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TUESDAY'S GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Central York rolls past Red Lion in battle of D-I contenders

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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Central York's Georgia Panopoulos, seen here at center in a file photo, led the Panthers on Tuesday night with 16 points in a win over Red Lion.

EMIGSVILLE — There are good nights and bad nights for every high school basketball team during the course of a season.

Tuesday night at Central York High School was definitely one of the not-so-good ones for the Red Lion girls’ team.

Heading into a clash with York-Adams Division I rival Central York, both teams were looking to gain some separation in a four-way bunch atop the standings.

The Lions, the only team to defeat division-leading Spring Grove this season, entered on the heels of a seven-game winning streak. An uncharacteristically slow start, however, set an ominous tone for the visitors. The Panthers raced out to a 12-0 lead early before cruising to a 49-31 triumph.

Central improved to 9-3 overall and 6-2 in division play (with both losses to Spring Grove), while Red Lion fell to 10-4 and 7-3.

“It’s never comfortable playing a Red Lion team,” Central coach Scott Wisner said. “You know that they’re going to bring it at you hard.”

Red Lion coach Don Dimoff clearly wasn't happy with his starters from the onset. Calling timeout with five minutes left in the first quarter while facing a 12-point deficit, Dimoff summoned five players from his bench to take the place of his starters for the rest of the quarter.

Dimoff, who was unavailable for comment afterward, was heard telling his starters on the bench that their replacements were "playing so much harder" compared to the starters. It wasn’t until a full minute passed into the second quarter that Dimoff brought his starters back into the game.

By that time, the deficit was trimmed to seven points (16-9), something that made Wisner nervous.

“Whenever we get a lead that we feel is comfortable, we have a tendency to kind of let up a bit,” Wisner said. “And whenever you play a team like his, you can’t ever let up.”

The Lions did get within four points (18-14) midway through the second period, but the Panthers used an 11-3 run to finish the half to extend the advantage back into double digits.

While the final margin of 18 points looks convincing, it is somewhat deceiving. The visitors pestered Wisner’s squad relentlessly in the second half, forcing the Central girls to commit an unsightly 22 turnovers, including 12 in the second half.

On any other night, that figure would have likely spelled doom. The Lions thrive on generating points from their defense. On this night, however, the Red Lion girls shot under 30% from the floor, dashing any comeback hopes.

“We’re typically in the 10-15 range for turnovers, which is about average for us,” Wisner said. “Sometimes we’re even well under that, but tonight we knew they were going to come in here hard and we were definitely sloppy at times.”

The Central girls iced the game at the free throw line in the final quarter. One of the better free throw shooting teams in the league, the Panthers converted on 16 of 19 attempts (84%) for the contest, including 9 of 10 in the fourth period.

The trio of Georgia Panopoulos (16 points), Bella Chimienti (15) and Sarah Berman (12) reached double figures for the Panthers. Those three also combined to convert 16 of 17 free throws.

“My guards can really shoot free throws,” Wisner said. “So I feel really confident at the end of games that our guards can step up and put a game away when we need to.”

Makiah Shaw, who entered the night fourth in the league in scoring at 16.7 points per game, never got going. Shaw finished with five points.

Kamauri Gordon-Bey, who was among the five replacements off the bench for Red Lion, led the Lions with nine points.

OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL

Eastern York 63, Susquehannock 43: At Glen Rock, the Golden Knights moved to 13-1 overall and 9-0 in York-Adams Division II. Eastern has won seven straight. Mara Weaver's 22 points powered Eastern, which also got 13 points from Breana Grim and 10 points from Victoria Zerbe. Kenni Galbreath (14), Kelsey Gemmill (13) and Kaelyn Duvall (10) each hit double digits in scoring for the Warriors.

Spring Grove 63, South Western 31: At Spring Grove, the Rockets rolled to improve to 12-2 overall and 10-1 in York-Adams Division I. The Rockets have won five straight. Ella Kale poured in 23 points for the winners, while Laila Campbell added 15 points. Maddy Lehker's 12 points paced South Western.

Northeastern 43, Dallastown 38: At Manchester, the Bobcats trailed 28-27 entering the final quarter, but were able to rally for the York-Adams Division I victory. Aleyah Starkes led the Bobcats with 12 points. Also for Northeastern, Jordyn Jennings knocked in 11 points, while Logan Jennings scored 10 points. For the Wildcats, Olivia Stein scored 12 points. Northeastern improved to 5-5 in the division and 6-8 overall. Dallastown fell to 7-3 in the division and 8-5 overall.

York Catholic 49, Hanover 37: At Hanover, the Irish captured the York-Adams Division III victory. Paige O'Brien led the Irish with 15 points. Also for YC, Drew Kile knocked in 14 points, while Samantha Bulik scored 13 points. For the Hawkettes, Jaycie Miller scored 19 points. York Catholic improved to 4-2 in the division and 5-5 overall. Hanover fell to 3-6 in the division and 8-6 overall.

York High 33, Dover 30: At Dover, the Bearcats triumphed behind Ciarra Gibbs (14 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks) and Zykira McGee (10 points). York High improved to 6-8 overall. That doubles the Bearcats' win total from a season ago. Aeligh Matthews had 10 points for Dover.

York Suburban 70, West York 34: At Suburban, Maddison Perring (16 points) and Alyssa Dougherty (14 points) led the Trojans to the easy win. Suburban improved to 10-4 overall and 6-4 in York-Adams Division II.

Gettysburg 52, New Oxford 26: At New Oxford, the Warriors won their sixth-straight game to improve to 13-1 overall and 9-1 in York-Adams Division II. Anne Bair (23) and Camryn Felix (17) combined for 40 of Gettysburg's 52 points.

Bermudian Springs 53, Biglerville 18: At Biglerville, the Eagles earned the York-Adams Division III victory. Bailey Oehmig led the Eagles with 14 points. Teammate Avery Benzel knocked in 11 points. For the Canners, Katie Woolson scored 11 points. Bermudian improved to 7-3 in the division and 9-4 overall. Biglerville fell to 7-5 and 5-5.

Littlestown 45, Fairfield 42: At Fairfield, the Thunderbolts trailed 30-26 entering the final quarter, but rallied for the York-Adams Division III victory. Celi Portillo led the Thunderbolts with 15 points. Teammate Ava Collins knocked in 13 points. For the Green Knights, Breana  Valentine scored 15 points, while Maddie Neiderer scored 10 points.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com. David VanO'Linda contributed to this report.