Aside from being someone who gives the occasional pep talk to teammates during the course of a game, what really is a captain?
Makenzie Keys has her own definition.
"Knowing I'm a captain and a leader, I have to take control (when necessary), make plays and hit shots," Solanco's junior point guard said. "And in a game (that's big), it's important to hit shots."
She epitomized that Friday night.
Getting a game-high 19 points from Keys, who almost single-handedly turned the game around in the fourth quarter, Solanco came from behind for an energy-filled, 44-40 District Three Class AAAA quarterfinal victory over Manheim Township Friday night at Penn Manor.
As a result, the Golden Mares (22-3) will play in the district semifinals for the first time in program history Monday, when they take on Central Dauphin (15-9) - a 47-35 winner over Cumberland Valley - in Hershey's Giant Center at 5 p.m.
Also important to Solanco was that it made amends for a 36-33 L-L League Sections One-Two crossover loss to Township on Jan. 25 in Quarryville.
Meanwhile, Friday marked the second straight year that Township (21-4) had its district title hopes dashed in the quarterfinals.
"It was like déjà vu," Blue Streaks coach Sean Burkhart said afterward, referring to Jan. 25. "The same thing happened when we played (Solanco) down there. … Both teams had chances to put each other away, but theirs just came at the right time."
Thanks largely to Keys.
After Jordan Brewer (team-high 14 points) hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Streaks a 35-28 lead after three quarters, Keys immediately went to work in the fourth.
She started the period by draining a trey from the left corner, before hitting a jumper from the left wing that cut the deficit to 35-33.
And when Abrielle Battiste completed an 8-0 Mares run with a conventional three-point play, Solanco had its first lead of the night (36-35) with 5:45 left in the game.
"We wanted to get (the Streaks) back," said Solanco center Gillian Glackin, whose 11 points and game-high 12 rebounds were pivotal in the Mares erasing an 18-9 deficit midway through the second quarter. "We wanted to prove we could play with them."
Township retook the lead on an Alexandra Leslie bucket with 5:03 to play, but after Keys stole the ball from Streaks point guard Michelle Relin and scored at the other end to put Solanco in front 38-37, the Mares had the momentum.
"I kept saying 'We can't give up on defense,' " recalled Glackin, who made it 40-37 when she scored underneath on an assist by Keys with 2:41 remaining.
The Mares' defensive effort down the stretch was noticeable, evidenced by Township's inability to get an open look.
The Streaks did get one look - a trey from the left wing by Alex Ross (11 points) that tied it at 40 with 1:34 remaining.
But Keys immediately responded with a drive in the lane that drew a foul. She made both free throws to give the Mares the lead for good, 42-40, with 1:06 left.
And when Ross was called for traveling with 42.6 seconds to go, the Streaks - forced to foul - watched their chances slip away on a pair of free throws from Claudia Buzzard with 35.1 ticks remaining.
"For us to do this … especially to get to play in the Giant Center," Keys said. "It's awesome."