York, PA -
Hannah Laslo made her statement early Friday night and it is one to build upon. The York Catholic sophomore is healthy and ready for the District 3 Class AA girls' basketball tournament.
With her 6-foot-1 frame, Laslo is a tough matchup for most teams. Against fellow YAIAA Division IV foe Hanover, she was impossible to contain.
Saddled with a bum ankle during the YAIAA tournament, Laslo scored nine seconds into Friday's game at York Catholic.
She ended up scoring 11 of her game-high 16 points in the opening eight minutes, and despite sitting out the fourth quarter, outscored the Hawkettes herself, leading the Fighting Irish to a 56-14 rout.
"I am really ready. The coaches really prepared us well and after the injury, our trainer got my ankle strengthened up," Laslo said. "I feel much more confident this year. Last year I was pretty timid and wasn't really sure of myself. This year I am stepping out more and need to take on my responsibilities."
No. 1 seeded York Catholic improved to 23-2 and will continue its quest for an eighth straight district title in a semifinal against Annville-Cleona at 6 p.m. Monday at Penn Manor High School. No. 8 Hanover's season ended with a 14-10 mark.
Irish coach Kevin Bankos said he was glad to see Laslo not worry about anything.
"She is healthy again," he said. "We have to start getting points on the inside. We have post players that can play the game, we have to utilize them.
"I was happy with the way the kids reversed the ball and got the ball inside. The big key is she finished tonight. She made legitimate post moves. She went and played the game, had a good first quarter and it just fed from there."
The Irish defense did the job as well, forcing 24 Hawkette turnovers, eight in the first quarter in which York Catholic opened a 15-1 lead.
Deanna Chesko (11 points) converted two of those turnovers into layups that, combined with Laslo, put the Irish up 10-0 less than three and a half minutes into the game.
Led by five points from reserve Marissa Ressler, York Catholic went on a 16-2 scoring binge in the second period, taking a 33-7 lead to halftime.
The third started the same with Laslo's offensive rebound put-back getting things started. Freshman standout Soukaina Tracy, who led Hanover with eight points, canned a jumper, but the Irish scored the next nine points.
York Catholic's starters watched the fourth quarter from the bench as Bankos' concerns following the team's loss to West York in the YAIAA semifinal dissipated.
"It's always in the back of your head when you lose, you don't know if you are going to win again," he said. "It was a long week and a day waiting to play again."
Hanover coach Denny Garman was upbeat despite the loss.
"It's good to have these games. They are where we want to be," he said. "Last year when I got the job I asked the seniors to build the foundation. They did and we took it to a new level."
Barnes 0 1-2 1, Drawbaugh 1 0-2 2, Z. Tracy 0 0-0 0, Herrick 0 0-0 0, Silver 0 0-0 0, Giannini 0 0-0 0, Naill 0 0-0 0, Cleary 0 1-2 1, Bowersox 1 0-0 2, Gibson 0 0-0 0, Soukaina Tracy 4 0-0 8, Hoffman 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Yealy 0 0-0 0, Hammond 0 0-0 0. Totals6 2-6 14.
YORK CATHOLIC (56)
Lehr 0 0-0 0, York 1 0-0 2, McNamara 0 0-0 0, Jones 2 0-0 4, Deanna Chesko 5 1-1 11, Ressler 3 0-0 7, Carroll 1 0-0 2, Klunk 3 0-0 8, Demonda 0 0-0 0, Salter 1 0-0 2, Echevarria 2 0-1 4, Hannah Laslo 6 4-4 16 . Totals24 5-6 56.
Hanover 5 2 6 1 -- 14
York Catholic 17 16 13 10 -- 56
3-point goals -- York Catholic 3 (Klunk 2, Ressler).