Size is one thing that can't be coached.
When you have it, you have it. When you don’t, you don’t.
York Suburban girls’ coach Jess Barley can be thankful that she has it. A lot of it, actually.
The ‘it’ in that sentence refers to at least two key Trojans players — Molly Day and Parker Faircloth-Henise. Tuesday evening in the championship contest of the York Suburban Holiday Tournament against South Western, it was Faircloth-Henise who used her 6-foot-plus size to help her team claim victory.
Trailing by four points, the Trojans were able to get to the free throw line four times in the final minute. While the home team only converted on two of those attempts, they were able to twice grab offensive rebounds and draw fouls.
The second time it was the junior Faircloth-Henise who reached for a miss by teammate Georgia DuMars. She corralled the ball, turned and lofted a shot at the basket while the whistle blew. The ball hit off the backboard before going through to tie the game.
With 46 seconds left on the clock, Faircloth-Henise made the free throw, which proved to be the winning margin, 35-34.
According to the junior standout, who finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds, the hardest part of the entire sequence — rebound, pivot, shoot and make the free throw — was the latter part.
“Don’t miss the foul shot,” she said she was thinking at the time. “Foul shooting has been a problem for us all season.”
The Trojans converted on just 5 of 13 attempts for the night, including a pair of misses earlier by Faircloth-Henise. But when her team needed her the most, the junior took charge. That’s something that really didn’t happen a year ago when she was used sparingly despite her size. But hard work in the offseason, as well as confidence gained during the fall in leading the Suburban volleyball team to a division title, has paid off, according to Barley.
“It was clutch,” Barley said of the old-fashioned 3-point play. “That was a big-time play. And we talked about it in the locker room. Big-time players make big-time plays in these type of games and she’s turning into a big-time player.”
Much like on the volleyball team, where she had Jordan Landis and others around her, Faircloth-Henise is growing daily into an impact player for her club with the help of Day. The York College recruit finished with 12 points and eight rebounds en route to being named the tournament’s MVP.
Day’s presence on the court opens up the middle for Faircloth-Henise, who was assisted by Day on four layups during the evening.
“She’s been a real big help,” Faircloth-Henise said of Day. “And I really appreciate it.”
Faircloth-Henise, who was named to the all-tournament team, wasn’t the only girl with some size that made key plays for her team Tuesday. South Western standout Taylor Geiman single-handedly kept her team alive during some rocky stretches early in the contest.
Geiman led all players with 16 points while also securing 13 rebounds.
The freshman, however, was not on the court when the Mustangs (5-5) needed her the most late. She picked up her fifth personal foul in the final minute and could only watch as her team failed to register a shot despite having the ball with 8.8 seconds left.
“Defensively I was proud of our effort,” Barley said. “We had a bunch of big stops, especially at the end.”
The victory improved Suburban’s record to 8-2 overall. The Trojans get ready to head back into York-Adams Division II play next week. They’ll start the new year with a game against reigning champion West York, a team that knocked off Suburban three times a season ago.
“That’s a big game, as always,” Faircloth-Henise said. “They beat us a bunch of times last year.”
Red Lion 43, Ambridge 33: At Altoona, after falling behind 12-6 after one quarter, the Lady Lions improved their defense and also picked up their offense, quieting the Ambridge offense to earn the Altoona Holiday Tournament title. Red Lion scored more points per quarter as the game progressed, while allowing fewer points in each quarter. Courtney Dimoff led the charge offensively with 15 points, including knocking down all three of the team’s 3-pointers, while Amy Maciejewski added 10 points. Maciejewski was named the tournament MVP, while Dimoff was named to the all-tournament team.
Central York 55, York Catholic 37: At Central York, the tournament-host Panthers advanced to Wednesday’s title game vs. Susquehannock with a convincing win over the Fighting Irish. Central outscored York Catholic in every quarter, led by Emma Saxton’s 21 points. For the Fighting Irish, Kate Bauhof had 17 points, while Jania Wright added 10. York Catholic will face Brandywine Heights in the third-place game.
Susquehannock 65, Brandywine Heights 25: At Central York, the Warriors jumped out to a 21-1 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Tyler Williams and Madison Stone each knocked in 12 points, while Jayla Galbreath, Anna Mahan and Ashley Stone each scored 11 points.
Greencastle-Antrim 51, Dover 30: At Hummelstown, in the Lower Dauphin Holiday Tournament opener, Rajah Fink was the only Dover player to reach double digits in scoring, finishing with 10 points. Jenay Faulkner of Greencastle-Antrim reached the 1,000-point club in the game as part of her 25-point outburst.
Lower Dauphin 59, Dallastown 32: At Hummelstown, the Wildcats fell to the tournament-host Falcons in the semifinals of the Lower Dauphin Holiday Tournament. Grace Coyne led all Wildcats with eight points, while Julia Sutton and Sabrina Stough each added seven.
West Perry 39, Northeastern 27: At Manchester, the tournament-host Bobcats were shut out in the second quarter and just never found any offensive rhythm, losing in the Northeastern Holiday Tournament title game. Northeastern had just six points at halftime and trailed by 19. Jordyn Kloster scored 20 of the team’s 27 points and knocked down all three of the team’s shots from 3-point land.
Eastern York 46, Spring Grove 40: At Wrightsville, Hannah Myers led the Golden Knights to the tournament semifinal victory by scoring a game-high 14 points. Teammate Cassidy Arnold knocked in 10 points. As a team, Spring Grove shot just 8 for 28 from the charity stripe. Eastern moves on to the championship game on Wednesday and will face Cedar Crest, while Spring Grove moves into Wednesday, third-place game and will face Conrad Weiser.
Kennard-Dale 43, Schuylkill Valley 24: At Muhlenberg, the Rams salvaged third place in the Muhlenberg Holiday Tournament by knocking off the Panthers. Abigail Pilkey and Morgan Anderson led the charge for the Rams, each finishing with 14 points.
Mechanicsburg 43, York High 42: At the Reading tournament, the Bearcats dropped the third-place game. Madey-Zania Redman led the Bearcats with 21 points. Jasmine Beistline knocked in 13 points.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.