WRIGHTSVILLE — It’s human nature to get a bit antsy when a big milestone is drawing near.
Eastern York girls’ basketball standout Hannah Myers, who was closing in on 1,000 points for her career, was certainly feeling some anxiety.
Pressing a little more than she normally would recently, Myers had her sights set on reaching that goal in the second game of Rotary Club of Eastern York County Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at Eastern York High School.
Needing just nine points to get to 1,000, Myers eclipsed that mark with a layup early in the second quarter against Conrad Weiser. Myers didn’t stop there. The senior standout finished with a game-high 23 points to lead her Golden Knights to an impressive 52-18 victory over the Scouts.
Eastern (3-3) moves on to the tournament final Thursday, Dec. 28, against Spring Grove at 7:30 p.m. The Rockets ran their season-opening winning streak to eight games after a thrilling 49-43 triumph over Garden Spot in the opening game Wednesday.
While Myers has been hearing a lot of chatter about her nearing the milestone, everything was confirmed when she saw a number of balloons in the hallway before the contest.
“I saw them before the game,” Myers said of the gold-and-blue balloons that were there to commemorate her 1,000th point. “I was like, ‘shoot…no pressure.’”
Pressure is something that the Shepherd University recruit admitted to feeling the past week. Myers, who came into the night averaging 16.2 points per game, was limited to just 12 and 13 points in losses to York Suburban and Kennard-Dale last week.
“It was a rough couple of first weeks,” she said. “Everyone was telling me that I was close to it. I just really wanted to come in tonight and just focus and I knew that if I did how I usually do that I’d be all right. So I just kind of let go and just did my thing.”
Myers scored points 1,000 and 1,001 on a play that has become synonymous with her over the past three years. She took a pass in the backcourt, raced up the court and into the lane before converting on a lay-in.
That basket pushed Eastern’s advantage to 19-3 with 6:27 left in the first half.
“I thought that has been weighing on her a little bit,” Eastern York coach Brad Weaver said. “And we were obviously prepared tonight with the balloons, which she saw, but we all wanted to celebrate it.”
Myers walked toward the team’s bench, where she was given the balloons by one of the assistant coaches before giving hugs to both her mom and dad.
It wasn’t long after that point that Myers’ night was officially over. With the Knights leading 32-8 at the break, the senior standout was on the bench rooting on her teammates over the final 13 minutes.
Cassidy Arnold chipped in 13 points in the victory while Mara Weaver added eight more off the bench.
While Wednesday’s victory had very few tense moments for Eastern, the conditions Thursday figure to be a lot different. The Knights and Rockets have already faced off once this season, a 59-56 overtime triumph by Spring Grove in the title game of the Spring Grove Tip-off Tournament.
“We already played them and they know us and we know them,” coach Weaver said. “They have some really good 3-point shooters, so it should be an exciting game.”
Rockets survive: The Rockets and Spartans battled in a tight contest in which neither team enjoyed greater than an eight-point advantage. Spring Grove led by two points (45-43) with under a minute left before scoring the final four points — two of which came after a total breakdown by the Garden Spot defense that allowed a wide-open Maddie Hagerman to score on a lay-in with 20 seconds left — to seal the victory.
Haley Wagman finished with a game-high 22 points, that included four 3-pointers. Lexi Hoffman chipped in 11 more.
Wagman, a sophomore, remembers the struggles that the Rockets endured during a 5-17 campaign last season, which makes this season’s surprising start that much sweeter.
“The experience of being a freshman and playing at this level I think has really improved us all,” she said. “We’ve definitely improved as a team.”
York Suburban 51, Cedar Crest 44: At Suburban, the Trojans moved to the title game of their own tournament with a win over a traditional District 3 power. Katherine Mooney (13 points), Ali Reinecker (10) and Briaunna Embrey-Banks (10) each hit double digits for Suburban, which will face South Western for the crown on Thursday.
Dallastown 48, West York 37: At Lower Dauphin, the Wildcats grabbed the win to advance to the tournament title game against the host school. Julia Sutton's 22 points paced Dallastown, while Aniya Matthews added 13 and Samantha Miller chipped in 11. Makennah Hoffman (12) and Alyssa Zorbaugh (11) led the West York offense.
Elizabethtown 59, Northeastern 32: At Manchester, the Bobcats fell in the first round of their own tournament. Jordan Jennings had 10 points for Northeastern.
Ephrata 50, Red Lion 41: At Ephrata, the Lions fell to the host school in first-round tournament action. Kayla Johnson paced Red Lion with 14 points.
Reading 53, York High 22: At Reading, the Bearcats fell in the first round of the Reading Tournament. Individually for the Bearcats, Arionye Matai scored a game-high 16 points.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.