It's often said that timing is everything in life.
For the Susquehannock girls’ basketball team, timing was no friend recently.
During a regularly scheduled Saturday practice back on Jan. 19, it seemed as if the three-time York-Adams League Division II championship team would be short a player. That’s because Warriors standout Jaden Walker figured that she would travel with her family to Massachusetts to watch her brother, Jarace, play for his IMG Academy prep team.
A poor weather forecast for the New England area, however, prevented the Walkers from making the planned trip to watch Jarace. That meant that Jaden Walker, a St. Joseph's University recruit, would be able to attend a practice that she and her team believed she would miss.
In hindsight, all parties involved wish she would have missed that practice.
“She was supposed to go watch her brother play, but when they had that bad weather there her parents decided not to go,” Susquehannock coach Dave Schreiner said. “So she told me (the night before) that she’d be at practice Saturday.”
“And that’s when it happened,” Schreiner added.
Missing two key games: "It" was a painful injury to Jaden Walker’s ankle the weekend before her team’s two biggest games of the season.
“That’s the ironic thing,” Schreiner said. “If not for the weather, she wouldn’t have even been there and she wouldn’t be injured.”
For it all to go down at practice only made the whole ordeal that much more unpalatable for the Warriors.
“She just came down on the foot of one of the girls when she went to the basket,” Schreiner said. “It was immediate and we knew that it wasn’t good.”
Return may be imminent: The good news for Schreiner and Walker is that the recent inductee to the school’s 1,000 career-point club figures to be able to play again sometime this week. Schreiner believes that his standout would have been able to go Tuesday evening against Northeastern had the contest not been postponed because of the weather. The Warriors are next scheduled to play Friday at York Suburban.
The bad news was that Walker’s injury prevented the Y-A League’s leading scorer from playing in showdown contests vs. rivals Kennard-Dale and Gettysburg. Those are the only two games she's missed in her high school career.
Without Walker, who is averaging 16.6 points per game, the Warriors were crushed by the Rams, 53-16. While the game with Gettysburg wasn’t as one-sided, Schreiner’s club still suffered a demoralizing 58-38 setback. Those back-to-back losses pretty much assured the squad that it will not claim a fourth-straight Y-A Division II title this year.
Looking ahead: “Now it’s all about trying to still make the county playoffs and securing a berth into districts,” Schreiner said. “And doing that is still possible and still one of the goals.”
At 12-6 overall and 8-4 in the division, the Warriors are in third place behind K-D (18-2, 11-1) and Gettysburg (16-3, 10-2). Schreiner’s team is also just a game ahead of Eastern York (13-7, 7-5), although the Warriors hold the tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping the season series.
The top three teams in Division I as well as the top two clubs in Divisions II and III automatically earn berths into the eight-team Y-A playoffs. The final berth will go to the No. 3 team in either Division II or III with the better District 3 power rating.
Bermudian Springs is the third-place team in Division III right now with a 12-5 record overall and a 7-3 mark in D-III play.
Susquehannock's current power rating is .678. Bermudian's power rating is .633.
The Warriors are slotted No. 8 in the latest District 3 Class 5-A power ratings, with 16 teams making the final field.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.