A 10-day layoff between games is often not a good thing.
On Wednesday night, the York College women's basketball team looked like it was a bit rusty early on in the first game of a women's/men's doubleheader at the Grumbacher Center against Capital Athletic Conference rival Wesley.
It took a half, but when the unbeaten Spartans got on a roll, there was little the Wolverines could do to stop them.
After shooting a pedestrian 28 percent (10 for 36) in the first half, the home team caught fire after the break, shooting a blistering 78 percent (21 for 27).
Red Lion High School graduate Morgan Kuehne was a big reason for that hot shooting. She poured in 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half to lead York to a 74-54 triumph.
The women's victory was part of a sweep of Wesley. The York men's squad improved to 5-1 after a 78-69 triumph.
"In the second half we got more into our rhythm and started to execute all of our plays," York coach Betsy Witman said. "I knew that once we got going that we would be fine."
The Spartans (5-0) wore down a Wesley side that was coming off its first victory of the season. York out-hustled the Wolverines to loose balls, which allowed the Spartans' transition game to take over. Kuehne knocked down all six of her attempts in the second half.
Kuehne, who set a new career-high with her 20 points, wasn't the only Spartan to catch fire in the second half. Former West York standout Sarah Shearer scored eight of her 11 points after the break, while Sam Mocniak chipped in eight of her 14 points over the final 20 minutes.
That output from Mocniak, a sophomore guard from Maryland, was a welcome relief for Witman.
"We have all been waiting because we know what (Mocniak) is capable of," Witman said. "I'm really hoping that this game gives her the confidence that she needs to move forward. She's probably the best shooter I've ever recruited. I mean she is just amazing, but she's her own worst enemy in terms of confidence."
Witman is hoping that the confidence that her young team (just two true seniors) has accrued during its season-opening five-game winning streak will continue with a challenging schedule ahead. An overnight trip to Southern Virginia precedes a pair of showdowns at home against Goucher and rival Mary Washington over the next 10 days.
"Goucher is playing extremely well and they have a 6-foot, 5-inch kid in the post," Witman said. "That is really going to be a good regional contest for us. And then Mary Washington is undefeated and a pick to win our conference this year."
Men's game: Coming off a bit of am underwhelming performance last week in its only loss of the season to date vs. Messiah, the York men's team reverted back to the same form that saw it open its season with a four-game winning streak.
The Spartans raced out a 29-16 lead midway through the first half and led by as many as 21 points (70-49) late before holding off a game Wolverine side.
“We played really, really focused tonight,” York coach Matt Hunter said. “We did what we had to do. I’m very, very happy with our effort.”
While the Spartans struggled for much of their loss last week to the Falcons, Hunter’s squad had no issues like that until the final five minutes. The duo of Matt Scamuffo (24 points) and Dalton Myers (25 points) proved to be a bit too much for an athletic Wesley outfit.
“I’ll sign for that any day,” Hunter said. “If you’re going to give me (49) points between them, I’ll take that every night.”
The only downside to an outstanding night for the men’s team was the finish. After taking the 70-49 lead with just more than five minutes remaining, the Wolverines ratcheted up the pressure and tempo late to pull within single digits.
“They can put the ball in the basket,” Hunter said. “We talk about establishing pace. That’s who we are. I thought we definitely did that tonight.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.