WRIGHTSVILLE — As one of only three unbeaten girls’ basketball teams in the York-Adams League heading into the Christmas break, Eastern York has definitely surprised a lot of people.
After knocking off a winless Garden Spot squad 61-44 in the second game of the Wrightsville Holiday Tournament Tuesday, the Knights are sitting at 7-0.
One of those wins, however, came against a determined Spring Grove outfit to open the season. While neither team can say they played close to their potential in that contest, the Rockets were able to hang tough with the Division II leaders.
Wednesday evening, the Rockets will get what they were hoping for heading into the holiday break — a rematch with Eastern. The Rockets knocked off Conrad Weiser, 54-44, in the opener Tuesday to punch their ticket to the finals.
“We’re looking forward to facing them again,” Spring Grove coach Holly Strait said. “We came out with fire in our eyes (back then). It was our first game, so we’re ready for our second go-round.”
Entering the two-day tournament with just one victory, the Rockets battled a game Weiser throughout. The two clubs were even after one quarter before Strait’s club opened up a five-point lead (33-28) heading into the break.
Spring Grove eventually was able to push the advantage into double figures by the fourth period, which was certainly a relief to Strait, who saw her team blow an 18-point lead at halftime against York High a few weeks ago.
“We’ve learned from some of our past mistakes,” she said. “We had a tough game against York High and they learned for that.”
Learning is a bit of a code word for Strait, who is in her second year leading the program. She mentioned that her team either wins or learns from every contest.
She’s obviously hoping her team doesn’t have to learn as much the rest of the season.
“The girls are awesome because they’re focused,” Strait said. “They want to do well. They have that fire in their eyes and they want to be the best.”
Unfortunately for Strait and her youthful Rockets, they are forced to learn in a very difficult situation. Division I is loaded with quality teams, which makes Wednesday’s showdown with Eastern an important barometer for just where Spring Grove sits heading into the new year.
Eastern, for its part, isn’t taking the Rockets lightly despite their 2-6 record.
“I think it’s going to be a tough challenge for us,” Eastern coach Brad Weaver said. “We’re going to have to play a complete game. I look forward to it because I think they’re going to give us another tough game.”
The Rockets were led by a trio of double-figure scorers against the Scouts. Maddie Hagerman led the way with 15 points, while Lexi Hoffman chipped in 14 and Haley Wagman added 13.
Eastern was led by junior standout Hannah Myers with 16 points, while Cassidy Arnold chipped in 13.
West York 41, Lower Dauphin 40: At Hummelstown, the Bulldogs moved to the Lower Dauphin Tournament title game. West York erased a five-point halftime deficit by outscoring Lower Dauphin by six in the third quarter. Catie McCarty led the Bulldogs with 14 points, followed by Angie Hawkins’ 13. West York will face Greencastle in the finals.
Greencastle-Antrim 35, Dallastown 34: At Hummelstown, the Wildcats couldn’t overcome a slow start in the Lower Dauphin Tournament. Dallastown scored just 14 points in the opening half and 20 through three quarters, but furiously rallied in the fourth, only to fall on a missed 3-pointer at the buzzer. Julia Sutton scored 11 points for the Wildcats, which will face Lower Dauphin in the consolation game.
Governor Mifflin 56, Red Lion 51: At Red Lion, the Lions blew a three-point lead in the final quarter in a non-league game. Red Lion erased a nine-point first-quarter deficit with strong second and third quarters, eventually building a three-point advantage going into the fourth, but allowed 21 points in the final frame. Kynslee Shepherd finished with 14 points for the Lions, with Amy Maciejewski recording 10. Jenn Martin led all scorers with 24 for Governor Mifflin.
Waynesboro 55, York Country Day 20: At the Biglerville Tournament, Janiece Andino had 14 points in a losing cause for YCD.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.