BASKETBALL

Northeastern girls' basketball outlasts York Suburban for gritty road win

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

Sometimes the only thing that matters is the final number on the scoreboard.

That was true Friday evening as the Northeastern girls’ basketball traveled to face York Suburban in a York-Adams Division II clash.

The Bobcats, who entered the night as the lone unbeaten team in the division this season, looked to earn a statement victory over the Trojans, who were coming off a big win over a talented Columbia side last week.

While it wasn’t quite as emphatic a statement as they hoped, the Manchester girls got what they were looking for. In a fourth period in which scoring was at a premium, Abigail McAlexander drained a 3-pointer to break a 34-all tie late in the contest.

Surprisingly, that proved to be the difference as the Bobcats survived a tight battle with the Suburban girls, claiming a 39-36 triumph in the process.

Northeastern's Mikayla Coleman (3) against York Suburban's Alyssa Dougherty (11) during their girls basketball game in Spring Garden on Friday Jan.6, 2023.

“That was huge,” Northeastern coach Moe Coleman said of McAlexander’s only basket of the night. “I saw it all the way and I’m glad she pulled the trigger there. She can sometimes hesitate and she didn’t hesitate there and that was in rhythm.”

While that shot was in rhythm for the Bobcats, not much else was all night, as the York Suburban girls played strong defense throughout the contest. Northeastern was only able to make seven shots inside the arc all night, so they relied on the perimeter at times to pace the offense.

Late in the first quarter, the Bobcats (9-2 overall, 3-0 D-II) hit back-to-back 3s after a Suburban run to gain a 12-7 edge. Each time the home team rallied back, the Bobcats had an answer.

“We struggled,“ Coleman said. “Their defense was tough and they really kind of surprised us by playing man-to-man. We knew they liked to change their defense, but I didn’t expect them to play us man as much as they did.”

Northeastern's Lauralye Kennedy (23) against York Suburban's Janay Rissmiller (4) during their girls basketball game in Spring Garden on Friday Jan.6, 2023.

The Suburban offense struggled as well throughout the night. In fact, the Trojans only managed four points — all on free throws — in the fourth period despite repeated opportunities to take control with the game deadlocked at 32-32 for much of the first four minutes of the stanza.

“We had a lot of good opportunities,” York Suburban coach Jess Weaver said. “A lot of good looks, and we had the people that we wanted to shoot the ball get those looks in the fourth quarter, but we didn’t make them.”

That is the type of execution that often can decide a contest in a division with a lot of parity. A number of games have come down to one or two possession so far this year, and the Trojans (6-3, 2-2) have come out on the bad side of a pair of them. Besides Friday’s setback, Suburban lost a heartbreaker to Susquehannock on a buzzer-beating layup on Dec. 20.

“You have to be able to execute against this level of competition and against this type of team,” Weaver said. “You have to execute and you have to be able to make shots, especially in the fourth quarter.”

Northeastern against York Suburban during their girls basketball game in Spring Garden on Friday Jan.6, 2023.

Alyssa Dougherty led the Trojans with a game-best 14 points. Mikayla Coleman paced the Bobcats with 10 points in the triumph.

Northeastern will have the rest of the weekend off before another pair of tough D-II battles next week against Susquehannock and West York, who fell 33-27 to Eastern York on Friday.

Suburban is right back at it Saturday with a home game against Lampeter-Strasburg before a showdown with Eastern on Tuesday evening.