Both Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock saw their season come to an end in the second round of the PIAA playoffs on March 14 at Garden Spot High School. Rams coach Bob Rudisill and Warriors coach Dave Schreiner talk about their squad's seasons. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
NEW HOLLAND — Susquehannock girls' basketball coach Dave Schreiner couldn't have drawn up a much better start for his team on Wednesday night.
The Warriors raced out to a 6-0 lead a little more than a minute into the action in a PIAA Class 5-A second-round state battle against unbeaten West Chester Henderson.
Unfortunately for Schreiner and his crew, the rest of the contest spiraled into an entirely different direction.
WCH blitzed the York-Adams League Division II champs with a mix of post and perimeter baskets, with some free throws mixed in. Henderson's 17-2 run, which produced a 17-8 lead, turned out to be both devastating and demoralizing.
While Susquehannock was able to claw back to within four points midway through the third quarter, the District 1 champion Warriors responded with a 7-0 spurt to regain control for good. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Henderson stayed unbeaten (30-0) after claiming a 57-47 victory.
The setback ended Susquehannock's season at 23-7.
"Their size gets to you and their guards are good," Schreiner said. "Little by little, they pick away. You make some mistakes here, or you give up an offensive rebound, and all of sudden, something you've worked so hard for at the other end offensively, they're getting it right back."
WCH was able to quickly chip away at the 6-0 deficit. A layup on their next possession was followed by a steal and score. Moments later the score was tied.
Henderson's big run was fueled primarily by its play on the boards. The Y-A Warriors went nearly a full quarter between defensive rebounds, and WCH was able to make shots or score on put backs each time down the court.
Much of that advantage inside was done by a pair of 6-foot-plus forwards, Grace Ferguson and Abbey Shea. That duo combined for 21 points, 12 of which came in the first half.
The Y-A Warriors, however, refused to surrender. They trimmed the deficit to seven (30-23) at the break before cutting it down to 34-30 with just under six minutes left in the third period. That run was when junior standout Jaden Walker scored seven of her team-high 20 points.
“I thought we got back into the game," Schreiner said. "But then we made some bad decisions.”
Those decisions helped spur WCH's 7-0 run that quickly pushed the deficit back into double-digits (41- 30).
"They're a good basketball team from top to bottom," Schreiner said. "They kind of let their big kids sit back a little bit and protect the basket."
Proud coach: While not pleased with the outcome, Schreiner was definitely impressed with his squad, which started two juniors and a freshman.
"I'm proud of our kids," Schreiner said. "As I told them in the locker room, in many ways I think we over-achieved this year. We played with two freshmen, one started and the other came off the bench. I thought overall that the effort was there tonight, it was just the execution that wasn't always there."
The setback was certainly bittersweet for the three Susquehannock seniors — two (Taylor Tanurra, Anna Mahan) of whom played for Schreiner the past four years. Maddie Stone, who was injured back in January, was the third Warrior senior.
"Taylor just does all the things that a coach asks for," Schreiner said. "You can't coach a lot of it. And Anna had to change positions this year. She played more in the post when she's probably more suited for the wing and she did a good job. So those two will be missed. And then there's Maddie Stone, who we lost after the Gettysburg game. That was blow. She was really our sixth man or our last starter and she gave us another outside threat and that was the big thing."
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.