WRIGHTSVILLE — Eastern York girls’ basketball coach Brad Weaver is probably happy that his team is not scheduled to play Spring Grove again this season.
Despite entering the finals of the Wrightsville Rotary Club Holiday Tournament with just two victories this season, the visiting Rockets have twice given the unbeaten Golden Knights all that they could handle.
Fortunately for Weaver, his squad was more than capable of dealing with everything thrown at them.
Eastern rallied from a 7-3 deficit behind junior standout Hannah Myers. Myers poured in a game-high 18 points to help the Knights improve to 8-0 after surviving another scare from Spring Grove, 43-39.
“I told their coach before the game tonight that by just watching them that I can see how much they’ve grown in just a short time,” Weaver said. “We were worried about their 3-point shooters and our girls didn’t give up one 3-pointer all night and that was the No. 1 key to the game.”
Myers, who was named the tournament’s MVP, scored 16 of her points through the first three periods before sitting out much of the fourth quarter because of foul issues. Without their leader on the floor for much of the final period, the Knights were still able to fend off the Rockets.
“We can handle it without Hannah, but obviously she’s very talented,” Weaver said. “And I told her that when I played I did some of the same stuff. The fouls are sometimes frustration fouls, but at the end of the day she’s very valuable to the team.”
The Rockets were able to keep within striking distance for much of the contest behind the play of Brooklyn Naylor. Naylor finished with 15 points while collecting five blocked shots alone in the second half.
“Brooklyn was a monster,” said Spring Grove coach Holly Strait. “She really was. She’s got the footwork and quickness for that. She took care of things under the basket.”
Maddie Hagerman chipped in nine points in the setback for the Rockets. Both Hagerman and Naylor were named to the all-tournament team.
While the Rockets, who have now given Eastern two of its three closest games of the season so far, were disappointed to not come away with the first-place team trophy, Strait is upbeat about her team, which has just one senior starter.
“I’m very proud of my girls,” Strait said. “It’s looking positive. Each girl knows their role and we have to be willing to accept our role and support the team.”
With Myers in foul trouble, a good deal of the scoring load fell to fellow junior Brooke LaCesa. LaCesa scored seven of her 12 points for the contest in the fourth quarter, which earned Lecesa a spot on the all-tournament team as well.
Eastern, which sits atop the District 3 4-A rankings heading into the new year, will have some time off to get ready for a tough two-week stretch that starts next week. The Knights will face unbeaten Delone, the No. 1 team in the Class 2-A rankings, before getting West York next Friday.
The Bulldogs have rebounded after tough losses to Dover and Susquehannock by winning three straight games. The following week the Knights will square off with a Dover team that has looked impressive so far this season.
“It’s every week,” Weaver said. “It’s going to be good competition, but we have to take it one game at a time.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.