The timing couldn’t have been much better for Central York girls’ basketball standout Emma Saxton this past Friday.
Playing at home against Spring Grove on Senior Night, Saxton made the night a memorable one when she went over the 1,000-point mark for her career.
The Bloomsburg University recruit needed to score just four points — which she was reminded of during seemingly every class at school. She buried an open 3-pointer late in the first quarter to become just the fourth Central York female to reach the milestone. She finished with 12 points to get to 1,008 for her career in her team’s 67-47 triumph.
“Everyone at school and even my teachers were reminding me that I needed four points,” Saxton said. “So I definitely knew."
The senior, who is averaging 14.7 points per game this season, could have probably broken the mark much earlier in her career if she was just a scorer. Widely regarded by opposing coaches as the best player in the York-Adams League, Saxton can do it all. She is often dispatched to stop the opponent’s best scorer every game. She is also fairly good at finding teammates who are open — often at the expense of taking the shot herself.
“Of all the teams that we’ve played so far, I think she’s the best player I’ve seen,” Eastern York coach Brad Weaver said after his team fell to Central, 95-60, back on Jan. 16. “It’s just how smart she plays.”
While she made some history Friday while scoring, Saxton admitted that her favorite aspect of the game is on the opposite end of the court.
“Defense is definitely my favorite part of the game,” she said. “I’ve loved it since I was little. My dad once told me that when someone scores on you, take it personally.”
With a long postseason run, Saxton has a chance to eclipse her brother Sam’s career points total. Sam Saxton, who is currently a redshirt freshman at Bloomsburg, finished his high school career with 1,107 points, leaving Emma just 99 points shy of the mark.
Passing her brother would also move her up to second on the Central career girls’ list behind Kris McGhee, who scored 1,392 points.
Not that Saxton is gunning for her big brother.
“I just have so much respect for Sam,” said Emma, who noted that she’s looking forward to being able to watch her brother play regularly next year. “I look up to him, so I’m not going to try to go out of my way to beat him.”
League playoff update: With a victory against Eastern this past Friday, the Dover Eagles girls’ basketball team likely secured entry into the upcoming York-Adams League
Dover (16-5 overall, 10-4 Division II) finished the regular season tied with the Golden Knights (14-8, 10-4) in the standings, but lost the tie-breaker (record against first-place Susquehannock).
As it stands, the Eagles hold a significant lead over the Littlestown Thunderbolts (13-9, 7-5 Division III) in the race for the No. 3 seed from either Division II or III. The final District 3 power ratings are used to compare the third-place teams in those two division to determine the final entrant.
Dover’s rating is .6833 while Littlestown’s rating is .5252. Final ratings will become official Wednesday.
With Dover a near certainty to be included, the field for the playoffs is set. Doubleheaders will be held at both Dallastown and Dover on Friday. All records are through Sunday.
Here are the expected first-round girls' pairings:
Dover (16-5) vs. Central York (20-2) at Dallastown, 7:30 p.m.
York Catholic (17-5) vs. Eastern York (14-8) at Dallastown, 6 p.m.
Dallastown (12-10) vs. Delone Catholic (17-5) at Dover, 6 p.m.
Susquehannock (18-3) vs. New Oxford (17-5) at Dover, 7:30 p.m.
League leaders: Dover’s Rajah Fink took over the top spot in the York-Adams League scoring race this week at 18.6 points per game.
The junior was aided greatly by a 43-point outburst against Northeastern Tuesday.
York High’s Madey-Zania Redman is second at 18.1 points a game, while York Catholic’s Kate Bauhof is a close third at 18.0 points per contest.
Bauhof, however, leads the league in both free throw shooting (83.3 percent, minimum one attempt per game) and 3-pointers made (45) so far this season.
Central York leads the circuit in scoring at 61.1 points per game. Littlestown tops the defensive charts after allowing just 32.2 points a contest. York Catholic is the top free throw shooting team at 68.8 percent.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.