YORKTOWN, Ind. — Wapahani and Yorktown will meet in the 2022 Delaware County Women’s Basketball Championship.
The Raiders (13-5) held on to beat Delta (3-14) 33-30, and the Tigers (5-12) beat Wes-Del (6-10) 43-28 in the semifinals at Yorktown High School Thursday. . The championship begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 15 at Delta High School.
SUMMARY OF ROUND 1: Wapahani and Yorktown win in the first round
Here’s a preview of the championship and a recap of the semi-final:
Both teams played in the 2020 County Championship when Yorktown won 52-37, and the Tigers also outscored 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 performance in the tournament so far, it should be a competitive contest.
The Tigers have won back-to-back county titles and three of the last four. Even though this year’s group was less successful 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 good playing moments into four quality basketball quarters. She thinks her daughters are headed in the right direction, but Thursday’s convincing victory still presented problems.
“We are getting there, in small steps. It was one of our goals, to reach the championship, so I’m proud of the girls for taking us there, now we just have to finish,” Barga said. “We’ll play very well, then we’ll do some turnovers, then we’ll play very well. It’s just stretching. On Saturday we have to play for 32 (minutes).”
Wapahani finds himself in a very different situation. The Raiders continued their 80-point performance against Daleville (4-12) in the first round with a 33-point low against Delta in the second round, a team they broke 65-12 on November 19.
The Eagles were missing two starters when the teams first met, but Wapahani played by far his most disappointing game of the year. Junior Camryn Wise is the county’s best player and led them to victory, but she alone won’t be enough to topple Yorktown.
“When you step forward and you don’t play your best you are not ‘sure’ you feel lucky because you have another opportunity,” said Wapahani head coach Scott Hudson. “We have to go out and get our act together and play a lot better at all levels.”
Yorktown also has three daughters quarantined from COVID-19 contact tracing, including key sophomores Hayley Reece and Jayde Garrett, so Barga only has seven varsity players. Reece had nine points and five assists in the previous game against Wapahani, so juniors Amari Wright and Raya Tewari will have to take over.
Junior Wapahani Reese Baker, the team’s second-leading scorer, is also suffering from an illness and didn’t watch herself against Delta. But the Raiders’ supporting cast of juniors Kendyl Thrasher and Lauren Luce and senior Lala Lee have combined for 35 points against the Tigers previously, so Baker or that line will need to be better than they were on Thursday to win the first Waphani County Championship since 2017.
Even with seven players, Yorktown has the edge in athleticism and size. Wapahani has the best player, Wise, and strong shooters around her. Saturday night should be fun.
SUMMARY OF RING 1 FOR BOYS: Delta and Yorktown advance to semi-finals
Semi-finals: Waphani 33, Delta 30
Credit goes to Delta as head coach Andy Lewman’s group gave it their all. After losing 11-0 in the first five minutes, the Eagles hit back to make it a one-scoring game with solid defense and massive effort, as well as a half-court bank shot by junior Abby Rouse. .
The performance was more impressive considering that Delta’s five starters played nearly all of the 32 minutes. Rouse was the only Eagle to be waived, which happened briefly in the fourth quarter after suffering a calf cramp. Delta might have won if he had capitalized on a few more open shots.
Wise carried Wapahani to victory scoring 64% of his team’s points. The Raiders were sloppy and slow after a dominant first five minutes, and Wise’s clutch triple in the fourth quarter was the team’s only points in that span.
Lauren Luce’s 3-pointer in the third quarter provided the only other non-Wise Wapahani points of the second half. The Raiders are generally a solid shooting team and will need to be better with Wise to win the championship.
Waphani trailed Wise (21 points), Thrasher (four points), Luce and Baker each with three points 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 our good play… Yorktown played very well at the end of the game (against us),” Hudson said. “We have to focus on us right now…how you come out and execute, your intensity and your defense and all the little things are going to make a difference. We think we’re happy to be playing for a championship.”
Semi-finals: Yorktown 43, Wes-Del 28
Unlike their lackluster start to their first-round match against Cowan (4-11), Yorktown’s first three minutes against Wes-Del essentially won the game. The Tigers took a 12-0 lead and held a double-digit advantage throughout the game despite mistakes along the way.
Wes-Del failed to match Yorktown’s speed and never took control of the game. Senior Gracie Gilland, the most prolific scorer on the field, rarely had a clean look, and the other Warriors couldn’t take advantage of the defensive attention she garnered.
Wright, Tewari and junior Camryn Isaacs were the catalysts for the 17-point first inning. Wright landed multiple steals and scores, using his superior athleticism, while Tewari and Isaacs showcased their superior skills. The Tigers looked in sync and energized, which made the second half drop surprising.
Wright continued his inspired performance by scoring all three goals for Yorktown in the second quarter, but the trio went cold in the third quarter. Senior Palmer Perry instead found her rhythm before the Tigers scored just six points in the fourth quarter.
Yorktown’s defense remained solid throughout, not allowing Gilland to start, but their attack stalled after seemingly finding their rhythm between the end of round one and the start of round two.
Yorktown was outnumbered by Wright (14 points), Isaacs (12 points), Tewari (eight points), Perry (six points), Rylee Davis (two points) and Jenna Sylvester (one point).
Wes-Del trailed Gilland (14 points), Marci Bunch (eight points) and Kylie Antrim and Rayven Luzadder each with three points.
“We talked about (starting strong) in our practice on Wednesday. I thought we were flat Cowan again and it showed in the first two quarters,” Barga said. “We have (well) to play for four good quarters and we are working on it. We had two, two and a half good quarters tonight.”