FRIDAY'S DISTRICT 3 BASKETBALL: Eastern York wins during strong night for York-Adams girls

ROB ROSE
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  • Eastern York beat ELCO, 51-36.
  • Leading scorer Breana Grim suffered an injury and missed the second half.
  • Eastern York will face Lancaster Catholic Wednesday at home.

As the final seconds of the first half counted down Friday night, all signs pointed to a victory for the Eastern York girls' basketball team.

The Golden Knights held a solid lead at home and their defense had shut down the Eastern Lebanon County offense, seemingly taking control of the game. Then, within 30 seconds, everything changed.

Eastern York guard Breana Grim leaped into the air to grab a rebound, and when she landed, immediately fell to the floor in pain. The team’s leading scorer limped to the locker room as the crowd wondered nervously if she was OK.

ELCO’s Kailey Eckhart’s ensuing and-1 layup beat the buzzer, cutting the Golden Knights’ lead to six, giving the Raiders the momentum heading into halftime.

Eastern York coach Brad Weaver told his team to relax and focus on the fundamentals as the second half began, and it worked. The Golden Knights opened the half on a 7-2 run to grab a double-digit lead which was enough to earn a 51-36 victory, advancing the No. 2 seed Knights (17-1) to the District 3 Class 4-A semifinals. 

That was part of a strong night for York-Adams League girls' teams on Friday night. They went 5-1 in district action.

“Just stay calm and run certain offenses that fit us without her in there,” Weaver said of his message to the team. “I really preach playing good defense and rebounding and I thought we did a much better job of rebounding.”

Eastern York's Abby Henise takes the ball to the basket during District 3, Class 4-A girls' basketball quarterfinal action against ELCO at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville, Friday, March 5, 2021. Eastern York would win the game 51-36. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Without Grim’s usual scoring and standout Mara Weaver held to nine points, a trio of Eastern York’s other players stepped up to pick up the scoring in the win. Abby Henise led the team with 12 points, while Lily Campbell and Victoria Zerbe added 10 points each.

“That’s kind of what we’ve been doing all year,” Brad Weaver said. “They’re unselfish players. We really preach, ‘Don’t worry about how many points you score. It’s about winning and staying in your role.’”

Without Grim on the floor, two players saw their roles changed. Campbell took over running the offense, while freshman Arianna Seitz was asked to play major minutes in a playoff game and impressed her coach.

Eastern York's Lily Campbell, left, drives the ball down the court while ELCO's Katelyn Rueppel defends during District 3, Class 4-A girls' basketball quarterfinal action at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville, Friday, March 5, 2021. Eastern York would win the game 51-36. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“Lily did a real good job with a lot more pressure on her,” Brad Weaver said. “Bree is kind of her partner in the backcourt. I thought Arianna Seitz came in and played well. They stuck together and got it done.”

After the game, Brad Weaver didn’t know the extent of the injury to Grim, but said he knows if she can play she will. He added that he hoped it wasn’t too serious and expected a lot of ice was in her future until their next game.

Eastern York's Breona Grim, left, takes the ball to the basket while ELCO's Cassie Johnson defends during District 3, Class 4-A girls' basketball quarterfinal action at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville, Friday, March 5, 2021. Eastern York would win the game 51-36. Dawn J. Sagert photo

No. 7 seed ELCO (13-8) made a late run and cut Eastern York’s lead to five points, but just couldn’t generate enough offense to even the score. The Raiders launched a series of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get any to fall and found themselves fouling the Golden Knights to try and extend the game.

Zerbe and Campbell closed out the game on the foul line and locked up the win.

Eastern York's Victoria Zerbe, left, takes the ball to the basket while ELCO's Katellyn Rueppel defends during District 3, Class 4-A girls' basketball quarterfinal action at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville, Friday, March 5, 2021. Eastern York would win the game 51-36. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The victory sets up a showdown with a familiar foe. Eastern York will face three-time defending district champion Lancaster Catholic (12-3) in a rematch of last year’s District 3 title game on Wednesday in Wrightsville. The teams were supposed to meet during the regular season, but the contest was postponed and later canceled.

With another solid season together, Brad Weaver was confident his group could handle another run at a district championship and keep the successful campaign going.

ELCO vs Eastern York during District 3, Class 4-A girls' basketball quarterfinal action at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville, Friday, March 5, 2021. Eastern York would win the game 51-36. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“I think last year set the stage,” Brad Weaver said. “We went to the Giant Center last year, went to the second round of states before things got shut down. They’re a tight-knit group and they have a lot of experience.”

No. 3 seed Lancaster Catholic advanced to the semifinals with a 43-26 victory vs. No. 6 seed Bishop McDevitt (14-5) on Friday. 

OTHER GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:

Spring Grove 64, Twin Valley 40: At Spring Grove, the Rockets cruised to a District 3 Class 5-A triumph behind a 26-point outing from Laila Campbell. Leah Kale (13 points), Ella Kale (10 points) and Addyson Wagman (10 points) also each reached double digits for the No. 2 seed Rockets, who improved to 18-2. No. 10 seed Twin Valley finished at 17-8. In the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Spring Grove will play host to No. 6 seed Lower Dauphin (15-4). The Falcons won 43-37 on Friday at No. 3 seed Elizabethtown (13-4).

Gettysburg 44, Cocalico 39: At Cocalico, the Warriors moved within two wins of successfully defending their District 3 Class 5-A championship. Anne Bair (21 points) and Brianna Abate (11 points) paced the Gettysburg offense. Bair reached the 1,000-point milestone for her stellar career and finished 11 for 13 from the foul line. No. 5 seed Gettysburg improved to 18-2. No. 4 seed Cocalico finished at 16-4. In the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Gettysburg travels to No. 1 seed Mechanicsburg.

Mechanicsburg 62, York Suburban 47: At Mechanicsburg, the No. 9 seed Trojans saw their season come to a close with a District 3 Class 5-A quarterfinal loss to the No. 1 seed. Alyssa Dougherty poured in 25 points in a losing effort for the Trojans. Talia Gilliard-Jackson’s 22 points paced Mechanicsburg. Suburban’s season ends at 15-5. Mechanicsburg improved to 17-3.

Delone Catholic 59, Bermudian Springs 45: At McSherrystown, the No. 1 seed Squirettes used a dominant second-half performance to beat No. 8 seed Bermudian for a third time this season and advance to the District 3 Class 4-A semifinals. Delone trailed 26-24 at halftime but used a 35-19 second-half surge to pull away. Bermudian led 21-12 at one point in the second quarter. Delone received a 27-point, seven-rebound outburst from Giana Hoddinott. Makenna Mummert added nine points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Bermudian was led by Lillian Peters (16 points) and Bailey Oehmig (14 points). Delone went 25 for 29 at the foul line (86%), while Bermudian was 4 for 7 at the foul line. Bermudian’s season ends at 13-7. Delone moves to 17-1 and will face No. 5 seed Big Spring at 7 p.m. Wednesday in McSherrystown in a semifinal battle. Big Spring (15-3) beat No. 4 seed Berks Catholic (18-4) on Friday, 38-33.

York Catholic 66, Upper Dauphin 53: At Upper Dauphin, No. 6 seed York Catholic advanced to the District 3 Class 3-A title game by upsetting the No. 3 seed on the road. The Irish had four players in double digits: Meredith Smith (17 points), Samantha Bulik (14 points), Ashley Patterson (14 points) and Drew Kile (13 points). York Catholic improved to 13-6, while Upper Dauphin finished at 16-4. The Irish have won seven straight games. In the district final at 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Lady Irish will travel to No. 1 seed Trinity (18-1). The Shamrocks advanced to the title game with an 88-55 win over No. 5 seed Lancaster Mennonite (13-7).

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Reading 52, Red Lion 42: At Reading, Red Lion’s standout season came to an end with a District 3 Class 6-A quarterfinal setback against a powerhouse Reading outfit. Davante Dennis (16 points) and AJ Virata (12 points) led No. 8 seed Red Lion. No. 1 seed Reading was led by Daniel Alcantara’s 16 points. The Lions led 11-10 after one quarter, but Reading slowly pulled away after that. Red Lion finished at 17-3. Reading improved to 21-2.

Reach Rob Rose at rroseyorkdispatch.com.