UNIVERSITY PARK - The final statistics show Steelton-Highspire shot just 40.6 percent from the field against Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic Saturday in the PIAA Class A championship game.
But as the Lady Marauders walked off the Bryce Jordan Center's court, this time with tears replacing the joy and excitement displayed in the same situation the past two years, the only shots fresh in their minds were the 26 Lady Roller shots that did go in during a 73-60 Steelton-Highspire victory.
"They seemed a lot faster," said BG's Kelsey Livoti, whose team defeated Steelton, 56-46, in the first game of the regular season. "All their shots fell, including almost every 3-pointer. I mean, everything was going their way basically."
Guilfoyle state final
When the game started, it was business as usual for the Lady Marauders (29-2). Elyssa Ehredt scored six early points, and BG took a 13-10 lead when Livoti completed a traditional three-point play with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
Until that point, Steelton-Highspire guard Malia Tate-DeFreitas had scored all 10 of the Lady Rollers points.
Then her teammates woke up and joined the party.
Mirror photos by J.D. Cavrich
Bishop Guilfoyle’s Devin Stessney (left) and Kristen Miller react after getting their silver medals at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon.
Steel-High’s Jazmine Blanding knocks the ball away from Elyssa Ehredt.
Steelton (27-4) scored the final nine points of the quarter as part of a 17-2 run that gave the Lady Rollers a cushion they maintained for most of the game. The run was capped by a pair of 3-pointers from Jessika Williams, who was playing in just her second game back from a broken ankle.
Steelton connected on six 3-pointers in the first half and was 8-for-18 in the game.
"After we got those back-to-back 3-pointers, I said, 'we're on fire,'" Steelton-Highspire coach Jeffrey Chisholm said. "I knew we were on fire, and [Bishop Guilfoyle] was in trouble. We shot very, very well outside today."
Halee Adams, who led all scorers with 25 points, helped the Lady Marauders inch back into the game with six points early in the second quarter to make the score 29-23, but the Lady Rollers once again got consecutive 3-pointers, this time from Jazmine Blanding.
"We tried our best," BG's Elyssa Ehredt said. "We didn't think they were going to make many 3-pointers, and they made probably every 3-pointer they took."
The Lady Rollers took an 11-point lead into halftime and extended it to 12 by the fourth quarter. A basket from Devin Stessney and free throws from Kayla Bates and Adams cut Steelton's lead to 51-44 with 6:15 left. However, Stessney missed a 3-pointer, and the Lady Rollers got another trey from Williams that ended BG's final run.
"I definitely felt like every time we'd get a run started, something would happen," Livoti said. "We'd get a foul called on us, or they'd make a shot. We could never get closer than around 10.
"It's not really hard for us to score 10 points, but it just seemed like everything was going their way, and it wasn't meant to be."
One thing that did not go Bishop Guilfoyle's way was the battle in the paint. Steelton outrebounded the Lady Marauders, 49-33, and scored 29 second-chance points to BG's 10.
"Their size was the biggest factor, and we just couldn't overcome it," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. "You can only do so much with 5-foot-8 kids against 6-foot-2 kids. We tried to battle them inside physically, but even with putting bodies on them, they were still able to get over us and get second opportunities."
Cinnamon Brown led a group of five Steelton players who had at least five rebounds with a game-high 12. Ehredt, who finished with a double-double, had 10 rebounds to go along with her 12 points for the Lady Marauders.
The championship was the first for Steelton-Highspire, which was playing in its first state championship game.
The loss dropped Bishop Guilfoyle to 6-6 in the state finals.
"Everything is not always perfect," Livoti said. "I wasn't coming in here today expecting that we were going to win right off the bat. I mean, Steelton was a good team which was out for revenge from the first game of the year.
"It's an awful feeling, but I'm keeping my head up, because I'm proud of our team."
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (29-2): Ehredt 6-13 0-2 12, Adams 8-17 8-11 25, Bates 2-9 6-6 11, Stessney 2-5 2-2 6, Livoti 1-9 1-1 3, Craig 0-0 0-0 0, Meck 0-2 0-0 0, Kerr 0-0 0-0 0, Welteroth 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 20-56 18-24 60.
STEELTON-HIGHSPIRE (27-4): Hill 4-10 4-5 12, Brown 3-10 1-2 7, Anderson 1-2 0-0 2, Tate-DeFreitas 6-20 6-13 19, Blanding 5-11 0-0 13, Hess-Moore 1-3 2-2 4, Harris-Slade 0-0 0-0 0, Donald 1-1 0-0 2, Viera 0-0 0-0 0, Sanchez 0-0 0-0 0, Barley 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 5-7 0-0 14 Totals 26-64 13-22 73.
Bishop Guilfoyle 13 16 10 21-60
Steelton-Highspire 19 21 11 22-73
3-point goals-BG 2-10 (Adams 1-3, Bates 1-2, Stessney 0-2, Livoti 0-2, Meck 0-1), S-H 8-18 (Tate-DeFreitas 1-6, Blanding 3-7, Williams 4-5). Fouled out-Anderson. Rebounds-BG 33 (Ehredt 10), S-H 49 (Brown 12). Assists-BG 9 (Ehredt, Adams 3), S-H 14 (Tate-DeFreitas 8). Total fouls-BG 16, S-H 17.
Officials: Sandra Yost, Bill Lodge, Mike Kelly.