The York High girls’ basketball team wants things to get a little crazy sometimes.

The Wildcats like it when games are fast and frenzied. And that’s what the Wildcats got Saturday afternoon.

The fifth-seeded Wildcats forced 29 turnovers with their pressure defense, turning many of them into easy baskets as they rolled to a 53-42 victory over No. 4 Yarmouth in a Class B South quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.

York broke the game open with a 10-0 run to end the second quarter, expanding a two-point lead to 12. Over the final 2:56 of that quarter, York forced five turnovers, leading to seven points.

“That was huge,” said York Coach Jess Stacy. “We trap everywhere, that’s basically kind of how we run. (The girls) like to play off of it, create turnovers and turn them into baskets, especially in a new gym with a new backdrop. Trying to get used to things is easier with layups.”

York (11-5) will play top-seeded Wells at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Expo. Yarmouth, which defeated the Wildcats in the season opener, finished 13-5.


Yarmouth was without star point guard Kaitlyn D’Appolonia, who was out because of an injury. Her absence was notable, especially against York’s full-court pressure.

“We were doing OK,” said Yarmouth Coach Dave Cousins. “Usually teams have not had a lot of success pressuring us. But the way we buried ourselves a couple of times made it easier for them, I guess.”

York extended the lead to 15 three times in the third quarter. Any time the Clippers tried to make a run, the Wildcats responded. A 3-pointer by Yarmouth’s Ava Feeley (team-high 12 points) early in the fourth brought the Clippers within nine, but York’s Emily Rainforth broke out for two layups to restore a 43-30 advantage.

The Clippers then got within 49-42 with 1:17 left on back-to-back 3-pointers by Lexi Clark. Again, York regrouped, as Ava Giacobba broke away for two layups.

“Part of the problem was that we were trying to put so much pressure on them, whether if we scored and pressed or off a rebound, we just kept getting beat deep,” said Cousins. “They’re fast and that’s their game plan, get the ball and run. We’re trying to make some differences up front and they’re beating us over the top.”

Rainforth, who led York with 19 points to go with five steals and two assists, said the Wildcats knew this would be a game of runs. “We just had to stay composed and play our game, pretty much,” she said. “Making layups and doing all that stuff.”


Giacobba had 14 points and seven steals. McKayla Kortes added a strong inside presence with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.

“We were all a little nervous at  the beginning,” said Kortes. “The first quarter was a little rough, but as it went on, we all thought, ‘This could be it.’ So we really picked up our game.”

This will be York’s first trip to the regional semifinals since 2018, when the Wildcats were in Class A South. York was eliminated by rival Marshwood in 2019 and 2020.

“It means a lot, especially not having last year,” Rainforth said of the 2021 tournament being canceled. “This means that much more.”

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