EMIGSVILLE — Basketball is played indoors, but don’t let anyone tell you that the weather can't have an impact on the sport.
Many games this season have already been postponed because of inclement conditions outside.
The Dallastown-Central York girls’ basketball showdown on Wednesday, Jan. 17, was not one of the postponed encounters, but the weather almost certainly had an impact. The host Panthers did not play particularly well over the first three quarters and the visiting Wildcats built a 13-point advantage.
While the home team rallied mightily over the final eight minutes, it wasn’t enough. Dallastown claimed an important 42-40 triumph.
The Wildcats pulled into a first-place tie with the Panthers at 5-2 in York-Adams Division I. Dallastown, coming off a big victory over a standout Manheim Township team on Monday, Jan. 15, improved to 9-4 overall, while Central fell to 11-4.
“It was certainly unusual,” Dallastown coach Jay Rexroth said. “We couldn’t practice (Tuesday) after coming off a big win Monday. So we had to have a little walk-through before we got on the bus tonight. And Central was in the same boat. It is sort of unusual to not have a practice to prepare for a game like this.”
The walk-through seemed to help the visitors early on. While not executing offensively as well as Rexroth would have liked, his team’s defense played extremely well. The Panthers were held to 14 points over the first 16 minutes.
That trend continued into the second half, when the home team was only able to generate five points in the third period. As a result, the Wildcats were in good position entering the final period. Rexroth’s club was ahead by 13 (32-19).
That’s when the Panthers seemed to kick off the rust from a sluggish three quarters. Central rallied quickly to make it 35-31 by the midway point of the final stanza.
“It seemed like in every timeout that we were talking about creating more offensive opportunities,” Central coach Scott Wisner said. “I thought we had some opportunities but we just didn’t shoot the ball well enough. But I couldn’t be prouder of how we fought back (in the fourth quarter)."
Allison Wagner sparked Wisner’s club over the final eight minutes. The senior scored nine of her team-high 13 points in the final period. She scored four layups at critical points during the comeback.
“She found the gaps in their defense,” Wisner said. “And she did a great job of exploiting that.”
Wagner, however, had a drive blocked by Dallastown’s Aniya Matthews with under 30 seconds left to preserve the Wildcat lead.
“That was a big block,” said Dallastown senior Julia Sutton, who led the Wildcats with 18 points.
The visitors appeared to be in position to seal the game until Sutton was called for a traveling violation with 1.9 seconds left. Sutton felt she was fouled before the travel occurred, but, to her credit, she refused to let the call change the outcome.
“Yeah, it was a foul,” she said. “But we regrouped.”
After an inbounds pass was knocked out of bounds with one second left on the clock, the Panthers got the ball to senior Nikson Valencik for a potential game-tying shot. Valencik, however, was unable to get her shot off before the buzzer sounded.
That set off a wild celebration from the Dallastown bench for the second time this week. The Wildcats handed Manheim Township, ranked first in the District 3 6-A power ratings, a 53-50 setback in overtime Monday. That was Township’s first loss of the season.
“This is our biggest week of the season so far,” Sutton said. “I think we’ve handled it pretty well.”
Samantha Miller chipped in 12 points for the Wildcats, while Teirra Preston added 10 for the Panthers.
Dover 53, West York 50: At Dover, the Eagles captured the York-Adams Division II win. The Eagles improved to 7-6 overall and 4-3 in the division. West York fell to 7-6 and 4-4. No other details were reported.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.