Over the past three decades, the Squirettes of Delone Catholic have floored some great girls’ basketball teams that have dramatically captured District 3 and PIAA state championships by the handful. Their recipe is never different to bake that perfect cake – play intense man-to-man defense full court for 32 minutes and let your offense feed off of your opponents’ hapless handling of that on-the-ball pressure. The 2022 version of the Squirettes is using that tried and true recipe as they march into February with a perfect 18-0 record, seemingly poised to make another run at an historic season.
The Squirettes start five seniors who are all battle-tested and court-wise for head coach Gerry Eckenrode (500-plus career wins). Each play aggressive defense that leads to opponents turning the ball over 25-plus times a game. If the Squirettes are not scoring in transition, they are deadly three-point shooters, which gives their foes fits trying to defend against them.
In a York-Adams League tilt against the hosting Fighting Irish of York Catholic on a frigid January 25, the home team actually gave Delone a good battle for the first 20 minutes of the game. Given Delone had beaten York Catholic by 48 points a couple of weeks earlier when they only allowed 10 points all game, the fact that Delone only led 24-20 at halftime was surprising for sure. York Catholic spread the floor and hit some three-point bombs to stay within striking distance in the competitive first half. But, when the Squirettes sense trouble, they turn up the oven temperature and play excellent defense – the final score was 60-36 – and the perfect season rolls on.
The Squirettes have toasted their league and non-league opponents by scores of 72-8, 76-14, and 51-22 against some quality, storied basketball programs. So far in 2022, nobody has had the recipe to even compete with this excellent team, and unless somebody finds a flaw soon, come March, Delone Catholic just might make winning championships a perfect cake walk.
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness