HANOVER — It was certainly a tale of two halves Monday night, Jan. 22, at South Western High School when the host Mustangs squared off against rival Spring Grove in a key York-Adams League Division I battle.
The first half was certainly a good one for coach Kevin Klunk and his South Western girls. While by no means playing perfect, the Mustangs were able to build a nine-point advantage heading into the break.
The team that Klunk coached in the first half, however, was markedly different than the one that came out of the gate to start the third quarter. The visiting Rockets used a quick 9-0 run to begin the half to even up the contest less than midway through the third.
From that point on, it became a battle of execution and shot making. The visitors were able to do that a bit better than Klunk’s side, which was limited to 14 points in the final half.
Spring Grove would claim a much-needed 38-35 triumph.
The Rockets pulled into a first-place tie with Central York after improving to 6-2 in Division I and 11-3 overall. The Mustangs dropped to 10-5 and 4-3 in the division.
“After halftime was our major frustration,” Klunk said. “They just out-worked us the first four minutes of the half and I don’t know why. We just looked two steps slow and couldn’t get through a screen on defense.”
Brooklyn Naylor played a big part in Spring Grove’s comeback. Naylor finished the contest with nine points, all coming after the intermission.
Naylor’s biggest task, however, was not so much to score the basketball as it was to limit the output of South Western standout Taylor Geiman. Geiman led all scorers with 16 points, but only seven of them came after the half.
“She’s such a good player,” Naylor said. “She’s just so hard to guard. She has this killer fake that I always go for.”
That fake was again used late when the Rockets were hanging on to a 38-35 lead with 17 seconds left. After getting a screen, Geiman got the ball outside of the 3-point arc with her mind set on evening the score.
Naylor, however, was ready for it and the Spring Grove standout rejected Geiman’s shot with three seconds left.
“Sometimes you just time it right and that’s when I got that block,” she said.
The Mustangs had one more shot at it, but Geiman was unable to get off a decent shot before time expired.
Klunk was clearly disappointed afterward. Winners of eight of their last nine — including a big victory over Central York — entering the night, the Mustangs didn’t show many glimpses of a team on a roll after the break.
And for that Klunk was scrambling for answers.
“We had too much standing and watching,” Klunk said. “Why, I don’t know. We tried a number of different things to get the girls to move and play together. Maybe the moment was just too big for some of us, but I don’t know.”
Ali St. Rose added scored 13 points for the Mustangs, while Haley Wagman led the Rockets with 11 points, including a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left that stretched the Spring Grove lead to three points.
Dallastown 47, Mechanicsburg 26: At Mechanicsburg, the Wildcats captured the non-league victory. Julia Sutton led the Wildcats with 17 points, including three from behind the arc. Teammate Aniya Matthews knocked in 12 points. Dallastown improved to 10-5 overall. Mechanicsburg fell to 6-11.
Northeastern 48, Bermudian Springs 41: At York Springs, holding a trim, one-point lead entering the fourth quarter, the Bobcats outscored their hosts 14-8 down the stretch to secure victory. Northeastern used a balanced scoring attack, with nine different players scoring points and no one posting more than eight. Brooklyn Young led the way, scoring eight points for the Bobcats, who registered their first victory of the season.
Susquehannock 69, Littlestown 65, OT: At Glen Rock, the Warriors used a 24-9 third-quarter surge to erase Littlestown's 33-20 halftime lead en route to the surprising win. Hunter Sentz paced the winners with 23 points. Niles Bennett added 16 for the Warriors, while Jordan McMillion chipped in 11 points. Littlestown fell to 9-4. Susquehannock improved to 3-11.
Lancaster Mennonite 51, York Catholic 39: At York Catholic, the Irish trailed 27-11 at the half and were unable to make the comeback, dropping the non-league match-up. D'Andre Davis led the Irish with 27 points. York Catholic fell to 11-4. Lancaster Mennonite improved to 11-5. Both teams were in the top five in the latest District 3 Class 3-A power ratings.
Cedar Crest 6, Susquehannock 5: At York City Ice Arena, Susquehannock threw a major scare into first-place Cedar Crest before falling in a Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Rothrock Division game. Susquehannock jumped out to a 4-2 second-period lead but couldn't hold on. Ryan Myers had three goals and an assist to lead Susquehannock, while Donovan Appleby added two goals and Alan Reider added two assists. Easton Kratzer made 20 saves in goal. Cedar Crest improved to 15-0-1. Susquehannock fell to 1-13-2.
Penn Manor 4, Dallastown 1: At York City Ice Arena, an unassisted goal by Tanner Haines accounted for Dallastown's only scoring. Dylan O'Neil made 38 saves in a losing cause. Dallastown fell to 0-14-2 overall. Penn Manor improved to 7-5-1. Dallastown also dropped a 7-0 decision to Lampeter-Strasburg on Sunday.
Milton Hershey 50, York Tech 22: At Spry, the Spartans received pins from Jacob Sharp (220), Todd Edick (285) and Seamus Burns (106).
Bermudian Springs 49, Kennard-Dale 21: At Fawn Grove, the Eagles received pins from Trenton Harder (145), Darren Beall (152), Chase Dull (220), Korey Smith (113) and Landon West (120). For the Rams, Daniel Eagle (170) picked up a pin.
Gettysburg 98, Dover 78: At Dover, the Warriors were led individually by Nico DeAngelo winning the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle, while teammate Jared Herr won the 200 free and 100 butterfly.
Dover 128, Gettysburg 55: At Dover, the Eagles captured first in 10 of the 12 events. Individually for the Eagles, Grace Beierschmitt won the 50 free and 100 free. For the Warriors, Morgan Newell won the 200 free and 100 fly.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.