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 — There’s an old adage that states: "If it ain't broke, don’t fix it."
That was the mantra the Berks Catholic girls’ basketball team would adhere to on offense during Wednesday night’s PIAA Class 4-A second-round game against Kennard-Dale at Garden Spot High School.
The Saints made it a point to get the ball inside to Dejah Terrell, and time after time, the Rams had no answer.
The result was a game-high 21 points for Terrell and a 41-32 victory for Berks Catholic. The loss ends the Rams’ season at 15-13. The District 3 runner-up Saints improved to 23-5 and moved into Saturday’s quarterfinals.
“We tried to take our man-to-man defense and sort of make it a zone against her,” K-D head coach Bob Rudisill said of trying to stop Terrell. “We fronted her in the first half and got there a little late. So we played behind her in the second half.”
The plan did slow Terrell some. She only recorded six points after halftime.
The Rams tied the score briefly in the second quarter, but the Saints responded by going on a 10-0 run that helped them create the separation needed to hang on for the victory.
Terrell scored six points and blocked three shots during the run, which was ultimately ended when K-D’s Cloe Thoericht knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:20 left before halftime. The Rams would only hit two shots during the second quarter and trailed 22-15 at the half.
To their credit, the Rams refused to go away quietly.
K-D’s Lexie Kopko was able to get the Rams within three at 24-21 midway through the third quarter when she slashed the lane, hit the basket while absorbing contact and then knocked down the ensuing free throw. Kopko led the way with a team-high 10 points for the Rams.
A tough shooting night, however, stifled any further comeback efforts by the Rams. They could only connect on 12 of 39 attempts from the floor (31 percent). The Saints were 14 of 29 from the floor (48 percent) and put things away by connecting on 9 of 12 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter.
“Our kids did a great job,” Rudisill said. “…But we’ve got to get to the point where we shoot the basketball a little bit better.”
The 2017-18 Rams concluded a season that saw the team come together down the stretch. They collected the first PIAA victory in program history before falling to the Saints.
“Last year, we were 7-15 and started three freshmen and two sophomores. … Our program was in turmoil,” said Rudisill, who plans to retire after 38 years teaching at the school, but isn’t sure about his coaching future yet.
“We got to the point where everybody in York County knows they’ve got to be ready to play us. Got to the point where District 3 knows Kennard-Dale is on the map. And we even won a state game and beat a district champion (Mifflinburg). We just hope we can keep taking things up because we only lose one player.”
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.