GLEN ROCK — Susquehannock standout guard Shannon Druck has learned quite a bit while playing on an AAU club that's been led by York Catholic head coach Kevin Bankos.
But whenever Druck and her Warriors faced the Irish on the court during both her junior high and high school careers, her side has always finished on the short end.
So with perhaps one last chance to break that streak of bad luck, Druck did all that she could do to make it happen Tuesday night when Susquehannock hosted York Catholic.
The Holy Cross-bound senior got off to a quick start with a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter. She didn't let up from there, tallying a game-high 20 points to lead the Warriors to a very satisfying — and surprisingly easy — 62-42 victory over Bankos' club.
"They've beaten us ever since we were little," said Druck, whose team improved to 15-3 on the season. "So this is finally nice to get a win in our senior year. And it's a nice win ... a 20-point win."
While Druck was a major factor in her team's victory, she was far from the only one. Fellow seniors Katie Wagner (15 points), Abbey Barnhart (11 points) and Mackenzie Fancher (nine points) paced a balanced offensive attack.
Throw in a seven-point, eight-rebound performance from sophomore Ashley Stone — who also plays for Bankos' AAU squad — and Tuesday's victory could be the most outstanding 32 minutes of basketball during a Susquehannock season with many highlights.
"Definitely," Druck said when asked if this was the best her team played all year. "I think it was the best we played all year because we played so unselfish. This team is really rooting for each other and everybody wants everybody else to succeed."
While the Warriors played well throughout the contest — they outscored the Irish in every quarter — it was perhaps a seven-minute stretch that spanned the third and fourth periods that highlighted the team's strengths.
Back-to-back quick layins by Barnhart and Druck ignited an 8-2 run late in the third period that more than doubled a six-point halftime lead to 41-28.
"Our kids played phenomenal in that third quarter," Susquehannock coach Dave Schreiner said. "I thought we played well the whole game, but I thought in the third quarter that we kind of broke their back a little bit."
Then came a 15-0 run that pushed the lead to 20 points that spanned a little bit less than four minutes of action that all but sealed the final outcome.
"It's a fight to the end against York Catholic because they're so smart and so well-coached," Druck said. "So you're always waiting for that one run that they normally make, but you really have to be persistent. You have to be mentally there to withstand it, because if you're not, they'll sneak right by you."
It hasn't been too often when the Irish have fallen in a regular-season contest under Bankos, let alone in the manner they were throttled by the Warriors Tuesday. And while Bankos was disappointed that his team seemed ill-prepared, he also knows that his team may have been handled by perhaps the best team throughout the entire York-Adams League.
"They did all the right things tonight," said Bankos, whose club fell to 15-3. "They executed their defense, the fundamentals of the game. I obviously didn't have the kids prepared to play at that level and that's obviously my fault. The only good thing is that this shows that we have some work to do for counties and we still have to get ready for our division and that's what we'll turn our attention to."
While there weren't many bright spots for the Irish — 19 turnovers and a minus-15 rebounding differential (38-23) — guards Deanna Chesko and Marissa Ressler had above-average offensive nights. Both players entered the contest averaging 6.9 points a game, but Chesko led the team with 14, while Ressler chipped in 11.
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Dallastown 37, West York 30: At Dallastown, the home team won a defensive struggle. The foul line was the difference. West York was just 7 for 22 (32 percent), while Dallastown was 9-for-16 (56 percent). Amari Johnson led the Wildcats with 12 points. West York got 11 points from Kari Lankford. West York, the York-Adams Division I leader, fell to 13-6 overall and 10-3 in the division. Dallastown improved to 13-6 overall and 7-5 in the division.
Central York 47, South Western 45: At Central, the home team built a 28-14 halftime lead and then held on for dear life. Kelsey Wisner paced the winners with 12 points. Lauren Schmidt scored 15 for South Western, while Jacey Shipley added 14.
Eastern 58, Kennard-Dale 33: At Fawn Grove, Morgan Thomas led the Golden Knights to the York-Adams Division III victory with a game-high 16 points. Teammates Ashley Dietz knocked in 15, while Lauren Beaver scored 14. For the Rams, Sarah Pilkey and Emily Freese each scored 10. Eastern improved to 9-1 in the division and 12-6 overall.
Littlestown 29, York High 19: At Littlestown, the home team outscored York High at the foul line, 16-1. Chyna Steele scored 13 points in a losing cause. Meagan Smith had 10 points for Littlestown.
Red Lion Christian 64, Lebanon Christian 34: At Red Lion, Ali Hollingshead had a triple-double for the home team with 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. She had four 3-pointers. Liz Baker also had 16 points for RLC, which improved to 9-5.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.