TUESDAY'S GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Eastern York storms back to beat Gettysburg, wins D-II title
GETTYSBURG — It didn’t seem like it would be Eastern York's night.
The Golden Knights trailed throughout the first half on Tuesday and were facing a 10-point deficit at intermission against a strong Gettysburg outfit on the Warriors' home court.
The Knights were in a serious funk in the York-Adams Division II showdown.
Conversely, the Gettysburg girls looked every bit like a team looking to make amends for the only blemish on its record. Junior Camryn Felix was on fire in the opening half, pouring in 15 points on five 3-pointers, while the Warriors' zone defense frustrated the Knights into sloppy play.
Basketball is a funny game, though.
The Knights turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, and Felix's hot-hand cooled off. With 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the contest, the visitors from Wrightsville finally erased that double-digit deficit to take their first lead of the night.
Gettysburg eventually regained the lead, but a big 3-pointer by Sky Shepherd with 30 seconds left evened the score. The Knights then got a huge trey from senior Mara Weaver to regain the lead with 5.7 seconds remaining.
Felix was able to get open for a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer, but her shot was short, sending the Knights home with a thrilling 45-42 triumph.
The victory not only secured a season sweep of the defending York-Adams Division II champs, but also secured this year’s D-II crown for the Eastern girls, who improved to 15-1 overall and 11-0 in division play.
“I have no words,” Eastern coach Brad Weaver said after wiping away tears of joy.
Applying pressure: The Knights coach certainly had words for his team at the half. After watching his squad perform listlessly on both sides of the ball during the first 16 minutes, the EY coach turned to his defense to change the dynamics of the contest.
Pressuring the Warriors is not a tactic that most teams employ. Gettysburg features a pair of standout guards in Felix and fellow junior Anne Bair. Still, the switch worked. It forced the Warriors to speed up their play. Open shots that fell in the first half were harder to come by, while turnovers helped fuel Eastern’s comeback.
“They’re very athletic,” Gettysburg coach Jeff Bair said. “They came out in the second half and did some different things, but we were ready for it. We just didn’t execute all the time.”
The top free-throw shooting team in the league entering the night, the Warriors did themselves no favors at the line in the second half. Gettysburg converted 5 of 12 foul shots after the intermission, which gave the Knights some much-needed fuel to make runs.
The Knights also didn’t rely on just one player to spark the comeback. A total of five different Eastern players scored at least three points in the second half, led by eight from Lilyana Campbell.
“I think we just calmed down and started reading the defense,” coach Weaver said. “And I think that our pressure defense started to help get us going.”
Mara Weaver comes up big: Perhaps part of the tears on Weaver’s face came from the big shot that his daughter sank to put the team up by three with 5.7 seconds left.
“She’s surprised me a lot in the four years that I’ve coached her,” coach Weaver said. “She’s hit some big shots for us at the end. She wasn’t really on tonight, but she’s not afraid to shoot.”
After a couple of misses earlier in the quarter that could have put the Knights ahead, Mara Weaver didn’t let that impact her decision to let it fly one last time with time running out.
“I knew we needed a shot,” she said. “And I knew that I needed to take it no matter what.”
The Eastern girls celebrated around Weaver (13 points) after the Warriors called a timeout to plan for a last-second shot. The celebration continued after Felix’s shot came up short and continued into the locker room, where loud screams and shouts of joy could be heard.
“They’re a good team,” Mara Weaver said. “But we knew we could pull it together. We wanted to win more than anything, and I think that showed in the end.”
Gettysburg fell to 13-2 and 9-2, with both losses coming to Eastern.
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Spring Grove 54, York High 43: At York High, the Rockets sewed up the outright York-Adams Division I crown. It's the Rockets' first Y-A divisional crown since winning the D-II title in 2011. Ella Kale led the Rockets with 17 points, including four from downtown. Also for the Rockets, Addyson Wagman knocked in 13 points, while Leah Kale scored 11 points. For the Bearcats, Ciarra Gibbs scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Spring Grove finished divisional play at 13-1 and moved to 16-2 overall.
Central York 49, South Western 27: At Hanover, Sarah Berman scored 11 points, including three from downtown, to lead the Panthers to the York-Adams Division I victory. Teammate Bella Chimienti knocked in 10 points. Central York improved to 11-2 in the division and 13-3 overall. The Panthers have won seven straight.
York Catholic 58, Biglerville 38: At Biglerville, Drew Kile led the Irish to the York-Adams Division III victory by scoring 19 points. Also for YC, Samantha Bulik knocked in 14 points, while Meredith Smith scored 12 points. For the Canners, Brylee Rodgers scored 13 points and Katie Woolson scored 10 points. YC improved to 9-3 in the division and 10-6 overall. The Irish have won four straight.
York Suburban 51, Susquehannock 37: At Suburban, Maddison Perring led the Trojans to the York-Adams Division II victory by scoring 22 points, including an 8-for-10 effort from the charity stripe. Also for Suburban, Alyssa Dougherty knocked in 18 points. For the Warriors, Kelsey Gemmill scored 22 points, including four from behind the arc. Suburban finished at 8-4 in the division and improved to 12-4 overall.
Christian School of York 54, West Shore Christian 23: At York, the Crusaders cruised to improve to 10-1 on the season. West Shore Christian is 6-12. Kayleigh Rhine (15 points, five 3-pointers, six rebounds, four assists), Emma Bell (13 points, 13 rebounds, three steals) and Ellen Brown (10 points) led CSY.
Bermudian Springs 51, Hanover 31: At Hanover, Hannah Chenault led the Eagles to the York-Adams Division III victory by scoring 15 points, including four from downtown. Also for Bermudian, Bailey Oehmig knocked in 14 points, while Lillian Peters scored 12 points. For the Hawkettes, Jaycie Miller scored 14 points. Bermudian improved to 9-3 in the division and 11-5 overall.
Delone Catholic 74, Fairfield 15: At McSherrystown, Maggie Hughes powered the Squirettes to the York-Adams Division III victory by scoring 21 points, including four from behind the arc. Also for Delone, Brielle Baughman knocked in 16 points, while Giana Hoddinott scored 12 points. Delone improved to 12-0 in the division and 16-1.
New Oxford 54, Kennard-Dale 28: At New Oxford, Ella Billman led the Colonials to the York-Adams Division II victory by scoring 17 points. Teammate Riley Strausbaugh knocked in 10 points.
Red Lion 48, Dallastown 27: At Red Lion, the Lions pulled away from their rivals to improve to 12-5 overall and 9-4 in York-Adams Division I. Dallastown dropped to 8-7 and 7-5.
Northeastern 56, Dover 34: At Dover, the Bobcats triumphed to improve to 8-10 overall and 7-7 in York-Adams Division I. Dover fell to 1-14 and 0-12.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.