- Delone Catholic beat Dallastown in girls’ basketball action on Tuesday, 39-28.
- Unbeaten Delone (23-0) now advances to the York-Adams playoff final on Thursday.
- The Squirettes will meet Bermudian Springs for the third time this season.
SPRY – If fans were expecting a high-scoring affair Tuesday night between Delone Catholic and Dallastown, they were destined to be disappointed.
The Division III champion Squirettes and the Division I champion Wildcats entered the York-Adams girls’ basketball playoff semifinals with two of the best defenses in the league, limiting opponents to just a shade over 30 points a game.
So, yes, defense was certainly a key factor at York Tech.
However, when makeable shots are missed against a standout defense, the result can be predictable. That was the sad story for Dallastown head coach Jay Rexroth and his crew.
Not a prolific scoring machine on even their best nights, the Wildcats had serious trouble putting the ball through the basket in a 39-28 setback against the unbeaten Squirettes (23-0).
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Delone’s victory sets up an historic all-Adams County and all-Division III final Thursday against rival Bermudian Springs, a 48-38 winner over Division II champ Eastern York in the other semifinal. The Squirettes will be going for their first league title since 2001, while the D-III runner-up Eagles will be participating in their first-ever final.
“We just didn’t play well offensively,” Rexroth said. “Now they had a little something to do with that, but I just think we didn’t play well offensively.”
Defensively, however, the Wildcats made life tough on a Delone side that averages a shade under 60 points a contest.
“It was like a tractor pull,” Squirettes coach Gerry Eckenrode said. “They are very deliberate with their offense and they’re extremely good on defense. We knew coming in that it wasn’t going to be an up-and-down game. They just don’t let you play that way. But it was satisfying to get in a tight game and rely on our defense.”
More:Bermudian Springs beats Eastern York to advance to York-Adams girls’ basketball title game
The Wildcats (20-3) average 44.5 points a game, which would have been good enough for a victory on Tuesday.
“We just struggled in the half court to finish inside,” Rexroth said. “Normally those shots we make, but we just didn’t make them tonight. In the lane we had so many chances to finish. We’ve won a bunch in a row and we were due to not play well and I don’t think we played well tonight.”
D’Shantae Edwards, who leads the Wildcats in scoring at 13.2 points per game, finished with 10. She was the lone Dallastown player with more than six points.
Giana Hoddinott finished with a game-high 18 points for Delone, including an 8-for-10 performance from the free throw line.
Conversely, the Wildcats didn’t help themselves when they got to the charity stripe, where they converted 12 of 21 attempts.
Looking ahead: The bright side for Rexroth and his team is that the season is far from over. In fact, it may actually just be beginning.
“We’ll have to move on and get ready for districts,” Rexroth said. “We have a first-round bye and we’re focused on the winner of Manheim Township and Hempfield at our place next Thursday.”
While the Wildcats prepare for the District 3 Class 6-A draw, where they earned the No. 2 seed, the Squirettes will prepare for Round 3 against a Bermudian side that has pushed them twice this season during Division III contests before Delone eventually emerged victorious each time.
“Division III is stepping up big,” Eckenrode said. “But it’s not shocking. It’ll be our strength against their strength. They’re a very good basketball team but they’re next in line and we’ll just give it our best shot.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @ydsports.