EMIGSVILLE — The final of the Central York Holiday Tournament gave Panthers girls' basketball coach Scott Wisner an early peak at how teams will try to handle his club after the new year.
While it wasn’t as convincing a victory as he would have liked, Wisner won’t complain about the result Wednesday evening against Susquehannock.
Coming off a thumping of the Warriors a few weeks ago, Wisner’s side saw a different tactic employed by the visitors — a zone. It certainly worked. The cold-shooting Panthers couldn’t find a consistent rhythm.
Fortunately for Wisner, he has standout Emma Saxton on his side. Saxton proved to be a difference maker, scoring nine points while also facilitating her team’s offensive flow. As a result, Saxton was named the tournament’s MVP after leading Central to a 47-42 triumph.
“She’s just fantastic,” Wisner said of the junior play-maker. “She can guard anybody on the perimeter and around the basket. It’s very advantageous for us to have her and be able to plug her in where we need her.”
The Panthers certainly needed her more on this evening than in the previous encounter, a 63-44 thumping two weeks ago. Her ability to not only score but to get the ball to her teammates in good positions make her a difficult assignment for any foe.
“She’s a good player because she understands how to get open,” Susquehannock coach Dave Schreiner said. “She understands how to post and she works constantly. If you watch her on the floor, she’s always moving.”
Nikson Valencik, a sophomore who joined Saxton on the all-tournament squad, stepped up over the final eight minutes. She scored eight of her team-best 11 points in the final stanza, several of which came directly in response to baskets by Warrior standout Ashley Stone.
Stone (11 points) scored seven points in a row for her team midway through the final stanza, but Valencik responded with a pair of baskets.
“We went 2-2-1 during that (time span) and the kids know to never allow the ball into the middle,” Schreiner said. “You have to keep them on the sideline. And what do we do? Saxton gets the ball in the middle and she goes up (and gets the ball to Valencik). We just couldn’t get a stop.”
While Wisner is pleased to take a 10-1 mark into the new year, he knows that teams will try a different approach against his club the second go-round. That likely means his team will see more and more zone in January.
“It’s good to see what teams are going to do against us,” Wisner said. “I really do think that we’re going to see a lot of zone because we’re a little bit limited with our shooters. They’re a little streaky. So we’ll have to learn to deal with those changes and adjust.”
Taylor Tannura finished with 12 points to lead all scorers for the Warriors (9-2). Tannura was named to the all-tournament team along with Stone.
In the third-place game, York Catholic (8-3) routed Brandywine Heights, 52-27, behind 11 points from Kate Bauhof.
Dallastown 31, Dover 29: At the Lower Dauphin Tournament, Julia Sutton had 11 points to lead the Wildcats to the third-place victory over a York-Adams foe. For the Eagles, Rajah Fink and Alaina Reaver each knocked in 12 points.
West York 54, New Oxford 49: At West York, the Bulldogs erased a nine-point halftime deficit to earn the victory. West York got 16 points each from Liv Sollberger and Katie Tallman, while Angie Hawkins added 11. For New Oxford, Kaelyn Long had a game-high 18 points, with Presley Berryhill adding 14, including knocking down the only two 3-pointers in the game.
Cedar Crest 60, Eastern York 41: At Wrightsville, the tournament-host Golden Knights couldn’t keep pace with the high-flying Falcons, losing in the title game of the Eastern York Holiday Tournament. Hannah Myers led Eastern with 14 points, followed by Brooke LaCesa’s 12-point effort.
Conrad Weiser 52, Spring Grove 41: At Wrightsville, the Rockets fell in the third-place game of the tournament at Eastern York. Ashton Ball led the Rockets with 11 points. Teammate Abbie Marquette knocked in 10.
Eastern York 64, Elizabethtown 50: At the Elizabethtown Tournament, the Golden Knights surged in the second half, outscoring the tournament-host Bears 34-18 over the final 16 minutes to capture the White Family Dental Tournament title. Eastern senior Broguen Nicholas led the charge, scoring a game-high 22 points, 18 of which came off of six 3-pointers. Jared Acterberg added 18 points and Dom Particelli chipped in with 13.
Dallastown 72, Lancaster Mennonite 55: At the Elizabethtown Tournament, the Wildcats trailed 31-24 at the half, but outscored Blazers 25-6 in the third quarter to pull away in the third-place game. Brandon McGlynn led the Wildcats with 25 points, including an 11-for-11 night from the charity stripe. Also for the Wildcats, Michael Diaz knocked in 19, while Aaron Ward scored 11. As a team, Dallastown shot 19 for 22 from the charity stripe, while the Blazers shot 14 for 15.
Northeastern 83, Muhlenberg 48: At Manchester, Kobi Nwandu led the Bobcats with 21 points. Also for Northeastern, Jordan Zirkle knocked in 14 points, including four from 3-point range, while Antonio Rizzuto scored 10 points. Northeastern improved to 8-1 with the non-league win.
New Oxford 66, Waynesboro 42: At New Oxford, the tournament-host Colonials captured the title. New Oxford got 20 points from Devon Duvall, the Y-A League’s second-leading scorer. John Wessel added 12 points and Ben Lehman chipped in with 10.
York Tech 41, Bermudian Springs 38: At the New Oxford Tournament, the Spartans trailed 34-31 entering the fourth quarter, but rallied to capture the third-place win. Austin Wehler led the Spartans with 14 points. Teammate Luis DeLeon knocked in 10 points. For the Eagles, Tony Petrosky scored 18 points.
Annville-Cleona 42, Susquehannock 35: At the Middletown Tournament, the Warriors led 20-18 at the half, but were unable to hold on and dropped the third-place game. Josh Stoneberg led the Warriors with 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.