WELLS — As Rick Clark walked out of the York High girls’ basketball team’s locker room, he said, “That’s 11 days off right there. I’m just glad we survived it.”

The top-ranked Wildcats remained unbeaten Tuesday night by fighting off rust, poor shooting and a tenacious zone defense by Wells, beating the Warriors, 49-29.

The victory improved York to 12-0 and extended its winning streak to 34 games. Wells, fighting for one of the final tournament berths in Western Class B, dropped to 6-7.

“Give Wells a lot of credit,” said Clark. “They were a lot better team than the first time we played.”

That would have been on Dec. 21, a 65-24 Wildcat victory when the Warriors were missing two starters. But this time York had trouble getting into its offense – a result of inaction – and Wells hung tough.

York hadn’t played since Jan. 15 – OK, it wasn’t quite 11 days, but it probably seemed like that to Clark, who was able to practice on only three of those days – and it showed on the offensive end. York missed 22 shots in the first half, many inside.

The Wildcats kept in front because of their relentless full-court pressure defense, which forced 19 turnovers in the first half. York led by 13 at the half, then the Warriors played with much more composure in the third quarter – only two turnovers – and cut the deficit to 11 heading into the final eight minutes.

“There aren’t too many teams who have done that,” said Don Abbott, the Warriors’ coach. “I think my girls played hard. More important, my girls think they played hard and know they played hard.”

But York got its offense going in the fourth quarter, outscoring Wells, 20-11. Stephanie Gallagher (13 points) hit a 3-pointer in the opening seconds and Chelsea Morley followed with another outside jumper as the Wildcats moved the ball better, looking for the open shooter.

That enabled Nicole Taylor a little more room inside on Wells’ collapsing zone.

She scored six of her 20 points in the fourth.

“A lot of our shots didn’t fall in the first half and that was just patience. And that came in the second half,” said Gallagher. “Now we know that we have a lot to work on for the next six games and continue to have to push ourselves.”

Clark wasn’t completely displeased. While calling this York’s “worst offensive game all season,” he added that the Wildcats showed how good they can be in the fourth.

“I kind of expected this,” said Clark. “But as the game went on, especially in the fourth, we started moving the way we should.”


Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]