EMIGSVILLE – Central York assistant girls’ basketball coach Sean Potts was a little bit worried about his team’s point guard heading into Monday’s York-Adams League Division I showdown with Red Lion.
The Lions are a team known to create a lot of pressure on opposing ball-handlers with their defense, much like they did in a 42-41 overtime victory in the first clash with Central back in December.
When that particular player is just a freshman, such as Bella Chimienti, the matter is only magnified.
At the conclusion of Monday’s contest, Potts admitted his worries were for naught. Chimienti not only handled everything the Red Lion girls threw at her, she excelled through it all.
Chimienti scored a career-high 18 points while helping the Panthers make a major statement in the D-I race. Central outscored the Lions 25-11 in the second half to cruise to unexpectedly easy 47-30 triumph.
Red Lion fell to 11-2 overall and 6-1 in D-I. Central improved to 10-3 and 5-1.
“I know what she’s capable of doing,” Central head coach Scott Wisner said. “And as a freshman playing in a very tough division it takes a little time to learn how to get there and I believe that she’s getting there.”
Chimienti scored the majority of her points – 10 – in the second half to help give CY a comfortable cushion to work with.
“She’s so good,” said Central senior Emily Prowell of Chimienti. “And she’s just a freshman, so she has so many more years left that it’s going to be crazy.”
Dimoff takes blame: Perhaps the craziest thing about the whole contest was how one-sided it was. The Panthers took the lead early and never trailed en route to a convincing victory.
“We got our butts whipped tonight,” Red Lion coach Don Dimoff said. “And sometimes that happens.”
Those types of things, however, rarely happen to a Dimoff-coached team. Dimoff, who recently earned his 500th career win, is known for having his team prepared for everything.
Dimoff, however, took responsibility for Monday's loss.
“I don’t think that we adjusted well,” Dimoff said. “And I have to do a better job of coaching them and getting them to a point where they can adjust. I have to do a better job preparing them to make adjustments.”
If the Lions adjusted poorly, the Panthers certainly were the opposite. In the first battle to begin the D-I season, the CY girls were rattled late, making a series of miscues that cost them dearly.
Not so Monday.
“We felt like, playing at home, that we could make a turnaround,” Wisner said in reference to the first showdown. “We took much better care of the ball tonight and we made free throws.”
Central strong at foul line: Chimienti was a perfect 6 of 6 at the foul line. All of those attempts came in a second half when the Panthers converted 12 of 13 foul attempts.
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Monday’s result certainly will have profound repercussions for the rest of the season. A Red Lion victory would have put Dimoff’s team up by at least two games in the loss column over Central, Dallastown and Spring Grove.
Instead, the Panthers have now forged a tie atop the standings in the loss column, with both the Rockets and Wildcats looming nearby.
“We are super-happy,” said Prowell, who finished with eight points. “But we know that we just have to keep moving on from here.”
Dimoff was clearly disappointed in the result. Known as one of the most intense competitors in the league, the Red Lion skipper was somewhat positive about his team’s position heading into the home stretch.
“The good news is that through the first seven games of the (division) season, that we’ve put ourselves in a position to be one of the top teams in the division,” Dimoff said. “The bad news is that we just didn’t come out and execute tonight.”
Notes: Red Lion’s Makiah Shaw, who entered the contest as the league’s top scorer at 17.8 points per game, was held to a season-low four points. The junior standout was also held scoreless in the second half.
“We wanted to make sure that we had one person dedicated to her at all times,” Wisner said. “And, if possible, to double her as much as was feasible. So, yeah, she was definitely a focus.”
Chole Tollinger led the Lions with eight points, while Asia Eames added seven.
Gettysburg 58, West York 54: At Gettysburg, the Warriors won the Y-A D-II showdown to improve to 10-2 overall and 5-1 in the division. West York fell to 10-3 and 6-1. West York led 42-41 heading into the final quarter, but couldn't hold on. The loss avenged Gettysburg's 52-44 loss to West York earlier this season. Gettysburg's leading scorers were Taylor Richardson (15), Cheyenne Proctor (13) and Anne Bair (12). West York was paced by Alayna Harris and Alyssa Zorbaugh with 14 points each.
York Suburban 57, Northeastern 48: At Suburban, the game was tied 23-23 at the half, but the Trojans outscored the Bobcats 19-9 in the third quarter to take the lead for good. Kiyanna Dowling lead the Trojans with 22 points, including a 9-for-11 night from the charity stripe. Also for Suburban, Alyssa Dougherty scored 13 points, Maddison Perring knocked in 12 points and Alyssa Hocker scored 10 points. As a team, the Trojans knocked in 15 for 18 from the charity stripe. For the Bobcats, Jordyn Jennings scored 20 points, including a 9-for-12 night from the charity stripe, while teammate Logan Jennings scored 14 points. Suburban improved to 9-3 overall and 5-2 in Y-A D-II. Northeastern fell to 5-8 and 2-5.
Eastern York 56, Susquehannock 33: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights jumped out to a 22-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and went on to capture the victory. Addison Malone led the Golden Knights with 16 points. Also for Eastern, Breana Grim knocked in 14 points, including four from behind the arc, while Mara Weaver scored 10 points. For the Warriors, Caroline Fox scored 15 points, including four from behind the arc. Eastern York improved to 5-2 in Y-A D-II and 12-3 overall. Susquehannock is 4-9 and 2-5.
York Catholic 43, Fairfield 14: At York Catholic, the Lady Irish moved over the .500 mark on the season. The Irish used 13 players with no one in double figures. For the Green Knights, Maddie Neiderer scored 10 points. York Catholic improved to 8-7 overall and 5-2 in Y-A D-III. Fairfield fell to 2-11 and 0-7.
Delone Catholic 65, Biglerville 23: At McSherrystown, the unbeaten Squirettes led 57-12 at halftime and rolled to the win. Brooke Lawyer scored all 19 of her points in the first half for Delone. Giana Hoddinott added 12. Delone improved to 14-0 overall and 6-0 in Y-A D-III.
New Oxford 56, South Western 38: At New Oxford, Jayla Brown and Morgan Adams each scored 20 points for the Colonials. Timberly Linebaugh added 11 points for the winners. Maddie Lehker and Grace Thomas had 10 points each for South Western.
Littlestown 47, Hanover 38: At Littlestown, Kylah Green (15) and Ava Collins (12) combined for 27 Littlestown points. Tianna Gray (14) and Jaycie Mikller (12) had 26 of Hanover's points.
Bermudian Springs 77, York Country Day 24: At York, the Eagles improved to 11-1 with the nonleague triumph. Skyler West (26) and Bailey Oehmig (22) combined for 48 Bermudian points. Rhlyn Rouse had 18 of YCD's points.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.