GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Susquehannock wins low-scoring, early-season showdown over West York
GLEN ROCK — Through the first three games of the season, the West York girls' basketball team was averaging nearly 60 points per game.
On Tuesday, Dec. 19, against York-Adams League Division II rival Susquehannock, the Bulldogs struggled to get halfway to their average.
While West York no doubt missed several very make-able shots in the second half, the Warriors defense refused to budge. Led by a 12-point, five-block game from Jaden Walker, Susquehannock held the visiting Bulldogs to just one field goal over the final 16 minutes.
Surprisingly, that effort was not only great, but necessary as well. The home team managed just 11 points in the second half, but that was just enough, as the defending Division II champs hung on for a crazy 33-32 triumph.
Susquehannock improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in D-II, while the Bulldogs dropped to 3-1 and 1-1.
"That was an ugly game, I'll tell you," Warriors coach Dave Schreiner said with a laugh.
The ugliest part of it was certainly Susquehannock's woes at the free-throw line. The home team managed to connect on just 7 of 23 free throws, which was barely more than 30 percent.
“I always stress that when we're shooting foul shots that it should mean something," Schreiner said. "And tonight we just about gave the game away at the line.”
The breakdown was nearly identical in both halves for Schreiner's club. The Warriors hit 4 of 11 free throws in the first half and just 3 of 12 in the second half.
Many of the misses after intermission, however, came with the home team holding the advantage. The big reason it ultimately didn't proved costly was that the Bulldogs were not much better. West York scored four of its seven second-half points from the free-throw line in nine attempts.
“We scored 19 points in the first quarter and we finished with 32 for the game," West York coach James Kunkle said. "You're not going to win many games doing that.”
Kunkle and the Bulldogs, however, still had a chance to win. Sophomore Makennah Hoffman knocked down the only field goal of the second half for West York with 19.9 seconds remaining to pull the visitors to within 33-32.
After a Susquehannock turnover with 2.8 seconds left on a tie-up, Alayna Harris was unable to get her shot from outside the arc to fall before the Warriors celebrated their triumph.
“We just didn't execute," Kunkle said. "I think most of (it) was that we shot ourselves in the foot. We caused too many unforced turnovers on our part that eventually turned into points for them.”
Those points typically came off the hands of Walker, who scored seven of her game-high 12 points in the second half.
“Jayden played smart," Schreiner said. "And she stayed out of foul trouble, which was huge. I always feel that if we can keep our best players on the floor that we have a good chance.”
Angie Hawkins led West York with 11 points, nine of which came before intermission
Dallastown 78, York High 28: At York, Julia Sutton had 17 points and Aniya Matthews added 16 to lead the Wildcats. Aneisha Velazquez had 12 points to pace York High.
York Suburban 36, Eastern York 34: At Wrightsville, Katerine Mooney's 15 points powered the Trojans to the win. Hannah Myers had 12 points in a losing effort.
Spring Grove 57, New Oxford 48: At New Oxford, the Rockets improved to 5-0 behind 25 points from Haley Wagman and 15 from Lexi Hoffman.
York Catholic 50, Bermudian Springs 33: At York, Abigail Pilkey scored 13 points to lead the Irish to the win.
South Western 31, Red Lion 27: At Hanover, Taylor Geiman scored nine points to lead South Western to the low-scoring win. Kayla Johnson's eight points led Red Lion.
Hanover 43, York Country Day 23: At York, Mattie Heath (12), Haley Zollickoffer (11) and Avery Martz (10) each reached double digits in scoring for Hanover.
Christian School of York 58, West Shore Christian 31: At York, Kendis Butler poured in 26 points for CSY. Claire Harbaugh added 13, while Mekenzie Smith chipped in 11.
Red Lion Christian 52, Arlington Baptist 12: At Arlington, Hailee Thompson scored 14 points and Destiny Hollingshead added 12 for RLC.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.