JOHNSTOWN - Despite a valiant second-half effort by the Bishop Carroll Lady Huskies basketball team, they fell short in the opening round to Blacklick Valley, 66-62, at Richland High School on Monday night.
Bishop Carroll outscored the Lady Vikings in the second half, 39-32, but Blacklick Valley used a balanced offensive attack and strong rebounding in the first half to come out victorious. The Lady Vikings had four players scoring in double digits led by sophomore Allison Thomas who finished the night with 19 points, with 11 of those coming in the first half. Senior Alison Verba also came up big, finishing with a double-double, recording 18 points and 15 rebounds.
"We were flat in the first half offensively and defensively," Bishop Carroll coach Dan Sammarco said. "We weren't getting good positioning on defense and it showed on the offensive side because we just couldn't seem to get anything going."
The game got off to a fast start as Lady Vikings junior Heather Marsh, who ended her night with 10 points, opened the game up with a layup off of the opening tip. Bishop Carroll answered right back as senior Krista Krug, who finished her high school career with 20 points, took the ball off the right-wing and scored from 3-point range. After two quick scores from senior Lauren Wyland, the Lady Huskies found themselves on top early by a 7-2 advantage. Blacklick Valley then closed out the quarter by going on a 10-3 run to end the first quarter leading 12-10.
The Lady Vikings carried their momentum into the second quarter as a deep 3-pointer by junior guard Brooke Rhoades, followed by a 3-pointer and a layup by Thomas set the foundation for a 14-6 run to open the second quarter. A 3-pointer by Krug with 40 seconds remaining in the half set the score at 34-23 heading into halftime in favor of the Lady Vikings.
"I think taking [Dani] Link out of the game in the first half was really big for us," said Blacklick Valley coach Larry Nairn speaking of Lady Huskies leading scorer Dani Link, who was held to five points on the night, "That's credit to Maura [Smay]. She played great for us when we put her on Link in the box-and-one."
"We came out in a man defense in the second half to try and jump-start our team and get us back in the game offensively," Sammarco said.
The strategy worked as the Lady Huskies outscored the Lady Vikings, 17-15, in the third quarter led by two 3-pointers by freshman guard Alli Farabaugh, who finished with eight points on the evening, along with seven rebounds.
"Foul shooting was the difference," said Nairn whose team was 9-11 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Led by Wyland's eight points, the Lady Huskies outscored Blacklick Valley once again in the final quarter, 22-17, but the Lady Vikings took command when they found themselves in the bonus.
The Lady Vikings (13-10) will go on to play top-seeded Bishop Guilfoyle in the next round of playoffs.
"It was a tough season, and we put things together a little too late, but we have great potential with these underclassmen," Sammarco said. "I'm looking forward to a better season next year."
The Lady Huskies ended their season with an 8-15 record.
BISHOP CARROLL (62): D. Link 1 3-5, Wyland 6 4-4 16, K. Krug 7 3-4 20, Mento 2 2-2 6, Mau. Lallemand 0 3-4 3, Farabaugh 3 0-0 8, Legros 1 0-2 2, A. Link 1 0-0 2, Bex 0 0-0 0, Gueguen 0 0-0 0. Totals - 21 15-21 62.
BLACKLICK VALLEY (66): Rhoades 2 9-12 14, Smay 1 1-4 3, Marsh 5 0-1 10, Verba 7 4-7 18, Thomas 7 4-4 19, Roberts 0 0-0 0, Kish 1 0-0 2. Totals - 23 18-28 66.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Carroll10 13 17 22 - 62
Blacklick Valley12 22 15 17 - 66
3-point goals: Bishop Carroll 5 (K. Krug 3, Farabaugh 2); Blacklick Valley 2 (Rhoades, Thomas).
Team records: Bishop Carroll (8-15); Blacklick Valley (13-10).