Steel-High runs by U. Dauphin

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MECHANICSBURG - Upper Dauphin knew that beating top-seeded Steelton-Highspire in a District 3 Class A girls' basketball semifinal would be a difficult task.

The Trojans did all they could on February 26 to make the game competitive, but there was no stopping Steel-High, which opened a 30-point halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way for a 90-40 rout at Cumberland Valley High School.

Despite the loss, Upper Dauphin was still alive in the tournament and was slated to play in the consolation game Thursday, Feb. 28 to decide state tournament seeding. The Trojans were to meet High Point Baptist, a 53-31 loser to Halifax. (See story below.)

The Rollers advanced to the Feb. 28 district championship game at Hershey's Giant Center, where they took on the Wildcats for the gold.

Upper Dauphin coach Rich Hoffman was philosophical about the loss to a team that came into the game as powerful as advertised.

"It was basically our kids playing our hearts out," Hoffman said. "We scored some points when we ran our break. When we sat back a bit, we were in some trouble. We didn't have an answer for them offensively."

McKenzie Miller was the Trojans' leading scorer, netting eight of her 15 points in the first quarter, during which Steel-High broke out to a 28-14 lead. The Rollers methodically increased the lead to 55-25 at halftime with a combination of fast-break points, open jump shots and baskets off rebounds.

Katie Schwenk and Krysta Wynn each scored six points for Upper Dauphin.

It was Malia Tate-DeFreitas who lit up the scoreboard for Steel-High, leading all scorers with 30 points. She was one of four Rollers to reach double figures, followed by Khadjiah Robinson with 13, Izjada Watson with 12 and Amber Hess-Moore with 10.

"Slowly but surely they pulled ahead," Hoffman said. "There was nothing we could do to stop Tate-DeFreitas."

Steel-High head coach Jeffrey Chislom said that his team focuses more on applying defensive pressure and rebounding.

"Offense sells tickets, but defense wins games," Chislom said. "That's what it takes to win a championship."

Chislom said that the Rollers have won a lot of games in routs this season and said his team can deal with the expectations of winning the District 3 title and going far in the state tournament.

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing," Chislom said. "It's up to us to dictate what happens in these games."

Trojans drop consolation

ENOLA - Tori Moll scored 11 of her game-high 18 points in the first half as High Point Baptist built an insurmountable halftime edge and downed Upper Dauphin 56-30 in the District 3 Class A consolation game at East Pennsboro High School on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Upper Dauphin, which opened the tournament with back-to-back upsets, fell behind 14-1 after a quarter. In the opening two rounds the Trojans were able to rally for victories. This time, the 24-point deficit was too much to overcome.

Taylor Brown and McKenzie Miller each scored five points to pace the 12th-seeded Trojans, who advance to the PIAA Tournament as the fourth-place team out of the district. Upper Dauphin will face the District 4 champ Saturday, March 9, in the first round of states.

Lorraine Piccirillo added nine points for the Eagles, who face District 2 champ Old Forge in the first round of states.

Halifax takes silver

Steel-High captured the District 3 championship Thursday, defeating Halifax 76-27.

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