The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School girls basketball team lacks a traditional tall rebounder.
Despite that, turning to a former first-team all-state player for help in the paint isn't a bad Plan B.
Halee Adams, who was first-team all state as a sophomore and third-team all state as a freshman, scored a team-high 14 points but made an even bigger impact with her 17 rebounds as Bishop Guilfoyle topped Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference foe Forest Hills, 51-44, at the Pleasant Valley Gymnasium Friday.
The win kept BG (10-1, 3-0) undefeated in the LHAC Section 1 and gave Forest Hills (10-3, 2-1) its first setback.
"The rebounds that she had tonight, the scoring that she provided and she came through with seven assists as well," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. "She just did a giant job for our basketball team tonight."
A year ago, the Lady Marauders fell to the Lady Rangers at home and as a result did not make it to the LHAC championship game.
"These games are so important," Adams said. "Me personally, I regret losing to Hollidaysburg [in BG's second game of the season]. As we go ahead, we have to beat schools like Forest Hills, Altoona and really stick it to everyone and play our game."
Adams scored 12 points and had 11 rebounds by halftime, helping the Lady Marauders erase an early 9-4 deficit and carry a 29-21 lead into the locker room.
"[Adams] is a great athlete and a great player," Forest Hills coach Carol Cecere said. "I thought BG came out and played us very well as they always do, but I was proud of our players and their effort."
Bishop Guilfoyle maintained its eight-point lead into the fourth quarter and even extended it to 12 with 6:12 remaining when Kayla Bates hit a long jumper. Moments later, however, the Lady Rangers crept back into the game.
Casey and Caitlyn Gallaher scored all of Forest Hills' points during a 10-2 run that trimmed BG's lead to 43-39.
The Lady Rangers, who got 11 rebounds from Amanda Meier, took advantage of several second-chance opportunities during the spurt.
"A lot of those rebounds happened because of their point guard [Casey] Gallaher," Moschella said. "She got our girls out of position to rebound, and I thought that we needed to do a better job protecting the paint and not give them those opportunities."
Casey Gallaher finished with a game-high 19 points, and Caitlyn joined her in double figures with 11.
The Lady Rangers pulled within three when Jill Scott hit a 3-pointer with 1:47 left, but Elyssa Ehredt got behind the Forest Hills defense for a layup with 1:07 to play. Scott made a layup on the other end to make it 47-44, but Adams and Bates, who finished with 11 points, made their free throws in the final minute to ice the game.
"This was a big section game in our league," Moschella said. "You have to be able to protect your home game and go on the road and win some tough ones. This is a good win for us tonight, but we need to get better in certain areas."
FOREST HILLS (44): Cai. Gallaher 5 0-1 11, Swanson 2 0-0 4, Meier 0 0-0 0, Cas. Gallaher 6 4-4 19, Zubek 2 1-1 5, Scott 2 0-0 5, Richards 0 0-0 0, Peretin 0 0-0 0. Totals - 17 5-6 44.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (51): Ehredt 2 4-5 8, Boslet 3 0-0 6, H. Adams 4 5-5 14, Stessney 2 4-5 9, Bates 3 3-4 11, Miller 1 1-2 3, Craig 0 0-0 0. Totals - 15 17-21 51.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Forest Hills...............13 8 8 15 - 44
Bishop Guilfoyle......14 15 8 14 - 51
3-point goals: Forest Hills 5 (Cas. Gallaher 3, Cai. Gallaher, Scott); Bishop Guilfoyle 4 (Bates 2, Stessney, H. Adams).
Officials: Dave Baronner, Dave Heim, Dick Wagner
Records: Forest Hills (10-3, 2-1 in LHAC Section 1); Bishop Guilfoyle (10-1, 3-0 in LHAC Section 1).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 36-31. High scorers-Marina Scipioni, BG, 15; Alyssa Peretin, FH, 15.