DALLASTOWN — Beating a team that went 20-2 and won its division title is hard enough.
Doing it without your second-leading scorer adds to the difficulty.
That’s what Spring Grove was up against Friday night at Dallastown High School in the York-Adams League quarterfinals vs. Division II champion Kennard-Dale. Despite missing point guard Ellie Glass, who was scoring 10.7 points per game this season, with a head injury, the Rockets controlled the game’s pace, extended their lead in the third quarter and staved off a Rams comeback in a 47-38 victory.
“We wanted this game so bad, because she’s such a big part of what we do,” said Spring Grove coach Troy Sowers, adding he expects Glass to return for the Rockets’ semifinal game on Tuesday. “The team and the coaching staff just wanted to get to Tuesday so we could have her back.”
Sowers said Glass injured her head last Saturday. She didn’t have a concussion, but the headaches she was having have subsided. He said playing without Glass, who often brought the ball up the court, will benefit the Rockets in the postseason.
“It was a good thing we didn’t have her Monday and Tuesday, because we got to experience two games of what it was like for other girls to handle the ball and step up,” he said. “It takes a total team effort with ball handling with Ellie not playing, and we did that tonight.”
The Rockets (17-6) will play South Western, which defeated York Catholic on Friday night, in the semifinals on Tuesday at Dallastown. Tip will be at 6 p.m.
Controlling the pace: The Rockets, who finished third in Division I, controlled the pace of the game off the tip. Spring Grove played disciplined defense to keep the Rams (20-3) off the foul line and created turnovers throughout the game.
Haley Wagman, who leads the team with 12.5 points per game, hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter — including one from about five feet behind the arc — to spark the Rockets to a 13-9 lead.
The early long-range shooting caused the Rams to pressure Wagman throughout the game, which depressed her offensive output, but created open shots for Lexi Hoffman and Ella Kale, who scored 12 and eight points, respectively. Wagman still led the team with 13 points, seven of which came from the charity stripe.
Extending the lead: After taking a three-point lead into halftime, Spring Grove extended its lead to eight points in the third quarter. The Rockets held K-D, which sports three double-digit scorers, to five points in the period to lead 32-24 heading into the final eight minutes.
“They shot 100 more foul shots than us on the season. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t get them to the foul line,” Sowers said. “We took three charges this game. We had two charges all season. Charges change the game. Three different girls took charges tonight.”
Staving off a Rams comeback: The Rockets took a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Rams made 6 of 7 free throws in the period and trailed by four points with about 90 seconds remaining.
Hylin Sorrell was key in staving off the Rams’ comeback. The forward came off the bench and grabbed two offensive rebounds and put them back up for layups to steal the Rams’ momentum.
“She has mental toughness and she sacrifices,” Sowers said. “There haven’t always been that many minutes for Hylin this season. She’s always listened to what I’ve told her: effort, rebounding, box out. She’s come to perform her strengths that help us to win, and that was evident right there. That’s what she does.”
With about a minute left, Kale sank a floater to increase the Rockets’ lead to six points. Sowers said Kale, a sophomore, has stepped up recently and scored 19 in the first two games without Glass this week.
“I was happy she attacked the basket tonight,” he said. “She has a really quick first step.”
Dallastown (20-2, D-I No. 1) 42, Susquehannock (14-8, D-II No. 3) 29: At Dover High School, the Wildcats shot 53 percent from the floor and held the Warriors to fewer than 10 points in every quarter to win the quarterfinal match-up. D’Shantae Edwards led Dallastown with 12 points and was the only scorer in double figures. The Wildcats will play Gettysburg in the semifinals on Tuesday at Dallastown. Tip will be at 7:30 p.m.
Gettysburg (19-4, D-II No. 2) 54, Delone Catholic (20-3, D-III No. 1) 47: At Dover High School, Ann Bair and Cheyenne Proctor both scored 17 points to lead the Warriors to victory. Bair made 8 of 9 free throws, while Proctor made three 3-pointers. Taylor Richardson chipped in with 11 points for Gettysburg. Bradi Zumbrum, Brooke Lawyer and Maggie Wells scored 16, 13 and 10 for the Squirettes, respectively.
South Western (16-5, D-I No. 2) 53, York Catholic (17-6, D-III No. 2) 20: At Dallastown High School, the Mustangs scored 20 points in the third quarter to pull away from the Irish in the blowout win. South Western held York Catholic to fewer than seven points in each quarter.
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org