WALES — Paige McElwain takes pride in annoying her opponents. When she’s frustrating the other team, she knows she is doing her job, and she does it quite well.
MeElwain was everywhere Oak Hill didn’t want the feisty junior guard to be in the first half of a Western Class B girls’ basketball preliminary. McElwain’s tenacity, and the rest of her team’s effort, helped lead the York Wildcats to a 68-44 win over the Raiders on Wednesday night.
“It gives me motivation. My coach tells me that when other coaches say that I am annoying or obnoxious on the other players, it just gives me motivation to shut down the other ball-handlers,” said McElwain, who scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half. “I think that our whole team had our heads up the whole entire time. We just saw everything that was open and that gave us an advantage to pass to our players.”
“That’s the ideal, that’s the idea,” York coach Rick Clark said. “The problem is (McElwain) sometimes she gets into foul trouble and she sometimes creates something that isn’t there and runs over people.”
Of course, McElwain will tell you that she had a great deal of help. Shannon Todd, 5-foot, 10-inch sophomore guard/forward punched in a game-high 20 points and knocked down four 3-pointers.
Sadie Goulet led the Raiders with 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
But York’s depth and size were tough to overcome, even though the Raiders played a scrappy game. When the Wildcats constructed a 40-26 lead at the half, it was evident that Wildcats just about had the game wrapped up.
“We definitely talked about that halftime, not giving them a chance,” Clark said. “They got a couple of shooters. I think we played much more smarter and relaxed in the second half, especially in that third quarter.”
In the second quarter, Meagan Crosby suffered a serious leg injury and that might have taken the wind out of the Raiders’ sails. The junior received a standing ovation as she was wheeled off the floor and taken by ambulance to a hospital.
“She is a starter and she is kind the heart and soul, Oak Hill coach Tom Morong said. “So when you are standing on the sidelines and hearing your teammate screaming and carried off and get carried off by an ambulance, it just kind of … the game doesn’t become any big anymore.”
According to Morong, a doctor and parent from York stepped onto the court to treat Crosby, and the doctor believed Crosby had broken her leg.
“I heard a weird sound that I hadn’t heard before, and that was her leg” Morong said. “I am sure that’s what it was.”
The Raiders just couldn’t buy a foul shot in the first half, and they had many opportunities at the free-throw line.
“They are great team They play well beyond their years,” Morong said. “Their pressure didn’t get to us. We just made bad decisions.”