GREENCASTLE — In front of a packed house on its home court, Greencastle-Antrim overcame a quick start by Mechanicsburg to claim a victory in a District 3 Class 5A girls semifinal basketball game.
The 42-24 victory Monday night advanced the Blue Devils to the 5A championship game, which will be played Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Giant Center in Hershey.
G-A (22-2) will face York Suburban (18-7) in the final. The Trojans, the No. 6 seed, knocked off No. 2 Northern York, 38-33. Earlier this month, Greencastle took a 52-48 win over York Suburban on the road.
“It’s so nice to get back to Giant Center; it’ll be fun,” Blue Devil coach Mike Rhine said. “We got to the final in 2015, when we beat Conrad Weiser, and that’s the last time we made it this far.”
Mechanicsburg (18-7) opened the game by scoring the first 8 points to lead 8-0 after 4:10 had been played.
Rhine said, “I thought we might catch them off-guard with our trapping zone, but I they hit their first two shots and I think they had about six different set plays ready for us.”
Mechanicsburg patiently worked the ball around the zone and avoided the traps.
“So we switched to a man defense,” Rhine said. “It was really all about keeping pressure on them and keeping up the pace, because they are solid in a haft-court game.”
By the end of the first period, the Blue Devils had fought back to tie the game 8-8, then exploded in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 14-2 to take a 22-10 halftime advantage.
And that came despite key starters Haley Noblit and Rylee Henson sitting on the bench for the majority of the period because of getting two fouls each.
Rhine said, “Those two go out in foul trouble, so where was I going to go? I ended up using (Meadow) Gambacurta, (Aubrey) Smith and (Callie) Izer, and not all of them played in the positions they had practiced in. But we ended up taking a 12-point lead.
“That’s the kind of thing that makes you proud — you pull people off the bench and instead of just holding the lead, they helped extend it. It speaks volumes about the kind of kids they are and their preparation.”
The Wildcats kept battling, but a third foul by senior point guard Priya Loran made it tough for them to withstand the pressure the Blue Devils applied.
Henson bombed in two 3-pointers early in the third to get G-A off and running.
Mia Libby, who switched to point guard in the second period, led Greencastle with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.
“Mia was the best player on the court tonight; she took over in the second quarter,” Rhine said. “And I know I said this just the last game, but it was Shaina Overcash’s best game yet.”
Overcash totaled 9 points — one point shy of her career high — and added 7 rebounds.
Also for the Blue Devils, Noblit scored 8 points and had 3 boards, Henson put up 6 points and just as many rebounds, and Ainsley Swindell had 5 points and 9 rebounds.
Mechanicsburg 8 2 11 3 — 24
Categories: Basketball, Greencastle
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