The game plan for York High’s girls’ basketball team is simple: create chaos.

The Wildcats did that Tuesday afternoon and brought chaos to the Class B South tournament.

Fifth-seeded York stunned top-seeded Wells 60-52 in the regional semifinals at the Portland Expo, outscoring the Warriors 23-13 in the final quarter behind a full-court press that made it difficult for the Warriors to just inbound the ball.

York forced seven turnovers in the decisive fourth quarter and 22 overall to rally from an eight-point deficit late in the third quarter and reach a regional championship game for the first time since 2016, when it won the Class A state championship.

“This is just crazy,” said senior forward Emily Rainforth, who scored 10 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter. “Every year that I’ve been on this team, we’ve lost in the first round. So to be in the regional final is absolutely insane to me.”

York (12-5) will play second-seeded Oceanside (18-0) at 2 p.m. Friday at Cross Insurance Arena, if the game isn’t postponed by a forecasted snowstorm. Wells, which won the 2020 Class B state championship, finished 18-2, with two of those wins over the Wildcats in the regular season.


York’s press was at its best early, when the Wildcats took a 14-2 lead in the opening minutes, and late.

“We knew we had to come out strong, we knew we had to have the game at our pace, not theirs,” said York Coach Jess Stacy. “The first two times, we kind of fell into their game. We wanted to play our basketball. And tonight we played our basketball.”

Wells, behind a standout performance by senior center Grace Ramsdell (20 points and 19 rebounds), opened a 39-31 lead on a fast-break layup by Hailey Marshall. Stacy called a timeout with 2:19 left in the third, and the Wildcats responded by scoring the final six points of the quarter, all on layups by Rainforth set up by the defense.

A three-point play by Rainforth cut York’s deficit to 41-40 early in the fourth, and then Ramsdell picked up her fourth foul with 6:43 remaining. With her on the bench, York took control, scoring six points within 10 seconds.

“I knew this was going to be a back-and forth-game,” said Rainforth. “So I was thinking, we’ve done it before, we can string a few buckets together and get back into it.”

Ava Giacobba’s jumper gave York a 42-41 lead with 6:25 remaining. Then Rainforth stole the ball and scored on a layup. After a Wells timeout, Rainforth stole the inbounds pass and found Clara Pavuk for a layup and a 46-41 lead.


Wells cut it to 46-44 on a layup by Ruby McMinis (11 points) with 4:49 left, but York scored the next nine points, with Rainforth getting five, to lead 55-44 with 1:44 remaining.

“We work really hard on (the press) day in and day out in practice,” said Stacy. “We hunt for steals, we hunt for easy baskets. Again, coming into a neutral site where we don’t play often, layups are important. They set the tone for us and give us confidence.”

Wells Coach Don Abbott said the press was obviously the difference.

“That falls on us as coaches,” said Abbott. “We thought we had a good plan, but obviously it didn’t work out. To their credit, they obviously locked us down. We tried to make a couple of adjustments, but it didn’t work out. They definitely stymied us with the trap.”

Giacobba, who scored 14 points along with three steals, said the Wildcats knew they were the underdogs.

“So we had a lot of fire in our locker room that we wanted to win today,” she said. “This means all the world.”

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