With the season winding down, it doesn’t matter how pretty any victory is.
What matters is that it is a victory.
While it definitely wasn’t the prettiest win in the world, the York Catholic girls’ basketball team will take Wednesday's triumph, nonetheless.
In a battle against host West York on their Senior Night, the Irish didn’t bring their "A" game. High-scoring spark-plug guard Kate Bauhof was held to just four points for the visitors.
Their "B" game, however, was good enough. Three York Catholic players reached double figures in scoring, led by Jania Wright, who poured 17 points, to help lead the Irish to a 52-39 triumph.
“We’ve won a lot of ugly games this year,” York Catholic coach Kevin Bankos said. “Sometimes that’s just the way it is. And if we grind them out like that, I’m OK with that.”
The Irish improved to 13-4 overall heading into Friday’s showdown with York-Adams Division III rival Delone Catholic (14-4), while West York fell to 12-7 in dropping their third game in a row.
The visitors led pretty much throughout on a night in which Bauhof, a 1,000-point scorer as a junior, was forced to pass the ball to teammates with open looks. Fortunately for Bankos, his team was able to get significant points from Wright, Gina Citrone (11) and Katy Rader (10) to make up for Bauhof’s off night.
Perhaps calling it an off-night may be an overstatement. Credit has to be given to the West York defense — and Emma Tyndall in particular — for keeping Bauhof away from prime scoring situations.
““Emma did a great job on Bauhof. Just a great job," West York coach Darrell Wildasin said. "(Bauhof) only had four points and I don’t think that the one bucket she got was when Emma was on the court.”
Tyndall was forced into a bigger defensive role because junior guard Angie Hawkins was held out for a second game in a row. Without their primary ball handler, the Bulldogs struggled mightily with their offense for a second night in a row.
Wildasin’s club was held to just 26 points in a loss to Suburban Tuesday. The production might have been near that level again Wednesday had it not been for Paige Weekly. A night after scoring just three points, Weekly stepped up her game while single-handedly keeping her team within striking distance against the Irish. The junior finished with a game-high 22 points.
“She did a great job tonight,” Wildasin said of Weekly. “But (Tuesday) night the big redhead from Suburban (Parker Faircloth-Henise) just ate her up. So she knew I wasn’t happy with her (Tuesday) night and tonight she came to play.”
Despite Weekly’s efforts, the Bulldogs could never get closer than six points in the second half. They had their chances, but the Irish were able to limit second-chance opportunities in the clutch.
Bankos, while relieved to pull out a victory over a quality team such as West York, knows that his team will have to bring its "A" game when it travels to McSherrystown Friday. To him, it’s all just a matter of putting the pieces together consistently.
“We have the talent,” he said. “So it’s never a talent issue. It’s a blend issue and it’s playing together, trusting each other and doing what we do. At times we have mental lapses and against good teams you can’t have them. We had a lapse tonight and West York went on a six or eight to nothing run. Those are the things that we’re trying to teach them.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.