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Defense has become a staple of the York Suburban girls' basketball team under Coach Jess Barley.

Monday evening, however, in the second game of the York Suburban Holiday Tournament, the Trojans showed that they are more than just a defense-only club.

After falling behind Mifflin County after one period, the Trojans kicked things into gear behind the play of senior standout Molly Day. The York College recruit scored a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds to help the home team to an impressive 55-39 victory.

Suburban advances to the final Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against South Western, a 37-26 winner over Twin Valley in the other contest at Suburban.

"We finished tonight," Barley said. "We talked about ways to use our size advantage tonight to get Molly and Parker (Faircloth-Henise) the ball, because we knew that we had a little bit of an advantage there."

Day knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, which forced the Mifflin defense to extend out. That allowed Faircloth-Henise, who finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, to do a lot of cleanup work in the paint.

"Parker is doing great," Day said. "She went from not playing too much last year to a complete turnaround this year. She's playing really well."

The effectiveness of the Trojans at penetrating or passing the ball into the paint doomed Mifflin.

"Molly ... you have to give her a lot of credit tonight," Barley said. "She really stepped up tonight as a senior leader. She made some great drives and she finished. So I was really pleased with how she stepped up."

The 6-footer's ability to play anywhere on the court has been a key for helping the Trojans improve to 7-2.

"She's not only strong and plays in the post well, but she also handles the ball pretty well for her size," Barley said. "And against their zone, we wanted to try to stretch her a little bit."

Those abilities are also a reason that York College coach Betsy Witman stayed in contact with Day regularly over the past year.

"(Coach Witman) is somebody that I've wanted to play for," Day said. "Coach Barley played for her too. And I enjoy their style and the team atmosphere there."

Maggie Wilson led Mifflin with 15 points in the setback.

GIRLS' GAMES

Red Lion 33, Upper St. Clair 31: At Altoona, the Lady Lions held off a second-half charge by Upper St. Clair to earn the close victory and advance to Tuesday’s Altoona Holiday Tournament championship game. While leading scorer Courtney Dimoff was held in check with only six points, Natalie Reba picked up the slack with 13 points and Amy Maciejewski chipped in with 11.

Northeastern 44, Columbia 38: At the Northeastern Tournament, Jordyn Kloster poured in a game-high 26 points as the Bobcats moved into the title game of their own holiday tournament. Shanel Neal led Columbia with 14 points. Northeastern will face West Perry in the tournament championship game.

Christian School of York 42, Fairfield 20: At the CSY Tournament, Kendis Butler's game-high 19 points, including four from behind the arc, led the Crusaders to the semifinal victory. Also for CSY, Mekenzie Smith knocked in 11 points. CSY will face Shalom Christian in Tuesday's title game, while Fairfield will play in the third-place game against Dayspring Christian. Shalom won its semifinal vs. Dayspring, 56-23.

Reading 53, York High 51: At Reading, the Bearcats outscored the home team 17-15 in the final quarter, but came up just short in the semifinal match-up. Chyna Steele led the Bearcats by scoring a game-high 20 points. York High will now move into the third-place game on Tuesday and face Mechanicsburg.

Kennett 41, Kennard-Dale 32: At the Muhlenberg Tournament, the Rams lost their semifinal contest and will face Schuylkill Valley in a third-place game on Tuesday. Schuylkill Valley fell to the host school, 39-21. No other details were reported.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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