Delone Catholic, Gettysburg return to girls' finals; other Tuesday District 3 basketball

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@ydsports
  • Two York-Adams girls' basketball teams advanced to District 3 finals on Tuesday night.
  • The Delone Catholic girls beat Lancaster Catholic to make the 4-A title contest.
  • The Gettysburg girls downed Lower Dauphin in overtime to make the 5-A championship.
  • The title games for Delone and Gettysburg are set for Saturday in Hershey's Giant Center.
Delone Catholic's Maggie Hughes eyes the basket on a drive against Lancaster Catholic's Jeriyah Johnson in a District 3 Class 4-A semifinal at Delone Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Delone would win 53-41. Bill Kalina photo

McSHERRYSTOWN – Rivalries can bring out the best in teams.

That is certainly the case whenever Delone Catholic and Lancaster Catholic do battle on the hardwood in a girls’ basketball contest.

Widely regarded as two of the top programs throughout all of District 3 over recent decades, the Squirettes and Crusaders are no strangers to bigtime showdowns.

With a much-coveted berth into the District 3 Class 4-A final on the line in Tuesday’s semifinal contest, each side showed glimmers of dominance in the first half.

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Delone showcased a tenacious pressure defense that forced the Crusaders into nine turnovers in the first quarter alone. Despite creating those miscues, the Squirettes trailed late in the period before finding a groove to secure the lead.

The Crusaders hit a pair of clutch back-to-back 3-pointers during a late run in the second quarter to pull within a basket, 23-21, by halftime.

The question coming out of the intermission was which team would take charge in the second half.

The Delone girls answered that question emphatically.

A 15-2 burst out of the break completely shifted the momentum back toward the hosts, who scored an impressive 53-41 triumph.

The No. 1 seed in the 4-A bracket, Delone (25-1) moves on to the District 3 final at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Giant Center opposite Berks Catholic in the 4-A final. The Saints rallied past York-Adams League champ Bermudian Springs 49-46 in the other semifinal Tuesday.

“You know that pressure is our thing,” Delone Catholic coach Gerry Eckenrode said. “In the third quarter I decided to back up and play halfcourt and make them earn everything they got.”

The Crusaders (22-5) had difficulty finding their collective shooting touch in the third, scoring two points over the first seven minutes of the second half. The hosts forced a handful of turnovers that ignited the 15-2 run that put the Squirettes firmly in control.

“We just said that we need to win the third quarter,” Delone senior Makenna Mummert said. “We had to get that momentum going because when we get it, it just helps us keep going and going.”

Delone’s offensive execution, which was good and bad at times over the first 16 minutes, was clean and efficient to begin the second half. A pair of layups by Emily McCann and Abigail Vingsen fueled a Delone run that stretched the lead to double figures.

Despite the extra cushion, Eckenrode wasn’t taking anything for granted against a Lancaster Catholic team they defeated in last year’s district 4-A final.

“They’re a very good team,” Eckenrode said of LC. “They’re very scrappy so I’m just really pleased to get back to the Giant Center.”

After years of anguish from a string of District 3 title-game setbacks at the Giant Center, the Delone girls have nothing but fond memories of the home of the Hershey Bears recently. The Squirettes won their most recent PIAA title back at the Giant Center in 2019 as well as a District 3 title in 2020 (3-A).

For a senior such as Mummert, who led Delone with 17 points, the anticipation of having at least one more chance to play inside the cavernous arena in Hershey is certainly special.

“From the beginning of the year, we all really wanted to get to the Giant Center,” Mummert said. “Only us seniors have been there. We played our sophomore year there, but we didn’t get to play there last year (because of the COVID-19 pandemic). So it’s going to be a great experience.”

Rylee Kraft and Jeriyah Johnson led Lancaster Catholic with 10 points apiece, while Giana Hoddinott finished with 16 points in the victory for Delone.

Saturday’s final will mark the third contest between Delone and Berks Catholic this year.

While the Squirettes won both games by double digits, Mummert isn’t expecting the Saints to just lay down.

“That doesn’t mean anything,” Mummert said about the previous two contests this season. “In that type of situation and atmosphere, whoever is hot is going to win. We just have to prepare and come in with the mindset that we haven’t played them before.”

OTHER GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Gettysburg 55, Lower Dauphin 43, OT: At Gettysburg, the Warriors used a 12-0 edge in overtime to win the District 3 Class 5-A semifinal.

The Warriors have advanced to the district 5-A final for a fourth consecutive season. Gettysburg won the title in 2020 and finsihed second in 2019 and 2021.

Camryn Felix led the Warriors offensively with 25 points, including six from downtown. Teammate Anne Bair had 11 points.

The Warriors were 18 for 24 at the charity stripe, compared to 6 for 11 for the Falcons.

Gettysburg jumped out to a 15-3 first-quarter lead, only to see Lower Dauphin use a 29-18 surge over the middle two quarters to pull within 33-32. LD then outscored Gettysburg 11-10 in the final period to tie the game at 43-43 and force OT.

No. 2 seed Gettysburg improved to 21-5. No. 6 seed LD fell to 15-10.

Gettysburg will face No. 1 seed Mechanicsburg (21-4) in the title game at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Giant Center in Hershey. Mechanicsburg won its semifinal, 45-40, over No. 4 seed Manheim Central (19-6).

Berks Catholic 49, Bermudian Springs 46, OT: At Reading, the Eagles dropped the District 3 Class 4-A semifinal contest.

Bermudian led 38-32 early in the fourth quarter, but Berks Catholic rallied to send the game into overtime tied at 40-40. Berks then used a 9-6 overtime edge to win the game.

Lily Peters' 15 points paced Bermudian.

No. 7 Bermudian fell to 23-5. No. 3 seed Berks Catholic improved to 21-5.

Bermudian will travel to No. 5 seed Lancaster Catholic (22-5) in the district 4-A third-place at 7 p.m. Friday.

Eastern York 53, Big Spring 34: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights won the District 3 Class 4-A consolation semifinal to clinch a state playoff berth.

No. 2 seed Eastern improved to 21-4. No. 6 seed Big Spring finished at 18-6.

Eastern will play host to the district 4-A fifth-place game at 7 p.m. Friday against No. 9 seed Bishop McDevitt (18-7). McDevitt won its consolation semifinal on Tuesday over No. 4 seed Schuylkill Valley, 63-41. Schuylkill Valley finished 20-4.

Twin Valley 41, West York 39: At West York, the Bulldogs fell in a District 3 Class 5-A consolation semifinal.

West York led 20-15 at halftime, but a 15-4 third-quarter surge by Twin Valley gave the visitors a 30-24 lead going into the final eight minutes. A 15-11 West York edge in the final quarter wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

For the Bulldogs, T'azjah Generett led the offense with 16 points.

No 5 seed West York fell to 15-9. No. 8 seed Twin Valley is 16-9.

The Bulldogs drop into the seventh-place game at 7 p.m. Friday. They will play host to No. 7 seed Lampeter-Strasburg (15-10), which dropped its consolation semifinal on Tuesday to Greencastle-Antrim, 45-39. No. 3 seed Greencastle improved to 19-4.

West York has already clinched a state playoff berth.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Delone Catholic 41, Greenwood 30: At McSherrystown, the Squires clinched a PIAA state playoff berth with a win in the District 3 Class 2-A third-place game.

It marks Delone's first state berth in nine years.

Bryson Kopp led the Squires offense with a game-high 19 points, including three from behind the arc.

No. 2 seed Delone moved to 17-8. No. 5 seed Greenwood saw its season end at 14-11.

Delone will open state action next Wednesday, March 9, vs. the District 12 champion.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.