Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Lancaster Catholic Girls Celebrate Double Milestones with Latest District Title

The District 3 Class 3A Girls’ Basketball Championship game was a dually historic occasion for the Crusaders of Lancaster Catholic.

With a resounding 64-37 win over Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Columbia, the Crusaders secured the program’s record-setting 21st district tile and gave head coach Charlie Detz his 250th victory in his tenth season behind the bench.

The gold-medal tilt at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 28 was a rematch of last year’s final, which the Crusader’s won handily, and Columbia’s fourth consecutive championship appearance.

From the moment of the opening tip-off, Lancaster Catholic stepped on the gas with a balanced offensive attack, sparked by Mary Bolesky’s early three-pointer. The 1,000-point-club member was dogged on defense too, fighting to pull down rebounds and forcing turnovers.

Taking a convincing 33-15 lead at halftime, Lancaster Catholic continually stifled Columbia’s offense and had answers for every defensive style the Tide could muster. Stella Higgins and Rylee Kraft worked to hold the Tide’s scoring duo of Brie and Brooke Droege to just 12 and 11 points apiece.

Autumn Lipson had a break out night for the Crusaders with a game-high 17 points, including five three-pointers, to help secure the victory.

The 21st district title for the purple and gold set a record for the Crusaders, as they surpassed the 20-title record they had shared with the girls’ basketball team of the now-suppressed Lebanon Catholic School.

Acknowledging the victory marked a milestone 250th win as head coach, Detz decidedly focused on his team’s accomplishments rather than his personal ones as he spoke with the media after the game.

“This team is a part of history now. They’re great girls and they all deserve it. They just keep working hard, they know the grind,” he said as his team celebrated with the championship trophy and gold medals. “They believe in each other. I know other teams work hard, but I know my girls work hard every day.”

He praised the girls’ confidence and support of one another, saying, “They have goals, they understand it’s a basketball game that they put all their hard work into. They just play. They go out there and believe in our system and believe that we’re going to figure out a way to win.”

Lancaster Catholic, who lost to eventual state champion Dunmore in last year’s PIAA semifinals, will enter the state tournament on Friday, March 8 against the fourth seed from District 12.

Asked if the Crusaders could be considered to make a run at this year’s state title, Detz answered, “Yes, I believe so. There are a lot of unknowns and you don’t know what matchup you’ll get in states, so we’ll have to see the bracket and where we’re at.”

(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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