2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/13/2017 10:44 PM

York catches on to new system quickly

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By Scott Schmid
Daily Herald Correspondent

Taking over the York girls basketball program late in the summer, new coach Brandon Collings didn't have a ton of time to implement his new systems.

But if Monday's season opener was any indication, the Dukes have caught on quickly.

Behind aggressive defense and an offense predicated on cuts and ball movement, York cruised to a 56-36 win over Niles West as part of the seventh annual Thanksgiving tournament the Dukes are hosting.

Danielle Dennis led all scorers with 18 points, 13 of which came in the opening half as the home team built a 31-21 advantage.

"It's a completely different start," said Dennis, who also notched 4 steals. "I've never had a coach like Mr. Collings. We went over so many plays in the first two weeks, I've never had a set offense like the one he has implemented. We practice it over and over, and tonight was very rewarding."

York completely dominated the boards, totaling 24 offensive rebounds. Caylin Rufus grabbed 4 of those as part of her 8-rebound total and also added 15 points, 6 of which came in the third quarter as the Dukes' lead swelled to 44-28.

The home team also forced the Wolves into 28 turnovers.

"We definitely wanted to put pressure on them right away," said Collings, the varsity coach at downstate Henry-Senachwine for four years before becoming an assistant at Willowbrook High School for eight seasons. "That set the tone for us right there. And we did a great job on the boards even though they had more size.

"Offensively, we came out and executed our curls and back doors and forced them into a 2-3 (zone). And then I thought in the third quarter, we moved the ball great. It's one thing to run it against yourself in practice, but we needed them to have some success with it (in a game)."

Kathleen Levins contributed 11 rebounds, 7 on the offensive end, off the bench, and Lauren Viola had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

"Everyone on our team can play well," Dennis said. "Everyone does something unique and we all have our different strengths and Coach gets that. We want to shoot for our best this year; this past two years, we know we could have done a little better."

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