GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Rajah Fink scores 20, sparks fast start, helps Dover beat York Catholic
- Dover earned a 48-41 girls' basketball triumph over York Catholic on Wednesday.
- Rajah Fink poured in 20 points to lead Dover to the victory.
- The Eagles improved to 3-2 overall. York Catholic fell to 2-2.
Dover girls’ basketball coach Kevin Glover understands that the York-Adams League Division II landscape is filled with tough games, night in and night out.
With teams such as defending champion Susquehannock and perennial contenders West York, York Suburban and Eastern York claiming more than half of the 14-game division schedule, Glover knows that his team will have to be both physically and mentally tough.
That’s why games such as the one on Wednesday, Dec. 20, against defending Division III champ York Catholic, are vital. The Irish are so well coached that they will test you, even without injured standout Kate Bauhof in the lineup.
Sure enough, Glover got what he wanted just in time for his team’s big showdown with the Warriors on Friday, Dec. 22. The Eagles were able to build a 16-point lead in the third quarter, but had to withstand a furious comeback by the home team.
Glover’s team claimed a 48-41 triumph. The Eagles improved to 3-2 overall, while York Catholic dropped to 2-2.
“They came out good, but I was pleased with the way we answered it,” Glover said. “Playing Catholic (here), it’s a very tough environment, and I have a lot of younger kids playing in something like this and it’s their first time doing it. I told them that (Catholic) is going to make their run and that we have to keep our composure, which I think we did.”
The Irish got out to an early 7-2 lead before the Eagles were able to turn things around. Rajah Fink (20 points) spurred a 22-8 burst over the end of the first quarter and most of the second stanza that put her team ahead for good.
Fink is the leading scorer in the league so far this year at 20.6 points per game.
“Her energy and effort tonight was exactly what we needed,” Glover said. “She’s playing a lot harder than she did last year.”
Fink was able to get scoring help from her fellow guards, Ashley Goebeler and Caylee Hayes, who each chipped in eight points. Those contributions were big for a few reasons. One, the Eagles were shorthanded with Alaina Reaver out for the contest. The other was the fact that the Irish focused on forcing everyone but Fink to try to play at a faster speed.
“They definitely tried, and I think there were a few times where we did turn it over a time or two,” Glover said. “But, for the most part, the girls handled the pressure well.”
For York Catholic, their primary issues were not related to balanced scoring. Four players, led by Gina Citrone’s 13 points, scored at least eight points for the Irish.
The biggest problem for coach Kevin Bankos and his squad was that they dug too big of a hole to get out of. Despite an 11-0 run to begin the fourth period, the Irish were never able to cut the deficit below five points.
“Bottom line is that we didn’t attack their zone well at all,” Bankos said. “That’s something we’re going to have to work on because we’re going to see more zones probably. And I just got finished telling the kids after the game that we can’t play in these 3½- to 4-minute spurts when we’re down 18. We have to be in single digits and then make that push.”
Abby Pilkey and Jania Wright each tallied 10 points for the Irish, while Kate Rader added eight.
Spring Grove 62, York High 24: At Spring Grove, the Rockets improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in York-Adams Division I. Ellie Glass poured in 22 points for the winners.
Central York 85, Northeastern 28: At Central York, Nikson Valencik and Teirra Preston led the Panthers with 12 points apiece. Emily Prowell connected for 10 points. Central improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in York-Adams Division I.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.