YORKTOWN, Ind. – Wapahani and Yorktown will meet in the Delaware County Girls’ Basketball Championship in 2022.
The Raiders (13-5) held out and defeated Delta (3-14) 33-30, and the Tigers (5-12) defeated Wes-Del (6-10) 43-28 in the semifinals at Yorktown High School on Thursday . The championship kicks off at Delta High School on Saturday, January 15 at 6:00 PM.
ROUND 1 SUMMARY: Wapahani, Yorktown win in round 1
Here’s a preview of the championship and a recap of the semi-finals:
The two teams played in the 2020 county championship when Yorktown won 52-37, and the Tigers also dominated the Raiders 67-35 in last year’s semifinals. Wapahani won the previous game of this season 56-49 on the road on December 7, and based on each team’s tournament performance so far, it should be a competitive match.
The Tigers have won two consecutive provincial titles and three of the last four. Although the group has had less success this year than its predecessors, the team seems to have regained confidence in the first two rounds.
The challenge for Yorktown, according to head coach Leigh Ann Barga, is to turn the team’s strong points into four quarters of quality basketball. She thinks her girls are heading in the right direction, but Thursday’s convincing win still posed problems.
“We’ll get there, little steps. This was one of our goals, to get to the championship, so I’m proud of the girls who got us there, now we just have to finish it,” said Barga. “We will play very well, and then we will make some turnover, and then we will play very well. It’s just stretching. Saturday we have to play 32 (minutes).”
Wapahani is in a very different situation. The Raiders continued their season-high 80-point performance against Daleville (4-12) in the first round with a season-low 33 points against Delta in Round 2, a team they dismantled 65-12 on Nov. 19.
The Eagles missed two starters in the teams’ first meeting, but Wapahani played by far the most disappointing game of the year. Junior Camryn Wise is the county’s best player and carried them to victory, but her alone won’t be enough to topple Yorktown.
“If you go through and you don’t play your best, you’re not ‘on’, you feel lucky because you get another chance,” said Wapahani head coach Scott Hudson. “We need to come out and get our act together and play a lot better across the board.”
Yorktown also has three girls quarantined for COVID-19 contact tracing, including key sophomores Hayley Reece and Jayde Garrett, so Barga only has seven varsity players. Reece scored nine points and five assists in the previous game against Wapahani, so juniors Amari Wright and Raya Tewari will have to catch up.
Wapahani junior Reese Baker, the team’s second leading scorer, is also battling an illness and did not see himself against Delta. But the Raiders’ supporting cast of juniors Kendyl Thrasher and Lauren Luce and senior Lala Lee previously amassed 35 points against the Tigers, so Baker or that trio will have to be better than Thursday to win Waphani’s first county championship since 2017.
Even with seven players, Yorktown has the athletic and size advantage. Wapahani has the best player, Wise, and solid shooters around her. Saturday night should be fun.
BOYS ROUND 1 SUMMARY: Delta, Yorktown through to semi-finals
Semifinals: Donors 33, Delta 30
Thanks to Delta, as head coach Andy Lewman’s group gave it their all. After going down 11–0 in the first five minutes, the Eagles fought back to make it a one-score game with strong defense and massive effort, as well as a bench shot from junior Abby Rouse that set off a buzzer on a half-court. defeated.
The performance was more impressive as Delta’s five starters played nearly the entire 32 minutes. Rouse was the only Eagle to be sidelined, coming short in the fourth quarter after a calf cramp. Delta might have won if it had taken advantage of a few more open shots.
Wise carried Wapahani to victory by scoring 64% of her team’s points. The Raiders were sloppy and slow after a dominant first five minutes, and Wise’s fourth quarter clutch was the team’s only points that frame.
Lauren Luce’s three-pointer in the third quarter yielded the only other non-Wise Wapahani points of the second half. The Raiders are generally a solid shooting team and will have to be better around Wise to win the championship.
Waphani was led by Wise (21 points), Thrasher (four points), Luce and Baker with three points each, and Lee with two points.
Delta was led by Rouse (12 points), Kaylnn Logan (six points), Sydney Stroble and Paizley Cool with five points each, and Hannah Carter (two points).
“The way we played today, we have to focus on playing well… Yorktown played really well at the end of the game (against us),” said Hudson. “We need to focus on our focus now… how you come out and perform, your intensity and defense and all the little things are going to make a difference. We’re happy to be playing for a championship.”
Semifinals: Yorktown 43, Wes-Del 28
Contrary to the lackluster start to the game in Round 1 against Cowan (4-11), Yorktown’s first three minutes against Wes-Del essentially won the game. The Tigers jumped out to a 12-0 lead and held a double digit lead the entire game, despite committing errors.
Wes-Del did not match Yorktown’s speed and never gained control of the game. Senior Gracie Gilland, the most prolific goalscorer on the floor, rarely got clean looks, and the other Warriors couldn’t capitalize on the defensive attention she garnered.
Wright, Tewari and junior Camryn Isaacs were the catalysts for the 17-point opening frame. Wright racked up multiple steal-and-scores, taking advantage of her superior athleticism, while Tewari and Isaacs showed off their superior skills. The Tigers looked in sync and energetic, which made the second half surprising.
Wright continued her inspired performance by scoring all three of Yorktown’s field goals in the second frame, but the trio went cold in the third quarter. Senior Palmer Perry instead found her groove before the Tigers scored just six points in the fourth quarter.
Yorktown’s defense remained solid the entire time, preventing Gilland from getting going, but his offense stalled after seemingly finding his rhythm between the end of Round 1 and the start of Round 2.
Yorktown was led by Wright (14 points), Isaacs (12 points), Tewari (eight points), Perry (six points), Rylee Davis (two points) and Jenna Sylvester (one point).
Wes-Del was led by Gilland (14 points), Marci Bunch (eight points) and Kylie Antrim and Rayven Luzadder with three points each.
“We talked about (starting strong) in our training on Wednesday. I thought we were flat again Cowan and it showed in the first two quarters,” said Barga. “We have to play a good four quarters (good) and we’re working on that. We had two, two and a half good quarters tonight.”
Gus Martin is a sports reporter at The Star Press. Follow him on Twitter @GusMartin_SP, and contact him at email@example.com or 765-729-4742.