TURNER — Leavitt had a tough time revving up its offense for one reason: York’s press.

A third-quarter outburst and strong defense allowed the Wildcats to slip away with a 43-21 victory over Leavitt in a Class B South girls basketball preliminary-round game on Wednesday night.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” Leavitt coach Chris Marston said. “At times their pressure got to us more than it did at other times. That was really the key to the game. When we turned the ball over in the backcourt, they transitioned that into points. We can’t do that against a team that plays full-court like that.”

York moves on to face second-ranked Spruce Mountain (17-1) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Portland Expo.

The 10th-seeded Wildcats (8-11) opened up on seventh-ranked Leavitt (7-12) by outscoring the Hornets 15-4 in the third quarter.

“(It was) a little slow in the first half, but we picked it up and played more of our temp, our pace in the second half,” York coach Jess Stacy said.


Stacy said the Wildcats press defense jump-started their offense in the second half.

“We live and die by our press,” Stacy said. “So when that starts working, we start getting some of the easy transition buckets. That kind of really lights the fire for us.”

Sophomore guard Ava Fontaine stole the ball twice and scored four points to help York build a 34-16 lead after three quarters.

Junior forward McKayla Kortes led York with 10 points.

“I started off with foul trouble a little bit in the first quarter, but then I held it together and I ended it with three fouls,” Kortes said. “I though we all played pretty well. We probably could have played better, but we still came out with a win so that is good for us.”

The Wildcats jumped out to a fast 13-4 lead in the first quarter, but York’s shooting suddenly went cold through the end of the period. The Hornets battled to get back into it, with help from Jordyn Boulay’s 3-pointer, but York held on to a 13-7 lead.


The second quarter featured a handful of missed shots on both sides of the ball, with York’s offense coming back to life at the tail end of the first half as the Wildcats built a 19-12 lead.

“We have to be able to consistently take care of the ball, and we couldn’t,” Marston said. “At times we showed more composure than we did this year and we were able to run some sets and get good looks and that was good. We just couldn’t put it all together.

“I thought we defensive rebounded pretty well … during the first half. That kind of kept us in the game. We forced them into a bad shot and we would get a defensive rebound, so it gave us chance to try and go down and create points.”

Gabby Smith went 7 for 10 from the free-throw line to lead Leavitt with seven points.

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