Pregame coverage from Bryce Jordan Center
Above video: Pregame analysis from John Clayton and Steve Navaroli
York Catholic takes their turn on the Bryce Jordan Center floor taking photos before the state championship game Friday. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- KATE PENN
York Catholic players scramble to find someone to take a group photo at the Bryce Jordan Center before the state championship game Friday. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN
By JOHN CLAYTON
STATE COLLEGE -- We're closing in on game time here at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center, where for the second straight year York Catholic and Villa Maria will meet in the PIAA Class AA championship game. It will be the third time in four years these two teams have squared off in this game (Villa won last year, 56-51).
Both teams are in the building, and both have already come out onto the court to take pictures and soak in the pre-game atmosphere a bit. In a little while, it will be time to get down to business.
York Catholic, of course, is here for the fifth straight season, and will be trying to win the program's fifth state title. The Fighting Irish (28-3) won the Class A crown in 1979, and earned Class AA titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Villa Maria, which won its first state title last year, is led by senior guard Kayla McBride, a McDonald's All-American and Notre Dame commit. She averages 20.8 points per game. The Victors (27-2) also feature a deep bench, and return four starters from last year's squad.
In other words, York Catholic will have to be on its game to win.
"I haven't seen our best game yet," Irish coach Kevin Bankos said on Thursday. "We've seen two quarters that were pretty impressive. We've seen two-and-a-half quarters. We haven't seen four yet. ... You're not going to be able to do that tomorrow, because it's going to get ugly fast."
York Catholic is paced by junior guard Kady Schrann (17.7 points per game) and senior forward Brittany Hicks (12.9 points per game).
Fans cheer York Catholic as the Irish take the floor to warm up at the Bryce Jordan Center. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN