On a team surrounded by seniors, Susquehannock sophomore forward Ashley Stone had the presence of a veteran Tuesday night inside the Dover gymnasium.
Her 3-pointer to close the half cut the Warriors' deficit to six points at intermission. Her second 3-pointer of the contest midway through the third quarter made it a one-point game. And her biggest play came with 2 minutes and 2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. With her team trailing by a point, Stone picked off a Dover pass, went the length of the court and drained a layup while being fouled. Stone made the ensuing free-throw to give Susquehannock a two-point lead. Her fast-break layup in the final seconds would seal the game, giving the Warriors a 62-57 York-Adams League Division II win.
"We were only (down) by one. She telegraphed that pass and I went for it," Stone said of her fourth-quarter steal. "I knew to go in for the layup."
Stone finished with 15 points. More importantly, Susquehannock (18-3 overall, 11-2 Division II) now just needs to beat York Suburban (2-11 Division II, 8-13 overall) on Wednesday (weather permitting) to finish in a tie with Dover (18-2, 12-2) for the Division II title.
"It's very exciting. It's our goal to beat Dover," Stone said. "To be tied for the division is awesome. We just have to beat York Suburban (Wednesday)."
The Warriors, who entered Tuesday ranked No. 1 in the District 3-AAA power rankings, avenged a Jan. 10 loss, 47-44, to Dover, who entered Tuesday ranked No. 2 in the District 3-AAAA power rankings.
"We didn't make good decisions the first time we played them when we had a five-point lead," Susquehannock coach Dave Schreiner said. "We settled and kept shooting it up there. Tonight we made them come out after us. I think it was the difference."
Down 32-26 at intermission, Susquehannock battled back in the third quarter to eventually go up, 44-43, at the 1:55 mark on a 3-pointer from Mackenzie Fancher (12 points), marking the Warriors' first lead since midway through the first quarter.
Susquehannock grew its largest lead to 52-43 in the opening minutes of a fourth quarter in a wild series of events that began when Dover assistant coach Jay Rexroth was whistled for two technical fouls and ejected from the game. Warriors' senior guard Shannon Druck (18 points) then sunk 3-of-4 free throws. Still with possession, Susquehannock forward Jess Voltaggio came off the bench to draw a shooting foul. She made her first and missed the second but made up for it by grabbing the offensive rebound and getting the ball to senior teammate Katie Wagner (10 points), who drew a foul and made two free throws to make it a nine-point advantage.
Dover responded with a 12-2 run to take the lead back, 55-54, on an Alayah Hall free throw before Stone made the big steal. Hall finished with 17 points.
"We had a (nine)-point lead and they started coming back. Very nerve-racking, but I'm glad we pulled it off," Stone said.
Senior Lindsay Fowler also had a good game for Dover with 17 points.
"I think what's more important is we don't want to have peaked here," Schreiner said. "We don't want to be playing well and then all of a sudden get to districts and we stumble. It's real important for us to continue to play well (Wednesday)and keep our focus on what it is and that's one game at a time."
In the first round of Friday's York-Adams League Tournament, Susquehannock will battle Delone Catholic at 6 p.m. at Central York, while Dover will meet Bermudian Springs at Dallastown at 7 :30 p.m. The girls' playoffs were slated to start Saturday, but were moved to Friday because of impending weather.
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.