YORK, N.Y. (WROC) — It was a long journey for the York girls basketball team, winning three games on the road as a 7 seed to hoist their first sectional brick since 2004.
“Towards the end of our regular season we just started to click together really well,” said senior and four-year starter Addison Houseman.
The Knights knocked off undefeated Pavillion in the championship, who had beaten them twice earlier in the season.
“They’re a very good team. We just changed up some of our defenses and made some new plays,” said junior and leading scorer Sydnee Emerson.
But the journey for York goes back farther than this year. Last January, their beloved head coach Dennis Bzduch died of a heart attack.
“It was such a hard season last year that it’s finally the big win that we needed,” said Houseman.
“We all kind of felt like he was there with us,” said Emerson.
“He was always pushing us to do our best so this was really for him,” added Houseman.
The win came full circle- the Knights were supposed to play Pavillion the day Bzduch passed away. Their journey was emphasized in a memorable pregame speech by their head coach Kaitlin Kolb, which Houseman called the best she’s ever heard.
“She just talked about how everything, even although it was all so hard the past year, how it all led up to us being in the finals,” said Houseman. “I don’t think that it was a coincidence that we played Pavillion. I think it was just an amazing win to be able to play them again this year.”
The team says Bzduch would how it was defense leading them to the title, holding Pavillion to just 19 points in the second half.