GREENCASTLE — You’d be hard pressed to dream up a better start to a basketball game than the one Greencastle-Antrim had Friday night.
Hosting a District 3 Class 5A quarterfinal game against Susquehannock, the Blue Devil girls stymied the Warriors’ offense and held a 19-0 lead with 6:20 left in the second quarter.
Susquehannock did recover enough to give G-A a game, but were defeated 49-33.
Greencastle (21-2) will now host No. 4 seed Mechanicsburg (18-6) in a semifinal game Monday at 7 p.m. The Wildcats ground out a 22-19 win over Lower Dauphin in the quarterfinals.
The Blue Devils, already guaranteed a spot in the PIAA Tournament, have also clinched a top-four finish in districts.
“I was a little worried because we hadn’t played since last Tuesday,” Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said. “But we came out really focused on defense.”
Indeed, the Blue Devils tried to prevent the Warriors (13-11) from getting to their 3-point offense and it worked as well as possible early. Susquehannock did end up making five threes in the second period to get within 24-15 by halftime.
Rhine said, “We knew they can be streaky with their shooting — they made eight threes in their first-round game in the second half. So that didn’t catch us off-guard. But give them credit. They took three timeouts and finally got it turned around.”
Rylee Henson scored 8 of her 16 points early to help G-A bust out to the big lead, and she added 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Mia Libby contributed 10 points, 8 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals.
“Rylee got hot in the first quarter and I think Mia went 8-for-8 at the foul line,” Rhine said. “Really, everybody that played tonight did something really well.
“Our posts actually had a size advantage tonight — maybe for the first time this year — and they did a great job.”
Shaina Overcash scored 8 points and had 3 rebounds and Ainsley Swindell contributed 5 points and hauled in 9 boards. Haley Noblit also had 5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Rhine said, “I just kept telling them that a lead is never too safe or too dire. A basketball game is like a roller coaster and we just had to trust what we do.”
Susquehannock 0 15 8 10 — 33