HANOVER — During the final moments of Monday evening’s York-Adams League Division I girls' basketball showdown between Spring Grove and South Western, Mustangs senior Madi Wisensale was down on herself.
On Senior Night of all times.
With her team leading by a point with just under 30 seconds left, Wisensale attempted to elude the Rocket defense in the front court in an effort to run out the clock. Spring Grove’s Ella Kale, however, was able to knock the ball away for a steal that would eventually lead to the visitors taking a one-point lead with nine seconds left.
That was not how Wisensale envisioned the ending of her final home game in the regular season. Especially not with a cardboard poster on the wall behind the basket which featured her name and her pictures, celebrating her days as a South Western girls’ basketball player.
All that Wisensale needed was just one chance at redemption.
Make that one shot.
After SW standout Taylor Geiman raced to bring the ball through pressure and into the front court, the Rockets forced the Virginia Tech recruit (who had a game-high 21 points, along with 13 assists and 11 rebounds) to give up the ball.
Enter Wisensale, who took the pass, set herself and then buried a 3-pointer with two seconds left, giving the Mustangs a thrilling 58-56 victory.
“I definitely thought that I just blew the game,” said Wisensale, who was held scoreless in the previous match-up between these two teams but scored 15 points this time around. “But I kept my head and I knew that I had to do something. I had to redeem myself.”
Setting off a celebration: Wisensale’s shot set off a celebration on the court that initially started with her teammates before the student section rushed the court to celebrate a wild victory.
“Coach (Kevin Klunk) told us to spot up,” Wisensale said of the final play. “Spot up and keep your head.”
All that Spring Grove coach Troy Sowers could do was marvel at the unfortunate circumstances for his club.
“She (Wisensale) just stepped up and made a tough shot,” he said.
While many athletes say they were calm during tense moments, Wisensale admitted quite the opposite.
“I was nervous,” she said. “But I had confidence.”
The Mustangs improved to 14-5 overall and 9-2 in the division. They'll be the No. 2 seed out of D-I for the upcoming Y-A playoffs.
The fact that the Mustangs still found themselves in a position to win seemed unlikely for much of Monday's game. The Rockets rallied from an early 9-0 deficit to claim a 29-25 lead by intermission. Even without starting guard Ellie Glass, who was out because of illness, the Spring Grove girls came up with clutch shots seemingly every time they needed them.
“They shot the lights out,” Wisensale said.
Kale led the Rockets (15-6, 8-4) with 19 points while Haley Wagman added 17 and Lexi Hoffman chipped in 16 more. But it was Brooklyn Naylor (four points) who appeared to be the unlikely hero Monday when she was fouled with nine seconds left and her team down by a point. Naylor sank both of her free throw attempts and it seemed like the Rockets were destined to ruin the special night for the South Western seniors.
“They (Spring Grove) really did shoot well tonight,” Klunk said. “But we had the ball last.”
Night to remember: Wisensale made sure it was a night to remember and not one to forget.
“All five of us seniors (Wisensale, Geiman, Jordan Gertz, Maddy McMaster and Melissa Klecker) have been playing together since we were in third grade,” Wisensale said. “We went 59-1 all throughout our youth league playing together. We just all played hard tonight.”
Dallastown 59, Shippensburg 57: At Dallastown, the Wildcats rolled to the nonleague win behind a 17-point effort from Aniya Matthews. Dallastown improved to 18-2. Shippensburg fell to 8-12.
Susquehannock 50, York Suburban 36: At Suburban, Jayla Galbreath pumped in 20 points, including four 3-pointrs, to power the Warriors. Alyssa Hocker's 12 points paced Suburban. Susquehannock improved to 13-7 overall and 9-4 in Y-A D-II. Suburban fell to 7-13 and 4-9.
Eastern York 72, Northeastern 57: At Manchester, Addy Malone scored 15 points while Cass Arnold and Mara Weaver each collected 12 points in Eastern's win. Jordyn Jennings pumped in 22 points for the Bobcats. Eastern improved to 14-8 overall and 9-5 in Y-A D-II. Northeastern fell to 6-15 and 2-11.
Kennard-Dale 49, West York 41: At Fawn Grove, the Rams picked up their 20th win of the season with the nonleague victory. The Y-A D-II champions are now 20-2 overall and finished 13-1 in the division. West York dropped to 11-11 overall and 7-7 in the division. Megan Halczuk (14) and Jaedyn McKeon (13) combined for 27 K-D points. Alyssa Zorbaugh paced West York with 14 points, while Alaina Hopta added 10.
Red Lion Christian School 35, TEACH 33: At Red Lion, Bailey Sanders collected 10 points and 13 rebounds to power RLC to the win. Reilly Teaman added 11 points for the winners.
Northeastern 51, Red Lion 43: At Red Lion, the Bobcats the snapped a four-game losing skid with the Y-A D-I triumph. Andrew Brodbeck (13) and Quay Mulbah (10) each hit double digits in scoring for Northeastern. Randy Fizer scored 11 for Red Lion, while A.J. Virata added 10. The difference in the game was at the foul line. Northeastern was 13 for 18, while Red Lion was just 5 for 12. Northeastern improved to 13-9 overall and finished 7-7 in D-I. Red Lion fell to 10-11 and 4-9.
West York 66, Kennard-Dale 46: At West York, the Bulldogs rolled to the Y-A D-II win behind Jared Shearer (20), Gabe Mummert (17) and Alex McClellan (15), who combined for 52 of their 66 points. Carter Day scored 18 for K-D, while Garrett Lowe added 12. West York improved to 17-4 overall and 9-3 in D-II. K-D fell to 7-14 and 3-9.
Gettysburg 67, York Suburban 55: At Suburban, Quadir Copeland's 20 points powered Gettysburg to the Y-A D-II win. Charles Warren added 13 points for the winners, while Zach Ketterman chipped in 10. Luke Babinchak (12) and Aidan Hughley (11) hit double digits for Suburban. Gettysburg improved to 12-10 overall and 7-5 in D-II. Suburban dropped to 7-13 and 2-9.
West Perry 56, York Tech 53: At West Perry, the Spartans dropped the nonleague contest. Jahkwan Batty led Tech with 17 points. Terence Romey and Jamal Jackson each added 12 points for Tech, which fell to 13-8. West Perry improved to 11-9.
Shippensburg 72, Dallastown 67: At Shippensburg, the Wildcats dropped the nonleague contest to fall to 10-10. The Wildcats are on the District 3 Class 6-A bubble. Twelve 6-A teams make the district field. Dallastown is 14th in the latest 6-A power ratings. Shippensburg is 13-7. Five Wildcats reached double digits in scoring: Kyle Richardson (13), Kobe Green (12), Michael Dickson (12), Nike McGlynn (10) and Roman Owens (10).
Dover 78, Waynesboro 73, 2-OT: At Dover, the Eagles earned a nonleague victory in double overtime to improve to 13-9. Waynesboro fell to 14-4. The victory was a big boost to Dover's District 3 Class 5-A playoff hopes. The Eagles are No. 13 in the latest 5-A power ratings. The top 16 teams will make the field. Keith Davis (26), Elijah Sutton (26) and Victor Dorm (22) combined for 74 of Dover's 78 points.
Littlestown 76, Susquehannock 59: At Glen Rock, the Thunderbolts moved to 20-1 with the nonleague victory. Susquehannock dropped to 6-15. Logan Collins' 22 points paced Littlestown. Will Ogude (19) and Jalen Franklin (15) combined for 34 of Susquehannock's points.
South Western 52, Spring Grove 49: At Spring Grove, the visitors earned the Y-A D-I triumph. South Western is now 3-17 overall and 1-12 in D-I. Spring Grove fell to 2-19 and 2-13. Derek Huff led South Western with 18 points, while Daunte Ogden added 13. Elijah Taylor paced Spring Grove with 15 points, while Brendan Jones added 13 and Cole McKowen chipped in 11.
TEACH 48, Red Lion Christian School 29: At Red Lin, Brennan Warner scored 18 points for RLC in a losing cause.
Dallastown 10, Elizabethtown 9: At York, the Wildcats won a wild one in Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Viola Division action. Trae Schanberger (seven assists), Quinn Eckert (four goals, assist), Brock Stitley (goal, two assists), Camden Schanberger (two goals) and Timmy Helmer (two goals) led Dallastown. Sami Saarinen had 27 saves for the winners. Dallastown outscored Elizabethtown 4-0 in the third period to erase a 9-6 deficit. Eckert scored the tying and game-winning goals for the Wildcats, who improved to 5-13. Elizabethtown fell to 0-18.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.