READING — If Wednesday’s clash between Eastern York and Bonner-Prendergast was a boxing match, it's fair to say that the Golden Knights came out throwing haymakers.
After giving the Pandas a steady stream of gut punches en route to a 14-point lead in the first quarter, the Eastern York girls appeared poised to deliver a knockout blow.
Basketball, however, is a much different sport than boxing.
The B-P girls, who entered the contest with a deceptive 9-16 record, absorbed Eastern’s best shots before mounting a comeback of their own. By the time the second half was just two minutes old, the Pandas found themselves with a lead.
Eastern showed resilency, however, and still appeared headed toward a sweat-it-out victory when Breana Grim put her team ahead by four points with 42.6 seconds left. The Pandas, however, who play one of the most difficult schedules of any team in the PIAA, regardless of class, eventually evened it up to force overtime.
In the extra session, the Knights seemed to run out of gas. The Pandas finished the four-minute session on a 7-0 run to claim a 52-46 triumph in a PIAA Class 4-A second-round game, ending Eastern’s season.
“We came out and really smacked them in the mouth, so to say,” Eastern York coach Brad Weaver said. “But to end (with a loss) this way, there’s a lot of tears, especially because of Addy.”
Malone reaches milestone: Weaver’s bittersweet reference was to senior Addison Malone. A lacrosse standout who is headed to NCAA Division I Mount St. Mary’s next year, Malone finished with game with 12 points to exactly hit 1,000 for her career.
“She was a freshman when I first took over,” Weaver said. “She’s come such a long way and I’m really glad she got her 1,000th point. She just has always done anything I’ve ever asked her to do. She’s an outstanding worker.”
The loss was certainly tough for Malone, who had no idea she was even close to reaching her milestone.
“I had no clue,” she said. “I’m just so focused on winning. It’s all about winning games and not really about scoring.”
Malone hit the century mark on a free throw with 1:13 left in regulation. That point put the Knights up by three, 42-39.
When the PA announcer at the Geigle Complex announced Malone’s accomplishment, the Eastern York senior didn’t do what most players do at the point — namely giving the game ball to her parents.
“I was just really focused on getting the win,” she said. “My parents didn’t want to tell me about getting to 1,000, and when they announced it, Mara (Weaver) was like, ‘you just scored your 1000th point,’ but I had no clue.”
Gleason, Eagan star for Pandas: Malone was hoping to finish her basketball career at Eastern with more than 1,000 points, but the Pandas spoiled those wishes. Alexis Gleason, a West Chester recruit, finished with a game-high 19 points to lead B-P to the state quarterfinals.
While Gleason led the Pandas offensively, it was actually teammate Alexis Eagan who proved clutch. The junior buried a long jumper with just more than 12 seconds left to even the game at 45-45 in regulation. Eagan then scored her team’s final three points in overtime.
Somewhat overshadowed by Malone’s achievement and B-P’s epic comeback was a solid game by Grim, who led the Knights with 17 points and converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 42.6 seconds left to put the Knights ahead by four points.
“At that point I thought we had the game kind of in the bag,” Brad Weaver said. “But we missed a rebound and they hit a shot and we never were able to really pull it back. But this is state championship basketball and that’s how it rolls sometime.”
Coach Weaver, who will only lose Malone from his roster after this season, refused to let his players hang their heads in defeat.
“I think we played really hard,” he said. “I mean they are a Philly team and they were 9-16, but that was the best 9-16 team I’ve ever seen, absolutely. I thought we played well and we were up to the task tonight.”
Eastern finishes at 19-9.
Gettysburg 45, Abington Heights 44: At Hamburg Area High School in Berks County, Gettysburg held on for a PIAA Class 5-A second-round triumph.
The Warriors led 26-17 at halftime and then held on despite getting outscored in each of the last two quarters.
Camryn Felix led Gettysburg with 16 points, including five 3-pointers. Anne Bair added 11 points and Lily Natter pumped in 10 points.
District 3 champion Gettysburg improved to 28-3, while District 2 runner-up Abington Heights finished at 20-6.
The Warriors now move on to the state quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. Gettysburg will face District 7 runner-up Trinity (21-5), which won its second-round game over District 1 runner-up Great Valley (23-5) on Wednesday, 47-28.
Dallastown 3, Cedar Crest 2: At Dallastown, the Wildcats captured the nonleague victory by winning both doubles matches in straight sets. Dylan Patel and Daniel Wu won the No. 1 doubles match, while Aryan Saharan and Andrew Chronister won the No. 2 match. Teammate Noah May won the No. 3 singles match in straight sets.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.