Delone girls survive cold-shooting effort, advance to PIAA 4-A basketball quarterfinals

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Delone Catholic's Emily McCann, seen here at left in a file photo, scored 11 points on Saturday in the Squirettes' 34-28 win over Knoch.

ALTOONA – There are a lot of important factors that go into a playoff basketball contest.

Especially at the high school level.

Teams have to be prepared for matchups and tendencies of their opponents and know what to do at various times during games. Coaches try to prepare their squads for all the possible situations and put their teams in the best position to win.

Sometimes, however, the ultimate outcome hinges on a simple thing that often may be taken for granted – making shots.

Such was the case Saturday afternoon when the Delone Catholic girls faced Knoch in a second-round game of the PIAA Class 4-A tournament.

The Squirettes played the way that Delone coach Gerry Eckenrode envisioned, but struggled mightily to finish shots. Making less than 25% of their attempts is usually no recipe for success at this time of the year.

Yet somehow the Delone girls survived.

Held to 24 points through the first three periods, the Squirettes made just enough shots to rally past the Knights to claim a 34-28 triumph at Altoona High School.

Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.

Delone (28-1) moves on to Wednesday’s quarterfinal round and will face Lansdale Catholic, the third-place team from District 12. Lansdale Catholic (17-7) won its second-round game on Sunday over District 11 runner-up Allentown Central Catholic, 49-41. The Delone Catholic-Lansdale Catholic game is set for 7 p.m. at Garden Spot. ACC finished 21-7.

“For the game we shot 9 for 42,” Eckenrode said about Delone's win vs. Knoch. “And to win a game when you shoot like that … it’s like we got away with murder, is what it’s like.”

Knoch (22-4), the District 7 runner-up, clearly had the Delone girls scouted well. The Squirettes had very few easy looks, which forced the District 3 champs to shoot contested attempts.

“I’ll give credit to their defense,” Eckenrode said. “But we had some opportunities.”

Not known much for her scoring prowess, senior Emily McCann came up with several big shots throughout the game. McCann (11 points) knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the first five minutes of play to help Delone gain an early 9-2 advantage.

“Coach really depends on me for my defense,” said McCann, who averages 3.4 points per game. “But he says that when we’re open we need to shoot it because that takes pressure off of Giana (Hoddinott) or Makenna (Mummert).”

The early lead, however, didn’t last, with Delone struggling to score. The Knights rallied to take a 16-14 lead late in the second quarter before the Squriettes tied it up.

Delone’s offensive woes persisted into the third quarter. Knoch used an 8-1 run to go up 24-17 midway through the period.

“I don’t think they did anything different,” Eckenrode said of Knoch’s run. “We just missed shots.”

That was the case for much of the afternoon for Hoddinott, who scored 12 points, and Mummert, who was limited to four. Hoddinott, though, hit a big layup while she was fouled and converted the free throw to pull Delone to within 24-22.

That’s when the Delone defense took charge. The Knights were held to four points for just under the last 10 minutes of action, including a scoreless stretch for the final 6:26 of play.

That was enough for the Squirettes to squeak by. McCann and Hoddinott combined for six points down the stretch.

OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL

West York 49, Manheim Central 34: At Cumberland Valley, the Bulldogs earned some revenge and a PIAA Class 5-A quarterfinal berth on Sunday.

West York beat a Manheim Central team that downed the Bulldogs just a little more than two weeks ago in a District 3 quarterfinal, 50-41.

Sunday’s game was close for a half. Manheim Central led 8-7 after one quarter, while West York took a 21-19 halftime edge. The Bulldogs dominated the third quarter, 16-6, to take a 37-25 advantage into the final period.

The Bulldogs had four players in double digits, led by T'azjah Generett's 14 points and Reagan Doll's 13 points. Jocelyn Kern and Faith Walker each added 10 points. That quartet accounted for 47 of West York's 49 points.

West York, the seventh-place team from District 3, improved to 18-9. Manheim Central, the fourth-place team from District 3, finished at 20-8.

In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, at a site and time to be determined, West York will face another District 3 team — Mechanicsburg. The District 3 runner-up Wildcats improved to a 23-5 with a 45-44 victory over District 2 champion Abington Heights (20-7) in a second-round state game on Sunday.

Gettysburg 58, Bangor 56: At Schuylkill Valley, the Warriors used dominant second and fourth quarters to advance to the PIAA Class 5-A quarterfinals on Sunday.

District 3 champion Gettysburg (24-5) trailed 16-7 after one quarter but used a 23-6 second-quarter surge to take a 30-22 halftime edge. Bangor had a 14-9 advantage in the third quarter to pull within 39-36 heading into the final period. The Warriors then wrapped things up with a 19-10 run in the final period.

Gettysburg was 15 for 15 at the foul line, including 10 for 10 in the final period.

Anne Bair led the Warriors with 24 points, including a 9-for-9 effort at the foul line. Camryn Felix added 14 points, including three 3-pointers.

District 11 runner-up Bangor finished 19-9.

Gettysburg will face District 7 runner-up Chartiers Valley (26-2) on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined. Chartiers Valley won its second-round game 70-47 over District 6 champion Hollidaysburg (24-2).

Spring-Ford 39, Central York 31: Central York’s standout girls’ basketball season came to an end on Friday night.

The Panthers fell to Spring-Ford in a PIAA Class 6-A second-round state playoff game at Garden Spot High School in New Holland, Lancaster County.

Junior Bella Chimienti scored 17 of Central’s 31 points.

The Panthers fell behind 9-1 after one quarter and could never fully recovered.

Central York, the fifth-place team from District 3, finished at 22-7.

Spring-Ford, the District 1 runner-up, is now 22-6.

Gwynedd Mercy 57, Bermudian Springs 49: At Schuylkill Valley, the Eagles’ season came to a close with a PIAA Class 4-A second-round loss on Sunday.

The Eagles, the fourth-place team from District 3, finished at 24-7. District 1 champion Gynedd Mercy improved to 26-0.

Bailey Oehmig’s steal and layup at the buzzer gave Bermudian a 31-26 halftime lead, but the York-Adams League champion Eagles couldn’t maintain the momentum in the second half against their unbeaten foe.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Math, Civics & Sciences 58, York Catholic 47: At Bethlehem Liberty, the Fighting Irish fell to the District 12 champion in a PIAA Class 3-A second-round battle on Sunday.

The loss ended York Catholic’s season at 17-9. YC was the District 3 runner-up and the York-Adams Division III champion.

MC&S improved to 21-8.

York Catholic fell behind 14-5 after one quarter and could never recover.

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