RED LION – This may have been just a preview of what's to come in York-Adams League girls' basketball this season.
Central York visited Red Lion on Tuesday evening for an early-season Division I battle.
It was a contest that pitted a pair of 2-0 squads against one another and it needed more than regulation to decide.
That seems fitting. Nearly all of the league's coaches believe that the top spots in each of the three Y-A divisions will be hotly contested.
In the end, experience and poise proved to be decisive.
Trailing by a point in overtime, the Panthers turned the ball over on an inbounds play near midcourt. A subsequent foul — a push in the back against Red Lion’s Asia Eames — resulted in an intentional foul call that compounded matters for the Panthers.
Even with all of that, the Central girls still had a chance to even the score in the final moments. Trailing by three with less than 10 seconds left, the Panthers cut the deficit to a point after an uncontested layup before time expired, handing the Lions a dramatic 42-41 triumph.
“We had coachable moments probably the entire fourth quarter and into overtime for sure,” CY coach Scott Wisner said. “Obviously we’re pretty young and we made a number of mistakes.”
The final decision to score on a two-point layup, despite trailing by three, not only made Wisner scratch his head, it also befuddled Red Lion coach Don Dimoff.
Not that Dimoff minded.
“I’ve never been so happy to give up an uncontested layup in my life,” Dimoff said jokingly. “Once she turned the corner (beyond the 3-point arc) I was happy that we just let her go.”
Lots of momentum swings: While the ending featured a series of miscues, the rest of the contest looked very much like the type of tight-knit affair that coaches have said they expect throughout the season. Neither side was able to seize complete control, with spurts by both teams resulting in momentum shifts in a matter of seconds.
Losing by six points midway through the third quarter, Wisner called a timeout. He proceeded to chew out his club for a lack of focus.
Then, a moment later, the Panthers completed a quick 7-0 run to regain the advantage.
“There were times where we looked so timid I think,” Wisner said. “And we showed a little bit of growth in small spurts, but we obviously have a lot more growing to do.”
Shaw, Beiler excel for Lions: The interior duo of Julia Beiler and Makiah Shaw proved to be a handful at times for the Panthers. Shaw led all scorers with 18 points, while Beiler finished with eight. The Lions' success this year will no doubt have direct correlation to the play of Beiler and Shaw.
“They played really well,” Dimoff said. “Now they both struggled at times making shots, but down the stretch they both stepped up and made them and that’s the growth that is showing from last year.”
For Shaw, Tuesday’s win was both satisfying and gratifying after the Lions struggled to keep up with the D-I competition last season, resulting in a 5-7 division record.
“We showed tonight that if we trust in each other’s abilities, that a positive outcome is ours,” she said. “And we stress all the time to don’t ever give up, because at any time something good could happen. And that’s what we did … we just kept playing hard.”
Notes: Sarah Berman led the Panthers with 11 points to go with 11 rebounds. Freshman power forward Mackenzie Wright-Rawls, who tallied a combined 30 rebounds in CY’s two victories at the Penn Manor Tournament this past weekend, finished with nine points and five rebounds.
Central did itself no favors at the foul line. The Panthers converted just 6 of 17 attempts (35.5 percent), including a 1-for-7 showing (14.3 percent) in the first half.
Up next: Red Lion will face South Western Friday, while Central squares off against a perennially tough Central Dauphin side Wednesday.
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
West York 52, Gettysburg 44: At West York, the Bulldogs used a 21-10 fourth-quarter surge to erase a 34-31 deficit after three quarters. Alainna Hopta (17) and Alayna Harris (16) combined for 33 of West York's points. Gettysburg was paced by 15-point efforts by both Camryn Felix and Cheyenne Proctor.
York Suburban 51, Northeastern 32: At Manchester, Alyssa Hocker poured in 23 points to help Suburban improve to 3-0. Jordyn Jennings scored 13 points for Northeastern.
Spring Grove 72, York High 25: At Spring Grove, Addyson Wagman knocked in a game-high 17 points, including a 7-for-8 night at the charity stripe, to help the Rockets secure the victory. Also for Spring Grove, Lexi Hoffman scored 15 points, Ella Kale knocked in 14 and Haley Wagman scored 13 points. For the Bearcats, Sabria Royal scored 15 points, including a 7-for-10 night at the charity stripe. Spring Grove is now 3-0.
Dallastown 68, Conestoga Valley 26: At Conestoga Valley, Temple-bound Aniya Matthews led the Wildcats with a game-high 13 points in a nonleague contest. Also for Dallastown, Liv Stein scored 12 points, while D'Shantre Edwards scored 11 points.
Kennard-Dale 50, Dover 28: At Dover, the Rams improved to 3-0 behind an 18-point effort from Lexie Kopko. Jaedyn McKeon added 14 for the winners, while Chandler Swanson chipped in 12.
Eastern York 60, Susquehannock 44: At Glen Rock, Mara Weaver (15), Addison Malone (14), Lilyana Campbell (12) and Victoria Zerbe (10) accounted for 51 of Eastern's points. Kaelyn Duvall and Kelsey Gemmill split 30 points for Susquehannock, while Tyler Elliott added 10 points.
Mount Calvary 38, Christian School of York 31: At Mount Calvary, CSY fell despite a 16-point effort from Emma Bell.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.