42: At Manchester, Alayah Hall led the unbeaten Eagles with 19 points. Teammate Megan Lokhaiser knocked in 15. For the Bobcats, Payton Hauck scored 10. Dover improved to 5-0 in York-Adams Division II and 10-0 overall.
EASTERN YORK 61, YORK HIGH 41: At York High, Morgan Thomas and Elizabeth Myers split 40 points to lead the Golden Knights. China Steele had 16 points for the Bearcats. Eastern York improved to 7-4 overall and 3-2 in York-Adams Division II.
RED LION CHRISTIAN 52, TWIN VALLEY BIBLE ACADEMY 31: At Red Lion Christian, Olivia Dettinger led the home team with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Ali Hollingshead knocked in 12 points.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.