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It’s not common for the York Catholic girls’ basketball team to enter the Christmas break with a loss.

Let alone two or even three.

So it’s understandable that some York Catholic fans may feel a bit of panic after the Irish dropped a 53-39 non-league home contest against Susquehanna Township Wednesday evening. That loss was the second in the span of less than a week for the Irish, who fell to 4-2 on the season.

Longtime York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos, however, is not feeling any sort of jitters, even if the new season hasn’t gotten off to a traditional Irish start.

“We have talent,” Bankos said. “We have kids that know how to play basketball. We just need to get them all playing good together in the right way and start running things effectively.”

The Irish had their hands full with an athletic Lady Indians squad that entered the night at 2-3. Those three losses, however, came against very good teams in Cedar Cliff, Mechanicsburg and Berks Catholic.

The visitors were able to get the ball inside regularly. The trio of Joya Maser, Janese Pope and Lauren Pettis combined for 39 points, many of which came in the paint or at the foul line.

“We talked about that after the game,” Bankos said. “Our defense wasn’t good enough, especially in the second half. It was good in the first half, and the kids played well in the first half, but in the second half we had mental lapses, didn’t rotate. So, yeah, we’re going to have to get better on defense.”

The Irish will also need more scoring balance to surround sophomore standout Kate Bauhof. The guard led all players with 23 points, but no one else on her club scored more than five.

Bankos attributed that lack of depth on the score sheet partly to the fact that his team wasn’t able to generate many easy shots or open looks. Bauhof had to take 22 shots to get her points, with 13 of the shots coming from behind the 3-point line.

“I don’t think we moved the ball well,” he said. “We wanted to get the ball into the mid- to high-post area, and we just never got it there to get it to a guard flashing in or a screen out front. And that’s one of those things where we just have to keep drilling until we get it.”

While losing has never really been a norm during Bankos’ 10 years leading the program, he’s well aware that his club hasn’t scratched much of its potential yet. And he’s confident that, come later this season, the story will be much different.

“We’re not anywhere near where we want to be, but I’m sure we didn’t expect to be where we want to be in February (now),” he said. “We need to keep working and understand that this game we played a really good basketball team that did a lot of good things, but we just didn’t react to them very well.”

The Irish will get a chance to see how much they learned from Wednesday’s setback this Saturday when they take on defending York-Adams League champion West York (4-1 overall).

Bankos’ club, which is 3-0 in Division III, will also face a test against divisional rival Bermudian Springs (3-3, 3-1) on Friday.

OTHER GIRLS' GAME

Red Lion 54, Red Land 44: At Red Lion, the Lady Lions remained unbeaten (6-0) with the non-league triumph. The Lions trailed at halftime, 32-27, but used a 27-12 second-half surge to secure the win. Kami Harvey paced the winners with 12 points, while Courtney Dimoff and Amy Maciejewski added 10 points apiece.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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